Tag Archives: law firms

Millennials

Law firms prepare Millennials for the business of law

Law firms are changing. The future of the profession is in flux as newer generations and Millennials move into the workplace.

In order to stay relevant in this dynamic atmosphere, firms need to teach incoming associates and new partners the business of running a law firm, foster loyalty, offer flexibility and connect to Millennials.

When thinking about law, business operations do not necessarily come to mind. However, business skills are vital for running a law firm. Being a lawyer is an entrepreneurial endeavor, said Lauren Rikleen, president of Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership and author of “You Raised Us – Now Work With Us: Millennials, Career Success, and Building Strong Workplace Teams.”

Today, being an entrepreneur is part and parcel with being a successful lawyer. An ideal law firm focuses on talent management, training, growth and development, transparency in the workplace and motivation for employees, Rikleen said. Firms must invoke a sense of camaraderie among associates and partners.

In January, Fennemore Craig launched its Director’s School for all newly promoted partners. It is a year-long program that focuses on business skills, teaching law firm management and connecting Millennials to more senior team members.

“You have to look at a law firm functioning like a business as opposed to coming to work and practicing law as an attorney,” said A. Joseph Chandler, a shareholder and attorney at Fennemore Craig in Phoenix. Chandler is one of four key directors in charge of the program.
One of the goals is to make training effective and meaningful for young partners, and to integrate newly promoted partners as owners and operators of the firm, Chandler said.
The program also aims to help new partners build a mentor and mentee relationship. “We are reaching down and across,” Chandler said. “The senior partners are building relationships with Millennials.”

The law practice would benefit by making sure that each partner has the ability to understand, think and work like a business owner, Chandler said. “It is looking at the long-term success of the firm by making sure that we have long range goals for the success and development of our partners.”

You have to approach operating a law firm as you would any business, said Alison Christian, co-founder of the Ladder Down Program and shareholder at Christian, Dichter and Sluga. “It’s critical to understand the business operation of a law firm, no matter what your level is within that firm.”

Christian’s Ladder Down helps accomplish that goal. The year-long program presents monthly sessions dedicated to the three big areas of concern in the legal profession: leadership, business development, and rainmaking

New partners should not be the only ones learning business skills, experts said. It is important for associates to understand the practice and know how to think like a future owner.

“Law schools should be developing courses to help law students become more practice ready,” said Rikleen. And that encompasses the business side of practicing law.

Law schools are still teaching “Black Letter Law,” said Laurie Hodgson, director for professional development at Arizona Summit Law School. “We are always changing, always evolving, yet we haven’t changed the way law schools operate since the 1860s.”

In the spring of 2013, Arizona Summit Law School started an annual “Business of Law” seminar for attorneys who want to start their own firm or be successful within a firm.

Law schools need to shift their curriculum in order to keep up with the evolving profession, which is transforming as Millennials and technology take the forefront.

Understanding the business of law is part of a larger goal – the long-term success of the law profession.

There is a generational gap between seasoned and incoming attorneys. Millennials who enter the workplace want to have meaning and purpose, said Elizabeth Fitch, co-founder of the Ladder Down program and founding member of Righi Law Group.

Law firms today need to have a vision, Fitch said. New lawyers are “not given the big picture, they’re not shown the story. They’re not connecting what their daily grind is to the overall success and vision for the law firm.”

According to Fitch, Millennials need to have a positive relationship with the directors of a firm. They will stay at the company if they connect to their team and share common values.
It is important to have lawyers who care about the firm and its future, said Leah Freed, managing shareholder at Ogletree Deakins’ Phoenix office. In order to maintain a strong law firm, you must have strong lawyers who care enough to spend time and develop new associates.

With guidance and training, a firm will be able to integrate the newer generations into the company’s culture, Rikleen said. All partners need to embrace their new role as leaders and visionaries.

“Lawyers by nature are more resistant to change,” said Freed. Which means law firms are slower at progressing and adopting new technologies.

However, through the use of technology, law firms are striving to be more efficient and reduce overhead, Freed said.

Technology allows attorneys to connect to their clients and keep in touch throughout the day, which in turn provides flexibility within a firm.

Being able to integrate work and life is vital for newer generations. They want to have an active career while being present and involved with their family, Rikleen said. Which means flexibility is key.

In the future, Freed said she thinks there will be more opportunities for lawyers to contract or do part-time work, providing flexibility to the lawyers and the firm.

Today, males and females share in family responsibilities, so work-life balance is necessary for both.

Ten years ago, women were grappling with that balance, learning how to draw boundaries and prioritize, said Marianne Trost, The Women Lawyer Coach. However, it is no longer a gender issue, but a generational issue.

