Stephanie Everett noticed a common theme among law firm partners when she arrived to facilitate their quarterly or annual business planning retreat: “Not all the partners are on board. I’d say they have a healthy dose of skepticism, concern, and maybe even fear for what’s about to happen.” That quickly melted away once Stephanie rolled up her sleeves and got started. 

Why You and Your Team Need a Business Planning Retreat

The term “retreat” means to change a decision or plan. It also references a period of seclusion or a quiet place where one can rest and relax. Most businesses use a retreat to take a step back. They reflect on where they are, and plan where they are going. 

In addition to allowing an opportunity to strategize or solve business problems, retreats have hidden, added benefits. The time away gives teams a chance to bond, get to know one another, and have some fun. 

Business planning retreats create space for leaders and team members to think differently about the business and how their role affects it. Amazing things happen when we take a break from the day-to-day and think about our work in a new way. As firm owner Ryan McKeen explained, “Stephanie guided our team to see the business, each other, and most importantly themselves, in ways they had never seen before.” 

The experience was transformative for our team.

-Ryan McKeen

That space often gets neglected. As firm owner Amy McGarry explained, “I didn’t realize how much I needed to get out of the office for a few days. It cleared my mind and allowed me to focus on my business.” There’s a reason great ideas come to you in the car or the shower. Retreats are similar in that they give you a chance to think differently—and creatively—about your law firm. 

What Happens During a Team Retreat?

After facilitating dozens of retreats, Lawyerist has created several retreat options to address the most common problems law firms face. 

Healthy Vision Retreat

If you’re just starting to create your firm’s strategic plan, the Healthy Vision Retreat option is a great place to start. First, partners and firm leadership complete pre-retreat worksheets to assess the firm’s current business. Then, during the half-day retreat, a Lawyerist Lab coach facilitates a visioning and value session. Here, firms create an accountability chart to clarify everyone’s roles and responsibilities for the team. This work is the foundation for a successful business and leads to effective decisions.

“It had been a long time since we’d discussed our vision for ourselves and the firm, and after working just to survive over the last two years [of Covid], it’s great to think about flourishing. Thank you for helping us plan for our futures.” – Allison McKeen, Partner Connecticut Trial Firm

Quarterly Healthy Strategy Retreat

With the foundation in place, Lawyerist facilitates the next step in a strategic planning session or a Quarterly Healthy Strategy Retreat. In this half-day session (which can be combined with the Healthy Vision Retreat), a Lawyerist Lab coach works with the leadership team to establish long-term goals. We scope short-term projects and strategic priorities focused on achieving those goals. Then, we identify key performance indicators the team will use to measure results along the way. 

“[Team Lawyerist] helped us find optimism, vision, and opportunity.” – Andrew Garza, Partner Connecticut Trial Firm

Team Alignment Retreat

Finally, Lawyerist offers a Team Alignment Retreat. This is a half-day all-team meeting designed to get everyone on the same page. During this session, the entire team discovers key elements of the firm’s strategic plan and the role they can play. 

“The magic happens when you get alignment between vision, systems, and people. Our time with Stephanie [from Lawyerist Lab] helped our team own their vision, improve our systems, and grow together. The entire team agrees it was the most valuable thing we have done as a firm.” – Ryan McKeen, Partner Connecticut Trial Firm        

What did those skeptical partners have to say? 

“Boy, did Stephanie deliver! The entire experience was great – from the brainstorming sessions with the leadership team to the day-long event, Stephanie turned doubtful attorneys into givers, and we walked out with goals, alignment, and deeper bonds that will allow us to grow faster and better for years to come. My team is already asking for round 2!” – Jay Ruane, Partner Ruane Attorneys at Law

Lawyerist’s business planning retreat half-day facilitation packages start at just $3,500. If you’re interested in learning more, connect directly with Lawyerist Lab Coach, Stephanie Everett, at

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Last updated August 30th, 2023