Abuse of Power Within Law Firms: The Rainmaker Dilemma

Source: ABA Journal

Law firms, which have been beneficiaries of an avalanche of legal work from sexual misconduct, must now look within and confront the dilemma of powerful rainmakers who are abusive, whether the abuse is sexual in nature or otherwise.

Keith Wetmore, who joined legal recruiting powerhouse Major, Lindsey & Africa last December, was the chair of Morrison & Foerster for 12 years and chair emeritus for five years. He recommends that firm management act quickly when bad behavior happens to make clear to the people involved that their actions are non-conforming behaviors that will not be tolerated. He believes law firms cannot shape behavior among young lawyers to conform to the firm culture if young lawyers see the firm is tolerating bad behavior among established lawyers. But Wetmore emphasizes that firms can only enforce norms that reflect how most people behave generally, so the firm management is only acting against clear outliers.

Keith Wetmore, Managing Director in our San Francisco office, represents partners and groups in placements into top global, national, regional and local law firms throughout Northern California. He uses his deep knowledge of the legal market and his law firm management experience to guide partners and firms in making the right moves. 

Read more of this article in ABA Journal

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