Millennials are not going to tolerate the current structure, Fitch said. Their values are going to start putting “pressure on law firm systems and it’s going to force a positive change.”

Retaining Millennials is key to ensuring the future of the law profession. Law firms are beginning to recognize that generational differences are present. However, the profession as a whole is far from addressing these new challenges, Rikleen said.

The law profession is undergoing constant change as technology is utilized and newer generations enter the firms and move up the ranks.

“What we see today is going to be a shadow of what’s to come,” Hodgson said. Though the jury is still out on what that means for the future of the law profession.

ballet

Lee Elected to Ballet Arizona’s Board of Directors

Fennemore Craig, one of the largest law firms in the Southwest, announced that T. James Lee, a shareholder and director at Fennemore Craig in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Ballet Arizona.

Lee focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, charitable giving, and business formation and structuring. He counsels clients on wealth transfer strategies, including the use of revocable trusts, irrevocable life insurance and gifting trusts, family limited partnerships and LLCs, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, installment sales to grantor trusts, and other sophisticated planning techniques. Lee received his J.D. and his B.S. from Brigham Young University.

Ballet Arizona is an innovative and provocative professional ballet company that creates, performs, and teaches outstanding classical and contemporary ballet. The company is dedicated to preserving and celebrating classical dance while creating and commissioning new innovative works.

ballet

Lee Elected to Ballet Arizona's Board of Directors

Fennemore Craig, one of the largest law firms in the Southwest, announced that T. James Lee, a shareholder and director at Fennemore Craig in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Ballet Arizona.

Lee focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, charitable giving, and business formation and structuring. He counsels clients on wealth transfer strategies, including the use of revocable trusts, irrevocable life insurance and gifting trusts, family limited partnerships and LLCs, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, installment sales to grantor trusts, and other sophisticated planning techniques. Lee received his J.D. and his B.S. from Brigham Young University.

Ballet Arizona is an innovative and provocative professional ballet company that creates, performs, and teaches outstanding classical and contemporary ballet. The company is dedicated to preserving and celebrating classical dance while creating and commissioning new innovative works.

amkor - legal

Fennemore Craig Attorneys Are 2014 Benchmark Litigation Stars

Fennemore Craig, one of the largest law firms in the Southwest, announced that five attorneys in the firm’s Phoenix office have been named 2014 Benchmark Litigation Local Stars in Arizona. The attorneys being recognized are Christopher L. Callahan, Andrew M. Federhar, Doug C. Northup, Cathy L. Reece, and William L. Thorpe.

The areas of practice in which each of these attorneys handles matters ranges from bankrupty, commercial litigation, and business and personal injury torts. The 2014 Benchmark Litigation recognition solidifies the knowledge and reputation of the firm’s legal experience across various industries reaffirms the firm’s dedication to resolve client matters and issues efficiently and effectively.

“The firm’s reputation has been built on our attorneys’ continued commitment to excellence,” said Tim Berg, managing partner of Fennemore Craig. “We are honored to be recognized by our legal community and to be included in Benchmark Litigation.”

Benchmark Litigation is a legal resource that identifies firms and attorneys who continually display the ability to consistently moderate complex litigation issues and matters in multiple jurisdictions. The annual ranking is determined by independent researchers who conduct extensive interviews over a six month period to identify the leading litigators and firms throughout the United States. This guide focuses exclusively on the US litigation market and ranks firms and leading national attorneys in the areas of appellate, antitrust, bankruptcy, general commercial, insurance, intellectual property, international arbitration, products liability, securities and white-collar crime.

homeless

Key Muscheid Elected to the UMOM New Day Centers Board

Fennemore Craig, one of the largest law firms in the Southwest, announced that Kendis Key Muscheid, a director at Fennemore Craig in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been elected to the Board of Directors for UMOM New Day Centers.

Muscheid focuses her legal practice in the areas of nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, charitable trusts, and state and local taxation. Muscheid represents a wide array of non-profit organizations, those exempt under Section 501(c)(3) and other sections, advising them on matters including organizational structure, qualification for tax exemption, maintaining tax exempt status, charitable solicitations and registrations, endowment building and management, governance issues, and unrelated business income taxes. Muscheid also represents organizations in audits and appeals before the IRS and state and local governmental agencies. She is rated AV® Preeminent ™ (the highest rating available) by Martindale-Hubbell and listed in both Best Lawyers in America®, Nonprofit/Charities Law, and Southwest Super Lawyers®, Nonprofit Law.

