Managing Lawyer Behavior Through Compensation

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 61 minutes
Recorded Date: April 23, 2020
Click here to share this program


  • Identifying Present Issues or Concerns
  • Rewarding Subjective Contributions
  • Compensation Systems
  • Firm Values & Culture
  • Perception of Equity
  • What is Profitability
  • Horror Stories
  • Behaviors
Runtime: 1 hour, 1 minute
Recorded: April 23, 2020


Compensation is a proven tool for influencing lawyer behavior. This program will explore the desired behaviors to encourage as well as the behaviors to avoid. Behavioral objectives include subjective and objective goals. Is your compensation system administered by a compensation committee, management committee, managing partner, "benevolent dictator" senior partner, "democratically" by all the partners, or by a non-lawyer executive director?

Whether you are starting a new firm or trying to resolve issues that come up among the partners in your longstanding firm, it "pays" to understand how the compensation system affects behavior and ultimately the firm's success. Pete Roberts and Debra Bruce will describe ways that the compensation system and the manner in which is it administered can cause problems that negatively affect the operational health of the firm. They will also provide tips on factors to address in designing (or amending) compensation systems to fit your firm's culture and values. Topics discussed include common types of compensation systems, system impact on desired behaviors, pros and cons of incentive bonuses, compensation for essential non-billable activities and aligning the compensation with the values of the firm.

This program was recorded on April 23rd, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Peter D. Roberts

Chair, Law Firm Finance Committee

PETER D. ROBERTS, MBA is a consultant to attorneys based in Seattle. He is Chair of the ABA’s Law Firm Finance Committee. Peter managed the Law Office Management Assistance Program of the Washington State Bar Association for 13 years.

Debra L. Bruce

Lawyer-Coahc LLC

Debra L. Bruce is President of Lawyer-Coach LLC. Capitalizing on 18 years in law practice, she coaches lawyers on leadership, management and productivity. She is the Co-Chair of the ABA’s Productivity & Knowledge Strategy Committee and has held leadership roles in law practice management committees of the Houston and Texas bar associations.

Similar Courses

Card image cap
65 minutes
#MeToo - Media Frenzy, New Era in Sexual Harassment, or Both?
Sexual harassment claims against celebrities and high-profile men continue to dominate media coverage in 2018. There is no question that employers are legally required to investigate complaints of harassment in the workplace and take action to punish employees who commit acts of harassment.

American Bar Association


Add to Cart
Card image cap
63 minutes
2018 CA Consumer Privacy Act: The Big Tail Wagging the U.S.
In this session, two leading information governance attorneys will share why you need to and how you can be ready.



Add to Cart
Card image cap
59 minutes
2018 Global Discovery: International Compliance in the Cloud
Join us for a session examining legal and regulatory changes in store for 2018 and best practices for compliance in the cloud.



Add to Cart
Card image cap
59 minutes
3rd Annual Corporate Legal Operations Survey Results: Key Metrics, Trends, and Expectations
In this breakout we’ll share survey data covering these questions and, joined by law firm and corporate legal guest speakers, engage in an interactive discussion on the state of the industry with diverse perspectives from consultants, vendors, outside counsel and corporate legal.



Add to Cart