In the Colliers Law Firm Services Group, we spend a lot of time studying the business of law because we believe you cannot truly understand a client’s real estate issues and needs if you do not understand their business issues and needs. To that end, we survey law firms, interview law firm board members and executive teams, and discuss law firm trends and issues with architects as well as legal recruiters. My most recent project was a comprehensive survey of the Am Law 200 firms to determine which C-suite positions each firm employs and whether the existence of any C-suite position correlates with higher profitability.
Amanda K. Brady, global practice leader for the law firm management practice at Major Lindsey & Africa, says that 95 percent of the C-suite searches she conducts are open to someone without legal experience. She added that only about 25 percent of the time do firms actually hire someone without legal experience because often the need to immediately add value outweighs the desire for a new perspective and there is potentially the perception that such a hire brings less risk.