UMOM is the largest homeless shelter for families in the state of Arizona which provides safe shelter and supportive services for over 170 families each night. They also offer over 350 units of affordable housing across Metropolitan Phoenix.

Zandra O'Keefe

Zandra O’Keefe, CPA – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Zandra O’Keefe, CPA – Managing director, CBIZ

With more than 20 years of experience providing accounting, tax planning and compliance services, O’Keefe has developed a specialty and expertise in providing services to professional service practices such as medical practices, architectural and law firms. She is active in the community and serves as the Past President and an Executive Board Member of Southwest Human Development.

Surprising fact: “I used to re-break horses so that they could be ridden safely again.”

Biggest challenge: “I tend to be an impatient perfectionist, so I’ve had to learn to relax, let go and teach and empower others so they can rise and become successful as  part of our high-performing Phoenix office team.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

gavel

Az Business Top Lawyers list: Healthcare

Az Business magazine’s 2013 top lawyer list was created after the editorial department asked Arizona law firms to nominate their two best attorneys from 16 different categories for consideration. Those nominees were put on a ballot and were voted on by their peers in the legal community and the readers of Az Business magazine to determine the exclusive 2013 Az Business Magazine Top Lawyers list.

Susan D. Brienza
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, P.C.
602-440-4885
rcalaw.com
Brienza is especially involved in issues concerning herbal products for women, and in biotechnology and nanotechnology issues.

Robin Burgess
Sanders & Parks, P.C.
602-532-5783
sandersandparks.com
Burgess represents physicians, therapists and other professionals in malpractice matters, as well as before their respective licensing boards.

Frederick M. Cummings
Jennings Strouss
602-262-5903
jsslaw.com
Cummings has extensive trial experience in the areas of health care, medical malpractice and medical products liability defense litigation.

William W. Drury
Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA
602 307-9900
rcdmlaw.com
Drury has a strong track record of success in defending medical malpractice and negligence claims, regulatory claims and administrative claims.

Melody Emmert
Quarles & Brady LLP
602-229-5315
quarles.com
Emmert represents health care providers, including hospitals, physicians, behavioral health providers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, nurses, and other licensed individuals and entities. Her focus is litigation on behalf of health care providers.

Scott M. Finical
Fennemore Craig, P.C.
602-916-5300
fclaw.com
Finical practices primarily in the area of litigation with significant experience in healthcare and hospital law, risk management, employee health and safety law, insurance law, personal injury actions and workers’ compensation.

Steven M. Goldstein
Sacks Tierney P.A.
480-425-2613
sackstierney.com
Goldstein has been listed in the The Best Lawyers in America for healthcare law from 2008-2013 and has expertise in healthcare law, real estate law, and business and corporate law.

Adam Lerner
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
602-440-4889
rcalaw.com

Roger N. Morris
Quarles & Brady LLP
602-229-5200
quarles.com
Morris is chairman of Quarles & Brady’s Health & Life Sciences Industry Group.

Edward Novak
Polsinelli
602-650-2020
polsinelli.com
Novak practices in the area of white collar crime/special matters. He has extensive jury, non-jury and appellate experience in criminal defense matters, complex civil litigation and government agency investigations in several areas including healthcare.

Winn Sammons
Sanders & Parks, P.C.
602-532-5786
sandersandparks.com
Sammons focuses his practice in the areas of professional malpractice defense law, general civil trial law, medical device litigation, transportation, trucking, and motor vehicle law and products liability law.

Patrick T. Stanley
Comitz | Beethe
480-219-5481
disabilitycounsel.net
Stanley is particularly experienced in litigating first-party insurance bad faith, including disability insurance and professional liability coverage, and healthcare litigation.

Joe Clees, Tibor Nagy, Jr., and Mark Kisicki

Ogletree Deakins Attorneys Ranked in Chambers USA

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Ogletree Deakins), one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management, announced that Joe Clees and Mark Kisicki, from the firm’s Phoenix office, and Tibor Nagy, Jr., from the firm’s Tucson office, have been included in the 2013 edition of Chambers USA, an annual ranking of law firms and lawyers comprising an extensive range of practice areas. Ogletree Deakins’ Arizona offices also earned a Band 1 ranking, the highest possible, in the Labor & Employment practice area. This is the fifth consecutive year that the Arizona offices have earned a Band 1 ranking. In total, the firm’s offices in 19 states and the District of Columbia along with 72 of the firm’s attorneys have been included in the 2013 edition.

