Profiles of Individuals

Bruce W. Marcus (1925 – 2014)

Bruce Marcus, whose life and work recast professional services marketing in a client-centric mold, died shortly before Christmas in New Haven of an aneurysm, at age 89.  I got the news on the phone that day from Mana, his wife of over 50 years, calling from their home in Branford, Connecticut. Bruce’s life work was
read more…

Articles, Marketing, Profiles of Individuals

A Conversation with Joe Longo

Last month I had the pleasure of being on a panel in Europe with Joe Longo, the General Counsel for Asia-Pacific of Deutsche Bank AG.  Joe had some particularly thought-provoking and hard-headed observations about the changing dynamics between law firms and clients.  I thought it would be worth drawing Joe out a bit more extensively
read more…

Articles, Client Relationships, Globalization, Leadership, Profiles of Individuals

Diplomacy and the Partner Pay Conversation

Herewith the next installment in our series of articles on the always charged issue of compensation, from Richard Rapp. Enjoy! Bruce   Like the heads of most law firms, I had no training in management when I became president of a professional service partnership and I did a lot of on-the-job learning during my early
read more…

Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Partnership Structures, Profiles of Individuals

A Conversation with Herb Thomas

As most readers know, one of the irregular—but always popular—kinds of columns we publish are in the form of interviews with people who pass our rigorous 10-point test are intrinsically interesting. Recently I had the luck to get to know Herb Thomas, who immediately lured me in by saying he had once printed out much
read more…

Articles, Compensation, Profiles of Individuals

A Conversation with Jim Rishwain

Last week I had the chance to sit down with Jim Rishwain, the Chair of Pillsbury, in their New York office just off Times Square. He’s been chair since May 1, 2006, following the high-profile Mary Cranston, and when he assumed the role six years ago it had not been all that long since Pillsbury,
read more…

Articles, Business Models, Globalization, Leadership, Profiles of Individuals, Strategy

In re: Passion

Dogs bark.  Birds sing.  Snakes bite.  Lawyers sue. Or is there more to it than that? I’m referring to the series of class action lawsuits being brought against law schools claiming they systematically  misled students/applicants about such presumably material things as very high post-graduation employment rates; the underlying cause of action is consumer fraud. Adam
read more…

Articles, Law Schools, Profiles of Individuals

Fresh From Page Six

I don’t ordinarily write about ethical transgressions or semi-sordid tales of malfeasance among people more often found on the New York Post’s Page 6 than in the Times or the Journal, but here we have a cautionary tale that, I fear, may hold a slightly larger lesson for us all. I refer to the cover
read more…

Articles, Cultural Considerations, Profiles of Individuals

Joe Flom, 1923-2011

We’ve all heard the sad news that Joe Flom died Wednesday at age 87.  (WSJ, The American Lawyer, The New York Times, DealBook) Over 20 years ago, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of The American Lawyer, Steve Brill wrote a profile of Joe, and necessarily of Skadden, that is shockingly fresh and new today. 
read more…

Articles, Leadership, Profiles of Individuals, Strategy

The Man In the Grey Flannel Suit

The phrase “an American original” may strike you as overused, and I might agree, but I’d have to limit it to the narrow sense in which it may be applied to more people than deserve it. In other words, there aren’t enough of them. But today, we have a genuine contender: Jerry Della Femina, the
read more…

Articles, Leadership, Profiles of Individuals

A Conversation with Howard Altarescu

Last week I had a chance to sit down with Howard Altarescu of Orrick, who I felt compelled to get to know better when he was the first, and still the only, person to know the answer to a question I like to pose, whenever I have the chance, to groups of lawyers discussing business
read more…

Articles, Finance, Practice Group Management, Profiles of Individuals, Strategy