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"Partner Perspectives" is one of S&C's most popular training series.

"Partner Perspectives" is a series of training programs designed to help associates build management skills by learning about the strategies and habits of highly effective managers within the Firm. Each program takes the form of a short, informal conversation between the presenting partner and a small group of associates. Each partner presenter gives a brief presentation to start off the discussion, followed by an opportunity for associates to ask questions. Past topics have included "The Limits of Your Role as a Lawyer," "Time Management" and "Effective Communications." Below is a sampling of quotes from our partners that relate to the sessions they led.


Rodge Cohen: Becoming the “Trusted Adviser”—Managing Client Relationships
“Being a trusted adviser is about adaptability and flexibility. Utilizing the same formula each time could actually be counterproductive, but there are a few key common elements that go a long way to becoming a trusted adviser. The first element is trust. Trust is all about people. We represent companies, and the importance of institutional relationships to the future of this Firm cannot be overstated. But companies don’t have trust. People have trust. Never forget the importance of personal relationships.”


Melissa Sawyer: Giving and Receiving Feedback
“What I want to emphasize on giving feedback is that this is one of the most important functions we have as lawyers at a law firm. I say that because the value of a firm is the value of its human capital, and that capital is only as good as you train it to be. Part of that training is to tell people when they do something well or poorly.

“I think the most important thing about receiving feedback is to be proactive in soliciting feedback. Receiving feedback sounds so passive, like you’re just supposed to wait for someone to call you and tell you how you’re doing. That’s not realistic because people here are busy. Not everyone gives debriefs or reviews after a deal signs as a matter of course, but don’t hesitate to ask for one.”
 

Ron Creamer: Managing Clients
“In order to effectively manage clients, there are two basic rules. First, you have to believe in yourself. You have real ability, and you should be motivated to ensure your client understands and implements your advice. You don’t need to be shy about it. Second, you must respect the client for his or her abilities. The client will almost never be as expert as you are in the particular legal question at hand, but they are expert in other areas. Remembering this helps you to be deferential without being obsequious.”


Sergio Galvis: Developing and Trusting Your Judgment
“We all think judgment is instinctive. Yet, the first cornerstone is being really well-prepared. There’s no substitute for preparation. You get confidence in your judgment by doing the work in advance. The second thing is that, while you’re born with some degree of judgment, much of it is learned. Judgment overlaps with common sense and intelligence, but not completely. . . .The beauty of S&C is that none of us exercises judgment in a vacuum. We’re not solo practitioners. We have this incredible resource behind us.”


Sharon Nelles: Managing Your Image/Perception
“Be cognizant of your professional image. If you do not manage your own image, others will. Your colleagues and your clients observe your behavior and make assessments about your competence and your commitment. These assessments, in turn, affect what responsibilities you are afforded, client satisfaction with your performance, and your career advancement. There is no right person to be. There is room for vastly different people at this Firm. You can be only who you are, so be the best possible version of yourself. But I note that the best possible version of yourself always puts away your BlackBerry during client meetings.”


Rick Pepperman: Motivating People
“When I was assigned the topic of ‘Motivating People,’ I realized that it encompasses several core beliefs that I have. My first core belief is that, to really motivate people, you need to lead by example. The second, which plays out time and again, is that positive reinforcement is always more effective than negative reinforcement.”

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