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    Friday, December 02, 2011


    Richard Maurer

    Law firms which cannot change have a distinctive sound of silence, made by too many closed doors, idle copiers which have gone to sleep, and the absence of a reliable indicator of busy - the clatter of fast typing. During my last months in the Litigation Department of a long term One Liberty tenant, most weekdays sounded like a Saturday morning. Simultaneously, the disconnect between the "outs," anxiously looking for ways to inflate productivity numbers, and the "ins" (one of whom hired a private studio for his bio pic) was steadily increasing. The "ins" saw no problem with the state of the firm, and not coincidentally got whatever scraps of new work came in. Thus was change avoided through the appearance of success. Whether a firm which cannot deal with its own reality is able to effectively advise clients on the very real concerns of litigation remains to be seen.

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