Business of Law

What it's like to build a new law firm in the post-downturn market (video)


Bruce Barket, founding partner at Barket, Marion, Epstein & Kearon, talks with Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia about the challenges in building a law firm after the legal profession’s slowdown in 2008.

Barket and his three partners started their own criminal defense firm two years ago, and the firm has grown to have seven lawyers. Barket says they’ll be adding another managing partner by the end of the year.

“Some people say, ‘There’s always crime,’ so maybe it’s impervious to the other aspects of downturn we’ve seen elsewhere in the legal profession?” Pacchia asks.

“Well, there’s always crime, but you can’t make a living off of somebody hitting an old woman on the head with a bar and taking her pocketbook,” Barket says. “The types of litigation that we’re involved in are fairly sophisticated; you need individuals with resources that can pay, and frankly, you need real disputes.”

Barket also discusses his pro bono work, including defending Martin Tankleff. Tankleff was convicted of murdering his parents when he was 17. “In 2008, we walked him out of jail, he was exonerated,” says Barket. “Marty’s in law school now, he’s a paralegal with our firm. We expect him to graduate next year and join our team as a lawyer.”

See the video interview here.

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