lone wolves dont eat: how partners work together
At D&S, all of the lawyers at the Firm work together as a team. The partners trust each other - and even like each other, including many close friendships.
At many law firms a partner (as a lone wolf), is responsible for bringing her own clients in the door, servicing those clients, WOW’ing those clients, and building relationships with those clients. Even worse, at some law firms the partners are set up to compete with each other. We will be outspoken here and give our view that we think this is utterly terrible for both the lawyers and the clients. Indeed, we think it is the utmost of folly for a client to come to a major law firm because of its depth and full service ability but yet have the firm essentially be comprised of numerous silos, which is no more than a group of solo practitioners sharing office space with no cooperation or overlap.
Thankfully, we are the direct opposite of this!
We don’t do those kinds of things and we wouldn’t even know what to do with a partner who wanted to behave in that manner. It just wouldn’t work in our culture.
Instead, at D&S, all of the lawyers at the Firm work together as a team. The partners trust each other – and even like each other, and are bound by many close friendships. Our internal economics make it very rare that any partner really has his/her “own” client; instead, with some rare historical exceptions, most of the time the clients belong to the team and we are all eager to service them.
We believe that the concept that he or she who brought in the client gets the lion’s share of the upside is outdated and destructive. It is akin to a corporation in which the salesman gets most of the profit, yet those who develop the product and service the customers get very little. That is simply foolish and we think should not be the case in the legal world either.
Of course rainmakers and rainmaking is hugely respected, however, it is on par with having super-talent and super-expertise to service the clients that are brought in the door. One without the other is useless. Indeed, without a great service partner the rainmaker is just like a dog that caught the bus – what happens now to the client? Ultimately the concepts of rainmaking and servicing clients are yin and yang, and we hope we have developed a solid (magic?) formula for fairly allocating the upside of a client relationship so that all involved attorneys are motivated and eager to service the client well and grow the relationship.
Our clients will validate this – they are consistently impressed that all partners seize the initiative and work to WOW the client, irrespective whether it seems to be “their” client or not.