Welcome to Original Jurisdiction, the latest legal publication by me, David Lat. You can learn more about Original Jurisdiction by reading its About page, and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a reader-supported publication; you can subscribe by clicking on the button below. Thanks!
Are boutique firms the future of litigation? Compared to many of their Biglaw counterparts, they’re often more nimble, innovative, and willing to take risks. Unattached to giant transactional practices, they have fewer conflicts and other client-related concerns, allowing them to take on interesting, cutting-edge cases that Biglaw firms might decline to avoid controversy.
Founded and staffed by lawyers who left top Biglaw firms, elite boutiques can offer the same if not better lawyering and client service, frequently under more favorable or flexible fee arrangements. And from the perspective of the talent, boutiques often boast enhanced collegiality among partners and partnership prospects for associates.
How do former Biglaw partners build a world-class boutique? I recently spoke with Steven Molo, one of the top courtroom advocates in the country, about how he and Jeffrey Lamken, a leading Supreme Court lawyer, launched MoloLamken in 2009—and turned it into one of the finest litigation firms in the United States, if not the world. We discussed their vision for the firm at its founding, their approach to hiring and retaining talent, how they’ve managed to cultivate diversity in their firm’s ranks, and several current issues in the news, including law school culture wars and the pandemic’s effect on the legal profession. Thanks to Steve for his time, insight, and friendship over the years.
Steven F. Molo bio, MoloLamken LLP
Legends of the Lawdragon 500: Steven Molo, by John Ryan and Katrina Dewey for Lawdragon
Litigation Leaders: The Founders of MoloLamken on the Firm’s ‘Brains and Brass Knuckles’ Litigation Approach, by Ross Todd for the American Lawyer
Prefer reading to listening? For paid subscribers, a transcript of the entire episode appears below.
NexFirm helps Biglaw attorneys become founding partners. To learn more about how NexFirm can help you launch your firm, call 212-292-1000 or email email@example.com.