Friday, February 4, 2011

The "Advantage of Focus"-ing on Young Talent

Thanks to an anonymous poster for the following link:

Although I am not as intimately familiar with all of the details mentioned in the article, they are definitely consistent with my experience at Howrey.  At Howrey, the focus is clearly on enriching the senior statesmen, usually through the efforts of up-and-coming partners.  Why would a younger partner with a book of business stay around?  Firm loyalty isn't going to carry the day (despite Bob Ruyak's attempts to characterize Howrey as a "family") because Howrey is now little more than an awkward conglomerate of the disparate pieces of many failed firms with no clear firm culture or identity.



  1. If this article were accurate, why would they delay a meeting with the associates until next week??

  2. The young talent that the firm has allowed to slip through its fingers is younger partners with books of business.

    The call was delayed because in Ruyak's eyes, associates are worth little. In several articles, Ruyak has bemoaned Howrey's associate salaries, which are completely in line with other firms that have been successfully weathering the economic storm. Well, Howrey's associate salaries were in line until Howrey slashed its associate salaries in the revolutionary two-year associate apprenticeship program.

  3. The article strikes me as accurate, at least to the extent that a third-hand report could be of such things. Take the Peggy Zwissler issue. Assume that everything management said about her was true, notwithstanding that available evidence points to her being a very strong attorney with a large book of business (even if she is, as reported, one of the last people you would actually want to work for). There would still have been no reason for management to publicize those things, and the consequences to the firm would still be meaningful.

    (I know this is a side point in the article; I'm just giving an example of the type of information that leads me to believe that it is at least mostly accurate)

  4. Ruyak's characterizing Howrey as a "family" is a joke. I was at Howrey for 15 years and when they decided to downsize, Bob Abrams called my at home told me the firm was cutting back and to call HR for my layoff package. I was so stunned, the call lasted about 3 minutes. I was given 3 mos pay and told to clear out my office by the end of the week (I was called on tuesday). So 15 years of lost weekends, family events etc. not even a face-to-face meeting, a thank you - we're sorry - it was the coldest thing I could have imagined. While I feel for sorry for the staff and associates - Ruyak and Abrams and the rest of the greedy basta#%# should retire and try some community service.

  5. 3 months sounds pretty sweet actually. Nothing like that being offered anymore.