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Gorson on the fine points of leadership

Matthew Gorson has played pivotal roles for his clients, his city and his law firm. As chair of Greenberg Traurig’s national real estate practice, he helped revitalize the region’s urban landscapes, changing both the skyline and infrastructure.

He’s marveled as technology changes his profession. But some things haven’t changed. He’s still a mentor who works with baby boomers, Gen Xers and Yers, even millennials and the changes they bring. He’s a shepherd of firm recruitment, especially its diversity efforts among the next generation of lawyers.

“[Leaders] don’t simply sit there and preach,” says Gorson, who heads the only firm he’s ever worked at. “But they ask, ‘How can I help you?’ You need to inspire, help, mentor and guide. That’s true leadership.”

How have the needs of law firm leaders changed since you first took the helm?

In no particular order, it’s technology. There’s the speed with which services need to be delivered and the need to respond to clients quickly. When I started practicing, I’d get a call or letter from a client who wanted a contract. Today, I can arrive at the office at 9 o’clock and there’s a deal that a client wrote you about and they’d like to see a draft by lunchtime. The whole concept of speed – while it makes it easier, the pressure and stress on the lawyer is tremendously accelerated.

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