Secondly, the partners, at BigLaw or at the local walkup, love recognition. One of the temptations to run your own business or partner is to be the boss. Especially because solo or partner, you need to make a significant capital investment. Skadden Arps will not get rid of its famous name to satisfy some partners. (When Thomas Dewey, namesake of the late Dewey & LeBoeuf, born Dewey Ballantine (before merging with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae), his will prohibited the company from continuing to use his name. The company begged a good executor to allow it to continue to do so; the estate would yield if “Dewey” always appeared first.) This is because you usually have a professional relationship with individuals. Ideally, a Walmart employee is as good as anyone else, but it makes a difference whether you have Mr. Smith or Mr. Jones as your lawyer.
The partnership model focuses on these people. As already mentioned, there are restrictions on other forms of business, especially in the legal field. With this, there are some pitfalls, like when they add a new partner (or expel one), they have to legally redo all the partnership documents, which is why it`s a big problem in law firms to make partners, it`s a big change. Brand stability isn`t just for large companies, where partners can come and go. Finally, solo, you may want to sell your retired law firm. This could be much easier if the company`s brand is not closely tied to the identity of one or more people. If the value of the business is primarily based on the fact that you run it, it could mean that the business is harder to sell and isn`t worth as much when you sell it. If your business has a brand name, a buyer may be able to more easily follow in your footsteps and continue the practice without disrupting the company`s name, reputation, or identity. At a time when branding is more important than ever and online search results are based on name recognition, changing your name and being forced to change your business name is no small feat. In addition to the above examples, this point becomes even more relevant for a society where some men choose to adopt their wives` maiden names or separate their own surnames.
Same-sex and transgender couples could also produce several different variations of name combinations. Am I crazy that this could have been a rule like CHAMPERTY and BARRATRY? ISTR from my legal ethics course, but my legal ethics course was a bit of a disaster. (I can`t be arsed to look for it yourself, obv.) I think there are two considerations. First, clients are familiar with this format as a term for law firms and may even know that companies that use trade names are more likely to be on the “mill side” of legal practice. Customers often choose companies, at least partially, ambitiously. And if you can`t get Cravath to test your mother`s willpower, you might be able to get a whimsical-sounding company (which is why these partners always sound WASPy). Some jurisdictions do not allow law firms to use brand names to avoid misleading or confusing consumers. You can judge for yourself whether a law firm calling itself “Superior Legal Services” is really misleading consumers into thinking it`s the best law firm in the entire state with that name. For the same reason, if Lyman & Moss expires and creates its own firm, the fact that the firm has a brand name will have less impact on the identity of your firm than if the outgoing lawyers had been appointed partners in your firm.
People in this thread said it was a rule, I don`t know (or didn`t know it). But it`s nice not to have to try to think of something creative. A small stress barrier could be reduced. While it can be easy to just look at these brand trends and joke that it`s a bad time to be a second, third, or fourth appointed partner at a large firm, the fact remains that law firm short names have proven to be one of the best ways to build your firm`s brand identity. While you certainly don`t need to change your business name if you don`t think it`s the right decision for your practice, you should seriously consider the long-term benefits a shortened name can have for your company`s recognition in the community and greater growth efforts. Therefore, most avocados opt for the traditional naming model because they like to see their name on things. You can use these examples of non-traditional law firms* to inspire your brainstorming process. Remember to always check if you can use a brand name or trade name for your law firm in your state: Basically, your firm`s name shouldn`t be misleading. Do not use your state or jurisdiction name as “Alaska Law” if you are not a public legal aid agency. Avoid using Obama`s name if he is not actively practicing law at your law firm.
If you share an office with another lawyer, but didn`t actually work with them to start a law firm, don`t use a name that gives the impression that you are practicing law with them. I understand that some law firms have been forced to use the names of their lawyers on behalf of the firm. But for those of you who aren`t, why keep doing so and putting another marketing hurdle in place? I`ve spoken to a number of young lawyers who are opening their own firms, but are reluctant to use their own last name in case they get married, or because they are already engaged and want to change their name. Not to mention women who want a divorce and go back to their maiden name. As always, be sure to check your jurisdiction`s naming rules, as each state has different rules. Some states allow brand names, while others — like Georgia, New York and Ohio — ban trade names. Skadden is one of the world`s best-known law firms, regularly appearing on the AmLaw 100 list, with 22 offices (combined nationally and internationally). Although the firm is officially called Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom LLP, it is commonly referred to as Skadden. As evidenced by the evolution of the company`s website over the past 21 years, this shortened brand name is something the company has adopted more and more over time.
One of my favorite brands was founded by a Boston attorney who decided to focus on representing people in the tech space of the city`s startups. Many activities in this area were centered around Boston`s Fort Point Channel neighborhood. So he named his company “Fort Point Legal”. It`s great. If you understand the value of a niche practice and can focus on a specific area of activity and a section of a metropolitan area, you can achieve great things. As the marketing teams at Venable and Polsinelli acknowledged in their statements after the company name changes, people are probably already referring to your business with a shorter version of your longer business name.