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2 Partners of Well-Known Firm Downsize, Now Answer Own Phones at Own Shop

Posted Feb 17, 2010 2:02 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Two seasoned partners have left a well-known Connecticut-based law firm to form their own small practice, where they now answer their own phones, clean the coffeepot and, noting that the mahogany table in the conference room had seen better days, sanded it down and refinished it.

Their new firm is a better fit for the small businesses and individuals they generally represent in corporate, employment and trial matters, say Robert Mitchell and Margaret Sheahan. And their departure from approximately 80-attorney Pullman & Comley to form Mitchell & Sheahan was amicable—they have already received several referrals from former colleagues there, they tell the Connecticut Law Tribune.

Like other lawyers throughout the country, the two were worried about losing clients amidst the economic downturn. Now they can offer more affordable rates—perhaps as much as one-third less—and anticipate that other firms will bring them in as trial counsel, since they don't present as much of a competitive concern as a larger firm.

"I think we can capitalize on the needs of businesses out there," Sheahan tells the legal publication. "We deal with a market segment different from Pullman & Comley that couldn't be supported with the rates we were charging."

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "BigLaw Lawyers Jump to Small Firms, Law’s Fastest Growing Sector"

Updated at 1:50 p.m. to link to related coverage.

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