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Delegation Skills for Senior Lawyers

This case study describes how we approached training delegation skills for senior lawyers.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is a full service law firm with offices in New York, Washington, D.C. and London. The firm provides legal services to some of the world’s largest hedge funds and thousands of investment funds globally.


Like any law firm the need to delegate is undisputed. But this does not mean that all lawyers do it often enough and well enough. For some it is counter intuitive. There is a battle between cost struture and utilisation targets. This all meant the training needed to fine tune existing skills and encourage layers to delegate more and better.


Delegating is a key skill for any lawyer as they develop their career and increase their responsibility. It is also a required behaviour if the firm is to grow, as junior lawyers rely on being delegated to.

Delegating is often not given the time and focus it requires for a successful outcome. This session gives lawyers simple frameworks to follow to increase the chances of success.


We developed a half day delegation skills training session. This included developing self awareness for each participants’ existing delegation style. We achieved this partly through the ITD Work Styles Model.

The content of the module focussed on specific skills.

  • Introduction and objectives.
  • Why don’t lawyers delegate as much as they could do?
  • Impact of not delegating and not delegating successfully.
  • Challenges with delegating within the team and to other teams.
  • Benefits of delegating.
  • Different styles of delegating based on the activity and person; Directing; Explaining; Coaching; Giving.
  • The impact of personality on delegating from both sides, using ITD’s Work Style Model.
  • The delegating conversation when under pressure.
  • Understanding the person delegated to and their perspective.
  • Preparing to delegate, delegating and following up on the delegation.
  • Classic errors to avoid in delegation.
  • Summary.
  • Personal actions.


The workshops involved all lawyers at every step. Conversation was very active and views were expressed in a comfortable and open environment.

Everyone left with personal actions on how they could develop their skills.

Participant Feedback

“Thank you very much for the session (and the follow up). I found it extremely useful and interesting.”

Client Comments

“The training was very well received and thought provoking for all of us. Having sessions for different levels of lawyers worked well.”

If you would like to explore how this delegation skills for senior lawyers could work for your law firm, please contact us.