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2008.10.27

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GAL

The overwhelming need of lawyers to have their last name on the letterhead, no matter what the marketing ramifications may be, is overwhelming for many lawyers. Let’s face it. From the moment we enter law school, lawyers enter a culture of pure ego. Back in the early 90’s, I practiced mass tort and class action asbestos law on behalf of injured asbestos victims. I traveled primarily by private jet and limousine as I crisscrossed the map from one case to another. I would sit in rooms full of 100 of the most powerful and wealthy attorneys in the United States and watched them maneuver, bicker and project their egos onto the situation.

There was more conversation about whose jet was bigger than there was about the clients involved. If I was indeed standing at the top of the mountain, I certainly did not enjoy the view.

Was law really just about who was more important, whose name was more recognizable and who made the most money?

The realization that the law had become more of a playground for big egos than it was the venerable institution which gave birth to the very people who gave birth to our country was too much to handle. I actually retired from the law for a decade after being exposed to the stench created by the most powerful plaintiff and defense attorneys in the country. The above law firms were not part of that group. But their names remind me that lawyers sometimes spend more time and effort getting their name on the letterhead than they do protecting their client’s interest.

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