Misbehaved Biglaw Partners Trigger Demise of Firm…is News?

By Stephen Furnari - October 8, 2013
Misbehaved Biglaw Partners Trigger Demise of Firm…is News?

Megafirm’s demise started with a series of FU emails — not shocking to the Biglaw escapees in Law Firm Suites’ shared law office space.

This week’s New Yorker features an article about the collapse of megafirm Dewey & LeBouf.  But perhaps more fun is the summary of the article posted yesterday on Gawker.  According to the article, the demise of Dewey all started with one attorney calling his partners “fuckwad” and “little prick” in a litany of FU emails.

shared law office spaceThis, of course, prompted me to ask my law partner, “why is this news?

A lifetime ago we were both associates at the same mid-sized firm that faced a similar demise. To us, this was a typical day on the job.

Naughty behavior is exactly what you get when a few hundred egomaniacal, super-type A personalities who either: (a) didn’t have the social skills to make in in finance, or (b) chose law as a profession because they were good at arguing, try to run a business together.

My favorite quote from the Gawker article: the description of  LeBoeuf (pre-Dewey merger) as “a ‘pleasant’ mid-size firm” that had “internal strife between partners.” An oxymoron to the uninitiated, but the reality in many cases.

Either you thrive on the Biglaw drama, learn to live with it, or you do what the 100+ lawyers sharing law office space and running successful boutique practices at Law Firm Suites did: you opt out.

P.S. Be sure to check out the comment section on Gawker. It will make your day.


Stephen FurnariStephen Furnari left the safety of a law firm job and began practicing as a self-employed attorney in 2002.  He is now a partner in the law firm Furnari Scher LLP.  In 2006, Furnari founded Law Firm Suites to help other solo attorneys and small law firms retain a competitive edge in today’s increasingly crowded legal market. Stephen is a recognized expert in legal entrepreneurship and has been featured in ABA Journal, New York Daily News, Crain’s New York and Entrepreneur.

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Photo credit: Marco Bellucci via photopin cc

About Stephen Furnari

Stephen Furnari is a self-employed corporate attorney and the founder of Law Firm Suites, the operator of coworking spaces for law firms. Through Law Firm Suites, Furnari has helped hundreds of attorneys launch and grow successful law practices. He is the author of several eBooks, including “7 Deadly Mistakes that Prevent Law Practice Success” and “An Insider’s Guide to Renting the Perfect Law Office”. Stephen has been featured in the ABA Journal, Entrepreneur, New York Daily News and Crain’s New York. Connect with Stephen on Twitter (@stephenfurnari).

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