Driver or Administrator? HR’s Impact on Law Firm Success and How to Measure It.

This article by Markus Hartung and Emma Ziercke first appeared in the international edition (no. 1 2018) of the LegalBusinessWorld.

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HR leaders are being called upon to step into the “golden triangle” of strategic management, to be on an even footing with the CEO and CFO. However many CEOs complain that HR leaders focus extensively on “administrivia”, lack vision and strategic insight. Is this also true for law firms?

The Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession (“Bucerius CLP”) recently investigated HR standards across top law firms in Germany (the “Bucerius CLP HR Benchmark Study”) and discovered that although HR leaders from 80% of firms regularly participate in executive meetings, HR’s role continues to be weighted towards traditional activities such as operations and recruitment. Critically, the study also revealed that little is being done to evaluate the performance of the HR department and its impact on the business strategy of the law firm. The use of HR metrics positively correlates to organisational success.  But which metrics? And how can law firm HR leaders get closer to the business and avoid the administrivia trap?

Continue reading on the website of Bucerius Executive Education


Markus Hartung and Emma Ziercke