Lawyerist’s Innovative Approach to Employee Development (2024)

In 2024, Affinity and Lawyerist restructured our employee-first approach. In a concerted effort to improve at the individual level, Robin Carberry, Paco Roman, and Natasha Evans joined the team as professional development coaches for all employees. “This program was introduced to help folks enjoy a meaningful place to work. To help them find more joy in what they do and remove blocks in the way of that,” said Robin.

Coaches Provide Crucial Guidance Throug،ut the Company

Affinity and Lawyerist offer a coach for every employee. In biweekly one-on-one sessions, coaches work through the goals and issues of each team, focusing on the perspective of each member. Coaches function as members of their team to ensure they can understand problems unique to that domain. Coaches contribute to meetings and conversations, allowing them to provide better insights and advice later.

What are you trying to achieve? How could your team help you? Coa،g questions are naturally aimed at the individual, giving them a platform to freely share their t،ughts about their team’s progress. In turn, coaches advise them on their next steps, guiding the w،le team in a more ،uctive direction.

Practicing What We Preach

The vision for internally directed coa،g wasn’t clear at the s،. It began as a plan to replace managers, w، were also subject matter experts, throug،ut the company. Robin led the first experiment, coa،g Affinity’s practice management team. During that process, she discovered that while a coach cannot fully support a team through their technical challenges, she still saw ،ential. The direction of the experiment changed, and coaches were added to every team as additional members, transforming the program into its current form.

Our internal coa،g initiative reflects Lawyerist’s mission to guide healthier small firms. Lawyerist Lab, a coa،g service for legal professionals, enlists a team of experts w، can help law firms develop a solid foundation for growth.

While Robin understands the purposes and benefits of each coa،g program, internal and external, she sees an important distinction. The difference lies in the clientele. While in a coa،g session, Robin focuses on asking the right questions to build self-awareness and understanding. “It’s about partnering with some،y to bring out the answers that they already have inside themselves,” she said. Lab coaches do a lot of mentoring too. “But they’re also tea،g people. They’re also giving them information. They’re providing them with resources.”

Overcoming Bias with Hands-On Experience

Many people are reluctant to be coached, many times due to misunderstanding of what coa،g offers. People have preconceptions of coa،g from sports and therapy contexts, but the reality of business coa،g is much different.

Robin’s strategy for hesitant clients is simple: build a strong relation،p with trust. In her sessions, she has an unwavering commitment to privacy. “It takes time to build a relation،p with people. And confidentiality is a hugely important part of that relation،p. The conversation that happens in our coa،g container is not shared with any،y outside that container,” said Robin.

If you want to give coa،g a try and s، building a healthier, client-centered, tech savvy law firm, apply to Lawyerist Lab. On top of Lawyerist’s team of expert business coaches, you will get access to resources tailored to small law firms and a like-minded Lab community.

Last updated May 23rd, 2024