Law Firm Loyalty Is Sometimes Overrated, Consultant Says
Posted Nov 13, 2009 11:46 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Loyalty to a law firm is laudable—to a point, a consultant says.
Lawyers also need to consider loyalty to clients, their families and themselves, according to Frank D’Amore, founder of the legal recruiting firm Attorney Career Catalysts. These allegiances are more important than loyalties to a law firm that is a bad fit or is facing financial troubles, he asserts in an article for the Legal Intelligencer.
Some lawyers “have found the perfect firm that treats them well, stands by them in good and bad times and deserves every ounce of their fealty,” D’Amore writes. “At the other end of the spectrum are lawyers in firms that are missing budgets and other key financial targets by wide margins, have suspect leadership, are personally taking significant financial hits and are working in environments that are fraught with discord."
Lawyers in these troubled firms--as well as firms with goals or practice models that aren't a good fit--may find a new firm will help them grow their practices and better serve their clients, he says.
In the end, D’Amore says, “unblinking loyalty” can be foolish, as chaos descends on a failing firm, hurting clients and making it difficult for partners to stay focused. As clients get poached by competing firms, the lawyer’s book of business shrinks and he or she becomes less attractive to other law firms.