Earlier this year, the venerable law firm long known as Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy announced that it had slimmed down its title to the breezy “Milbank.” Tweed, Hadley, and McCloy, perhaps, mourned the change, but it is unlikely that many people shed a tear for another victim that fell just as surely as those three names: the “&,” also known as the ampersand. For more than two centuries, the ampersand flourished in its preferred environment: BigLaw titles. No one can dispute that the ampersand served BigLaw well, adorning the titles of virtually all the most prestigious members of the BigLaw species. As late as the 1990s, it was nearly impossible to name a preeminent law firm that did not proudly boast an ampersand in its title. But as the century changed, something happened within the world of BigLaw. Firms began to turn against the ampersands that had served them so well for so long. In ever-increasing numbers, the great firms of America renounced … [Read more...] about For law firms, the ampersand is a character worth saving
Wilmer law firm
In the old West, there were a lot of cattle milling about. In order to tell one animal from another, each owner had a unique brand.More recently, Mad Men and their successors expanded the concept of brands to the consumer marketplace, to distinguish one product from another. We all recognize Volvo (safety), Nike (Just do it) and Frontier Airlines (A whole different animal).Today, the concept of branding has been further expanded to the professional services industry. With so many lawyers and law firms milling about, a brand is a valuable way to distinguish one lawyer and one law firm from another.What is a law firm brand? It is the firm’s reputation, its promise to the marketplace. This is who we are. This is what we do. This is who we do it for. This is what makes us different from every other lawyer or law firm that claims to do the same thing.By chance or on purpose, each law firm has a brand. If no one knows who you are … [Read more...] about New brand world: How law firms brand and re-brand
According to reports, tomorrow, January 10, the latest mega-merger will be official — Locke Lord merging with Edwards Wildman Palmer to form 1000-lawyer Locke Lord Edwards.That’s a pretty good name, actually, which I believe the marketplace will quickly choose to abbreviate back to simply “Locke Lord.” I’ve spoken and written a lot about how and why law firms shorten their names. (See the blog posts here regarding Lugenbuhl, and here regarding SMRLDJK&W….)The decisions may be based upon length, novelty, ego, how easy the names are to spell or remember, size, ego, reputation, practice, etc. (I was even interviewed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” some years ago regarding the Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr merger and name change to WilmerHale, listen here.) In short, “Locke” simply isn’t a strong or … [Read more...] about Law Firm Names: Wildman law firm – sorry to see you go.
An opinion issued recently by the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility could ignite a debate over the concept of nonlawyer ownership of law firms only months after the association’s House of Delegates sidestepped the issue while considering recommendations of the Commission on Ethics 20/20.The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct—which are the direct basis for professional conduct rules in every state except California—do not permit nonlawyer ownership. And ABA Formal Opinion 464 (PDF), issued Aug. 19, does not deal with the issue of nonlawyer ownership. Rather, the opinion addresses the narrow question of whether the Model Rules permit a lawyer to divide a legal fee with a lawyer in a jurisdiction that would allow the other lawyer to eventually distribute some portion of the fee to a nonlawyer.“Interfirm division of legal fees is clearly contemplated by the Model Rules,” specifically Rules 1.5 and 5.4, the committee states … [Read more...] about ABA ethics opinion sparks renewed debate over nonlawyer ownership of law firms
Associates on flex-time or part-time schedules can consult official policies on how they can still make partner at an increasing number of large law firms.Fish & Richardson, Morrison & Foerster and Ropes & Gray all recently adopted or revised policies detailing the path to partnership, the National Law Journal reports. They join several law firms with such policies.They include: K&L Gates; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; Bingham McCutchen; Foley & Lardner; Goodwin Procter; Perkins Coie; Sullivan & Cromwell; and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.The story includes some details of the three firms’ new policies. Morrison & Foerster revised its policy to clarify how alternative work arrangements affect compensation and indicate how long an associate must work on a reduced schedule before partnership.Ropes & Gray’s policy says associates facing family or health demands can work out a flexible or reduced schedule with their practice group … [Read more...] about More Law Firms Specify How Part-Time Associates Can Make Partner