Often it works out for all concerned. Lawyers who don't want to serve the large market … need to be transitioned. We're a good destination for people who no longer fit the large-firm model.
Are you hiring any graduates fresh from law school?
Not many, because our growth has not been organic — and that's something we would like to do more of going forward. Most of our hiring has been [of] experienced lawyers.
What legal service areas are you finding most fruitful?
Family law, landlord-tenant and bankruptcy grew substantially. Labor and employment as well — all the things that are affected by a bad economy. Terminations cause litigation.
As the economy gets better, is that a problem for the firm?
It'll just switch. The transactional work will pick up. The estate planning work will pick up; there's more wealth to protect.
What are your expectations for the firm in the next few years?
With our real estate configuration, we have room for 30 more lawyers in the next two years. That's our target.
Fast growth isn't easy to manage, is it?
My job's really interesting, because the job I have this year is different than the job I had last year. … We continue to change, and I like change.
But the real answer to how we've done it is we've invested in an outstanding management team. … We have nonlawyer management, MBA-level people who are excellent managers. It's another way we've grown the firm. We think everyone has their highest and best use, and the highest and best use of lawyers is to be excellent lawyers servicing their clientele.