The Wall Street Journal speaks – shall we listen?
“[William Durbin Jr.] regrets having focused too much on profits and “de-equitizing” partners (reducing their stake in the profit pool) in an effort to boost the bottom line, a strategy that has become popular in Big Law. ‘There’s a lot more that people bring to a law firm than profitability: integrity, a cheerful demeanor, teaching ability,” he said. “These intangibles have more importance than I paid to them.”
“Durbin says he’s written two letters to a partner he had demoted. “I said that ‘I’m sorry. I have regrets. You were always good to me and this should not have happened.’” The partner never wrote back.”
“The 51-year-old Dallas resident says he’s gotten out of corporate law and has undergone an “interior change” These days, Durbin says, he is studying Spanish with the goal of helping underprivileged Latino children.”
Punchline: Law is a profession… a calling… it has (and deserves) dignity… may we please place a filter under the coffee of profit to ensure that we deserve to survive as a profession – shall we deserve to survive or shall we deserve to die. This is directed at lonely Managing Partners whose constituencies persist that it is all about the PPP. Maybe there is something else!
Note: I haven’t mentioned the firm name – does it matter? If it does, see (WSJ subscription required): The Rise and Fall of …