Wajert Discusses Firm Leadership with Law360

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Philadelphia Managing Partner Sean Wajert joined four other attorneys in discussing what it takes to become a law firm leader in May 28’s Law360 article “How to Climb your Firm’s Leadership Ladder.” He also spoke to Law360 about pitfalls new law firm leaders often face in a June 4 article.

Explaining that the initial step to becoming a top leader at any law firm is to demonstrate that you’re willing to take on any role, Wajert says, “Not everyone is interested in leadership roles, and not everyone will automatically assume you have such an interest.”

Wajert advises associates to plot a course to the desired leadership position and to pay attention to the relationships at the firm that could impact their future.

Adding to the idea that taking on nonbillable work can help you become an indispensable member of the team, Wajert says, “much of this internal brand-building process can stem from a willingness to simply raise your hand whenever an opportunity arises.”

In the June 4 article, Law360 calls out failing to communicate, a lack of inclusiveness and not building consensus as the most common mistakes among new law firm leaders. While describing the importance of clear communication, Wajert says that listening to team members is just as important as being a good communicator.

“Finding out what matters to the team, getting valuable feedback and input — these may take a more aggressive approach: creating an atmosphere where people on the team feel comfortable communicating their thoughts, but also going out your office door to them,” Wajert said.

Wajert says that another crucial aspect of communications is delegating tasks.

“It may be better for you, and the firm, when leaders understand their strong points and develop those fully, while delegating any weaker areas to others in leadership roles in the firm who are strong in those areas and can complement you,” Wajert said.