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Lawyer Performance Evaluations: The Top 10 Mistakes (from Judi Craig, Ph.D., MCC in The Complete Lawyer)

Craig Earlier posts have discussed how law firms are falling short when it comes to implementing effective mentoring programs for their young attorneys and how this problem impacts attorney retention (see here).  A related topic is that of performance evaluations. Many associates complain that their firms fail to provide with them with adequate and timely feedback about their job performance and so they don't know if they are successfully meeting the firm’s expectations. The problem is that most partners and other senior attorneys are not trained in providing effective performance evaluations.

Enter Judi Craig, Ph.D., a Master Certified Coach who, among other things, advises law firms on practice management issues and coaches individual lawyers. In a recent article in The Complete Lawyer, she outlines the top 10 mistakes that law firms make with respect to performance evaluations. We recommend firms study Dr. Craig's list and then implement her suggestions since effective performance evaluations are a step in the right direction towards reducing associate attrition.

The ten mistakes are:

  • Mistake #1: Not Doing The Evaluations In The First Place
  • Mistake #2: Not Giving Employees An Opportunity To Rate Themselves
  • Mistake #3: Winging It
  • Mistake #4: Not Telling The Truth
  • Mistake #5: Making The Employee Wrong
  • Mistake #6: Delivering A Bomb
  • Mistake #7: Not Arranging A Confidential, Private, Uninterrupted Space
  • Mistake #8: Not Evaluating Associates And Junior Partners
  • Mistake #9: No Action Plan
  • Mistake #10: No Accountability

For a more detailed discussion of each of these mistakes, read Dr. Craig's full article here.

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This was a very helpful, thoughtful outline.

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