As you expand your firm, you may discover the temptation to structure your operations like one of the top 100 firms, especially if you are a refugee from BigLaw yourself. It's what you know, after all.
A piece in the June issue of The American Lawyer suggests that the real model for a successful, fulfilling law practice isn't in New York, Chicago or LA - it's in the Rocky Mountains.
While most of the piece is a scathing assessment of BigLaw, the author, Susan Beck takes a moment at the end to extol the virtues of a relatively unknown firm, Holland & Hart LLP. What makes this firm so great? Well, according to Beck:
"A New York partner might mistake their profits per partner, $385,000,
for the cost of redecorating her East Hampton summer cottage. Holland
& Hart lawyers put in an honest day's work, but leave time to ski,
and hike, and fish, and enjoy life outside their offices. And they
genuinely seem to like each other. They've never demoted a partner to
nonequity status, never merged with a big firm to improve their
"platform," never boosted their partner-associate ratio beyond 1:1, and
never laid off associates for economic reasons."
this be it? The fabled "work-life balance" that most lawyers assume is
some mythological creature that wanders alone in some misty forest
somewhere in Central Europe?
It certainly sounds nice,
although I expect that job satisfaction might be pretty high at any
firm where there's skiing, hiking and fishing nearby - regardless of
the partner-associate ratio.
See Also: Does Holland & Hart Offer a BigLaw Rocky Mountain High? (WSJ Law Blog)