“It’s culture through and through,” says Micheal Pierson about Pierson Ferdinand LLC, which he co-chairs with Joel Ferdinand and which recently launched one of the largest law firm launches in U.S. history, counting over 130 partners. The two men join host Chris Batz to discuss the firm, why it’s both ahead of its time and bolstered by timeless principles. Pierson Ferdinand, they say, is about people, happiness and freedom. Where many firms, particularly older ones, are hesitant to embrace technology, theirs thrives on it and the two co-chairs have been practicing the post-COVID-style work model for years now. Having witnessed bosses and supervisors do all the wrong things, they strive to create an open-door environment, where every employee can make their concerns known. They know the importance of listening more than they speak, of admitting they’re wrong—neither of which is easy for lawyers—and putting family first. It’s a mission of service, Joel says, that borders on the biblical.

In this episode, he and Michael discuss the changing legal landscape in a post-COVID world and in a current climate which includes the war in Ukraine, a potential uncoupling with China, issues with the U.S.’s membership in NATO. What opportunities does all this present for lawyers in the U.S., the largest legal market in the world? Since COVID accelerated profitability of so many Adlaw’s Top 100 and 200 firms, what does this mean for billable time? What do clients and lawyers want?

On this episode of The Future is Bright, Michael Pierson and Joel Ferdinand explore these issues as well as surprising new developments in the last two years which, they say, could push us into a whole new world.

Quotes

“We’ve started to see a large uptick in lawyers who are looking for better options who are looking for better alternatives than just practicing at a very large law firm environment. And that’s in large part what Pierson Ferdinand aims to do, which is to redefine the notion of what an elite law firm can be.” (4:45 | Michael Pierson)

“Law firms are very resistant to change, being as old as many of them are. And I completely understand that, Michael completely understands that. Clients want change.” (5:48 | Joel Ferdinand)

“It’s a pretty turbulent time and it’s one of these times where we can be a very steady hand for our clients in their business affairs, but fundamentally it’s a tumultuous time to be on this planet.” (12:34 | Michael Pierson)

“This is one of the core tenets of Pierson Ferdinand: it’s culture through and through.” (13:32 | Michael Pierson)

“Lawyers typically are so antagonistic to tech.” (23:56 | Joel Ferdinand) “To me, this is biblical. When Michael said we believe in service and leadership, we do. That comes from something very specific for me, and much like Michael said, I watched for close to 20 years of a career, would-be bosses or supervisors even in my early stages, be awful. They’d yell at you, they’d cuss at you, they’d haze you. Because they thought that was the cultural environment of a law firm, or of a business. And I watched it from a distance before I got into C-suites and once I got into C-suites, I watched it closely and tried to do something different.” (31:39 | Joel Ferdinand)