Chambers USA is widely used by firms and businesses for referral purposes and many utilize the rankings and profiles of firms to find appropriate legal counsel. Firms and individuals are ranked in bands and the rankings are developed through research and thousands of in-depth interviews with clients and peers in order to assess their reputations and knowledge across the United States. The guide reflects a law firm’s high level of performance in key areas including technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other various qualities stated as most valued by the client.

Law Review - Arizona’s Legal Landscape

A Look Back Finds Substantial Changes To Arizona’s Legal Landscape

Rapid-fire change has become the status quo in the legal and business community over the past 25 years. This change is particularly apparent to me, as my firm, Fennemore Craig, will celebrate its 125-year anniversary in Arizona next year, and I have practiced law for more than three decades.

One of the most pronounced and positive changes over the years has been who becomes a lawyer. Through an increased emphasis on diversity, law firms and legal departments have become places of opportunity for people of all backgrounds, reflecting the diverse nature of our communities and clients. We can do better, but the profession has made significant strides in the area of diversity since the 1980s.

While the face of the state’s law firms has changed, so has their size. Not too many years ago, the largest firms in the Southwest were still relatively small, with client bases dominated by locally headquartered companies and financial institutions. Since the 1980s, the region has lost quite a few headquarters, yet law firms like Fennemore Craig have benefited from strong economic growth in the Sun Belt, with Phoenix emerging as a regional business hub.

Notwithstanding the current economic downturn, the long-term economic prospects for the region promise continued opportunity. This economic strength has led to growth among several of Arizona’s home-grown firms and it also has attracted firms with their principal offices in other states. In turn, Arizona firms have responded with a growing platform of offices and lawyers expanding into other markets. The influence of technology in changing the legal profession over the past 25 years cannot be overstated. The pace and volume of work for us and for our clients have increased exponentially. Research, which is central to the law, has been almost totally automated. While successful lawyers still must be good communicators and excellent practitioners, information flow occurs literally around-the-clock. Waiting to work on a transaction or litigation based on deliveries through the U.S. Postal Service has gone the way of the typewriter and the mimeograph machine. Transmittal of documents, filings and other activities occurs primarily on an electronic basis and the demand for quick responses has increased accordingly.

The professional aspects of practicing law have shifted as well. Training is better than ever, though time pressures mean some of the one-on-one mentoring and discussions with senior lawyers that characterized much of my early professional learning curve are more rare.
As a credit to Arizona, it is also important to note that the state’s institution of the merit selection system for its judges created a better, more professional judiciary. Merit selection has improved both the state’s justice system and the practice of law here in terms of professionalism, fairness and quality.

One of the appealing aspects of the legal profession is its strong tie to tradition. We must discern when tradition is fostering positive values, rather than preserving the status quo for its own sake. The positive values inherent in the profession 25, even 125 years ago, remain true today regardless of the changes in pace, volume and complexity in the practice of law. Then as now, we have the opportunity and responsibility to help people solve problems and get things done.

Bob Matia Managing Partner Squire, Sanders and Dempsey

CEO Series: Bob Matia

Bob Matia
Managing Partner
Squire, Sanders and Dempsey

What impact has the current recession had on the legal profession?
With the credit markets being down as much as they were this time around, the flow of corporate legal business was definitely affected more than in past recessions. A lot of people view law firms as recession proof, and to some extent some of the practice areas within a law firm are recession proof. Litigation, for example, seems to go on and on whether there is a recession or not, and that is in fact happening now in our firm. But this time around, the corporate group was affected much more than in the past and that has caused different challenges.

Do you foresee any long-term changes in how law firms conduct the business side of their operations as a result of the economic crisis?
It’s been a wake-up call for the law profession … I think there was a complacency that had developed among law firms about how carefully they had to watch developing trends. But I think this has been a good wake-up call, so I think you’ll find law firms staying more conscious of staffing and not trying to get too far ahead in staffing; maybe slightly curtailing the kinds of lead hiring we used to do. We hire every year out of law school. We’re having in Phoenix six new lawyers joining us out of the class of 2009.

They were originally scheduled to arrive in October. We’ve deferred that arrival to January of 2010. I think you’ve probably seen in the paper a number of other moves by other law firms, some taking different forms of action. … I think you’ll see tinkering here and there. I don’t think you’ll see vast changes in the way we do things, but we’re looking at it. We’re looking at it on a monthly basis, checking the numbers, trying to see if we see a trend in one practice area or another.

