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Larry Richard

Dr. Larry Richard is recognized as the leading expert on the psychology of lawyer behavior. He has advised dozens of AmLaw 200 law firms on leadership, management, and related issues such as teams, change management, talent selection, assessment, and other aspects of strategic talent management. Widely known as an expert on the lawyer personality, he has gathered personality data on thousands of lawyers.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Dr. Richard practiced law as a trial attorney for ten years. He then earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from Temple University. For more than 20 years, he has provided consulting services exclusively to the legal profession. Formerly with Altman Weil, and more recently the head of the Leadership & OD Practice at Hildebrandt, he recently launched his own consulting firm, LawyerBrain LLC, which focuses on improving lawyer performance through personality science. He focuses on Resilience, Change Management, and Leadership.

He is a frequent author and speaker on the use of positive psychology and applied behavioral science in helping law firms to succeed. He is a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, and a licensed user of the MBTI, DiSC, and 15 other tools.

Practice Areas and Specialties include:

  • Building Lawyer Resilience: With my partners, Paula Davis-Laack, and Dave Shearon, we design and teach programs to increase the Resilience skills of lawyers. This contributes to risk management and improves performance, work satisfaction, and engagement.
  • Leadership Development: We design skill-based, interactive “Action Learning”-based programs to turn lawyers into leaders.
  • Fixing Dysfunctional Behavior: When lawyers don’t play well together, everyone suffers. We help firms repair morale problems, friction, factions, and other forms of negative behavior. We help develop positive, cooperative behavior among even the toughest, most skeptical lawyers. We also specialize in coaching of difficult individuals, using our deep knowledge of lawyer personality traits.
  • Coaching Lawyers: We do 3 kinds of one-on-one coaching—(1) Performance Coaching to take star performers to the next level; (2) Leadership Coaching to bring out the strengths and improve the effectiveness of your top leaders; (3) Remedial coaching to address underperforming partners.
  • Facilitating Difficult Conversations: We lead retreats, foster dialogs, and use the science of organizational behavior to structure conversations that make it possible to move from suspicion, disagreement, or indecision to agreement and action.
  • Building Teams: Using our Team Science method, we help lawyers to develop into high performing teams. This methodology works well with senior leadership teams; small practice groups; client teams; and industry teams.
  • Providing 360-degree, upward review or personality feedback: We custom-design multi-rater assessments just for law firms. If you want a user-friendly upward evaluation system that is highly accurate and credible, our Assessment Science system is unique in the industry. Built from the ground up just for lawyers, it uses the latest research in behavioral science to make your investment pay off.
  • Overcoming Resistance to Change: Are you implementing project management? Lockstep to Levels? A new accounting system? Change is hard for people in general, and harder for lawyers. We partner with your content experts in all of the above areas, adding our expertise in the psychology of change to insure that you actually achieve buy-in for the change. We help design methods that overcome expected resistance and actually lead to your people adopting new behaviors in the end.
  • Selecting Talent: Using a unique screening method developed over 20 years of working with thousands of lawyers, we can help your firm identify candidates who fit the firm or a specific practice. We can also help you do a better job of identifying potential rainmakers, leaders, or star performers. And we can help you weed out jerks.
  • Motivating Lawyers: Law firms often rely on “incentives” to motivate lawyers. Recent research shows that incentives often don’t work as hoped, and can even backfire. A much more effective strategy is the use of intrinsic motivational strategies. We can help you design these strategies and road-test them to insure that they are effective.
  • Facilitating Important Conversations: Most firms find that at some point, it is helpful to have a skilled outside facilitator help their partners to have a fruitful conversation about important issues. We bring years of experience in successfully facilitating these difficult but important conversations. We utilize the latest principles of organizational psychology to insure results.
  • Keynotes and Retreat Presentations: Dr. Larry Richard is a highly sought after speaker for law firm retreats. He has presented keynotes that consistently receive the highest ratings, and has designed and presented retreat workshops that engage participants and are frequently praised as “outstanding”, “memorable” and “highly practical.”