Theresa M. Neff


This note examines the importance of employee motivation and job satisfaction to increased productivity and stronger client relationships with law firms. In Part I, I discuss how the pressure of the legal profession can affect lawyers' relationships with their staff members. My analysis will center on recent studies on lawyer job satisfaction, the impact of stress on lawyers, and the public's perception of lawyers. In Part II, I discuss the law firm as a "service" organization and the implications of that orientation. In this section, I also emphasize the importance of building and maintaining relationships with clients and how law firm employees may affect that relationship. In Part III, I describe the results of a case study of one law firm's employee satisfaction levels, and in part IV of the note, I focus on the psychological theory of motivation. I identify specific theories of motivation. In Part V, I discuss "real world" motivational techniques used in one of America's most successful corporations: Southwest Airlines. In the concluding section, Part VI, I recommend specific motivational techniques that lawyers can use to boost employee morale.