Ex-NBA Playing Lawyer Is ‘Gun Shy’ of Big Firms After Short Dreier Stint
Posted Oct 7, 2009 11:48 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Len Elmore has had plenty of successes in his life. He was a pro basketball player for 10 years, a Harvard Law School grad, a prosecutor, a sports agent, a TV commentator, and a senior counsel at the law firm then known as LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.
Things changed when he became an income partner at Dreier, where he planned to start a sports law practice with several other lawyers, he recalls in an interview with Bitter Lawyer. “I began in September 2008, but by December 2008, our sole shareholder and name partner, Marc Dreier, was detained on charges that ultimately convicted him,” Elmore said. “Needless to say, the walls came tumbling down.”
Asked to name his worst moment as a lawyer, Elmore replies, “I guess I could say the Dreier debacle and the helplessness I, along with my colleagues, felt.”
Dreier is in prison, serving a 20-year term for selling bogus promissory notes to finance his law firm and a lavish lifestyle.
Now Elmore is working as a solo practitioner and continuing his career doing sports commentary. “I am gun-shy of big firm practice, particularly in this economic environment,” he told Bitter Lawyer.
The interview also covers why Elmore left the agent business (the environment was becoming “toxic” to his ethics) and whether he was ever perceived as a “meathead jock” (yes, but it only happened once as a prosecutor).