You have represented the city of Phoenix in its dealings with developers of its downtown mixed-use complex. How would you describe the evolution of Downtown Phoenix from a governmental and legislative aspect?
The change in 30 years has just been remarkable. It’s great. … During the course of 30 years, we got a bill passed that established economic development as a major public purpose in Arizona, which has significant implications in that we feel it probably was the turning point in permitting condemnation for economic development purposes, a subject which is not popular in all sectors of the economy. But certainly there were instances where a single property owner could hold up an entire, major, new downtown development, and the governmental units simply had to have a way of dealing with that. Condemnation was one of them and we’re pleased about that. But there’s a new challenge, actually, to the subsidies that cities have made available to developers, both downtown and in other kinds of zones that are created for economic development. The (state) court of appeals has just thrown out part of the subsidy the city of Phoenix gave to CityNorth. Whether that goes to the Arizona Supreme Court depends on the Supreme Court.

For years, we were operating under another court of appeals case, known as the Wistuber case, and I always thought it struck a very good balance between hard consideration and soft consideration on what cities were getting for their subsidies. The problem is that the Arizona constitution has a gift clause in it, which says public bodies can’t give away their money to private interests without getting value back for that money. TheWistuber case made it clear that you could look at things like increased tax revenues and improving job availability, but you also had to have some hard considerations for what you were spending your money on. I always thought  that was a great balance. We’ll see how this comes out.

Given the current economic climate, what changes have you made to future workforce planning?
I think law firms will stay closer to the break-even point on need, on staff. We had the luxury of delaying responses to ups and downs in the economy in the past. Law firms are being much more conscious today of the cost of legal services to clients. Even the largest corporations are getting our attention in terms of trying to give them the very best service we can for the lowest cost. So we’re going to pay a lot more attention, probably, to having balanced legal teams in terms of experience level. For example, on a typical corporate transaction or litigation matter, we will probably pay a lot more attention to what the blended hourly rate would be if you looked at all the people who are working on the account.

    Vital Stats




  • Started with Squire, Sanders and Dempsey in 1966
  • Opened Phoenix office in 1979
  • Listed in the 2009 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America”
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2007 inaugural edition of “Southwest Super Lawyers”
  • Designated a Center of Influence by Arizona Business Magazine in 2008
  • Received law degree from Case Western Reserve University
  • Works with the Arizona Business Coalition, the Arizona Justice Foundation and the Phoenix Community Alliance
  • www.ssd.com
National Bank of Arizona - Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona

Best of the Best Awards 2009: Finance & Professional

Finance & Professional Honoree: Banks: $900M or more in AZ assets

National Bank of Arizona

National Bank of Arizona - Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona

Photograph by Duane Darling

With 25 years of strength, stability and profitability, National Bank of Arizona is one of the state’s premier financial institutions. Since its inception, National Bank of Arizona has been there for its customers, continually searching for new ways to help Arizonans meet their financial goals. As a community focused and locally managed bank with the resources of a major financial institution, we deliver industry-leading product solutions, award-winning service and innovative technology. Through our team of more than 1,100 employees, National Bank of Arizona reaches 55 diverse communities throughout Arizona. With this staff of experienced local bankers, we are able to respond to the needs of our customers with flexibility and custom solutions.

The effort, commitment and passion put forth by our bankers to deliver the very best customer service adds new honors to a bank that has been achieving firsts and bests since 1984.

6001 N. 24th St., Phoenix
602-235-6000
www.nbarizona.com

Year Est: 1984 Branches: 76
Principal(s): John J. Gisi,
Keith D. Maio
Assets: $4.8B


Finance & Professional Finalist: Accounting Firms: 26 CPAs or more

Deloitte & Touche LLP

Deloitte & Touche LLP’s goal today remains the same as it was since it began serving Arizona businesses more than 45 years ago. Deloitte & Touche is dedicated to helping its clients and people excel. Deloitte’s growing and thriving practice — the largest in the state — is the only company that provides Arizona businesses with a comprehensive range of professional services, including assurance, tax, enterprise risk management, management and information systems consulting, financial advisory services, employee benefits and human capital. Deloitte & Touche strives for the highest levels of integrity and public trust, every day, for every client.

2901 N. Central Ave., #1200, Phoenix
602-234-5100
www.deloitte.com/us


Finance & Professional Finalist: Law Firms: 65 Attorneys or more

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Greenberg Traurig offers an international platform built to meet the legal needs of today’s businesses. With 1,800 attorneys and governmental affairs professionals in 30 offices, our combination of wide-ranging experience and onthe- ground resources enables us to provide local insights and legal services in markets across the U.S. and around the world. Our Phoenix attorneys offer clients decades of local experience, complemented by the global reach of the GT network. GT helps clients take on the legal challenges they face today — and prepare for those they may face tomorrow.

2375 E. Camelback Road, #700, Phoenix
602-445-8000
www.gtlaw.com


Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona