The current marketing mandate in BigLaw is to establish a differentiated brand identity. Here you can read what Bloomberg has to say about that.
Today, it has been getting lots of media attention for recognizing early that the blockchain technology will raise complex legal issues. For example, should the implementations of the technology generate their own laws or should they comply with the laws already regulating those industries?
Way back in 2013, Perkins Coie set up a blockchain practice. Here is my coverage.
Glassdoor showcases what's unique about Perkins Coie. It's ranked 3.8 out of a possible 5. On Glassdoor, Boies Schiller and Flexner ranks 2.9 (down from 3, when I covered that firm earlier in the week.)
Among the 141 anonymous employee reviews of Perkins Coie on Glassdoor, some indicate that the law firm is downright entrepreneurial. That's unusual in much of BigLaw. Here you can read those reviews.
Also, the firm is socially conscious.
For example, it strives as much as it can to provide some kind of work/life balance. Not that employees' perceive that is always successful but at least it's a mission. Lawyers are often allowed to work from home. That's humane. However, some employees point out that such an option isn't available to staff. At least, not yet.
Being socially conscious is a value other firms in BigLaw are just "getting." Here is my coverage of how Dechert management is responding right on Glassdoor to allegations of internal misconduct.
Lawyers at Perkins Coie are pleased that each year Human Resources provides per lawyer $4k for training and development. Of course, there is reimbursement only if the requirements are completed and the classes passed.
However, as with every workplace, this one isn't utopia.
Some balk that as the firm grows it has changed in unwelcome ways. For example, there has been more focus on cost-efficiency.
To advance, politics counts. Those junior lawyers who don't wind up paired with the right partners might get nowhere.
Some staff work has been outsourced.
Document reviewers seem to be getting a raw deal. They have to sign exclusive contracts but assignments aren't always available.
Also, a common complaint is that Human Resources is slow to respond to the issues presented to that function.
Overall, it seems that Perkins Coie's business model and culture are useful to study for law firms which can't scale.
Today, on Abovethelaw.com, lawyer-journalist Joe Patrice describes the ongoing flat demand in BigLaw.
Sure, on an individual basis, 70% of lawyers surveyed indicate a bit of optimism about growth for their own firm in 2018. But expert watchers of the legal sector don't share that confidence. Here you can read Patrice's analysis.
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