Friday, June 8, 2007

More on Law Firm Branding

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw

Almost a year ago when I was guest blogging over at PrawfsBlawg, I talked about branding and law firms (linking to Vic Fleischer's work and Gordon Smith's commentary on branding as well).

There's an article in this morning's New York Times about a lawyer-entrepreneur trying to create a worldwide network of small law firms.  Here's the quote to the same point from my anecdote about my own experience as a young litigator:

"When I carried a Sullivan & Cromwell litigation bag and it said S&C on it, it was a reputable [sic] presumption that you were an amazing lawyer and brilliant. . . .  And I am hoping that the [International Network of Boutique Law Firms] will similarly create a reputable [sic] presumption for all I.N.B.L.F.- approved attorneys."

Based on my own admittedly casual experience, I am skeptical about the power of organized referral networks, largely because they are inconsistent with the shape of compensation systems in many large law firms.  If your compensation is based on your power over a book of business, it is more likely you are going to want to use your own personal networks (so as to increase the likelihood of personal cross-references) over institutional networks.

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