Guiding Principles

Commitment to Quality. We are committed to providing consistently world-class legal services, as nothing less will suffice for the challenging matters our clients bring to us. Clients do not come to us with easy questions, simple cases, or routine transactions. Clients come to us because of our well-earned reputation for outstanding service delivered promptly. We pride ourselves on finding innovative solutions to complex problems that require us to draw on our full range of expertise and experience. The delivery of these services in a fashion that meets our standard of excellence and the needs of our clients requires substantial effort by all the lawyers in the firm, from the newest of associates to the most senior of our partners. To that end, our partners do legal work and do not merely manage the work of others. Their direct involvement is the best assurance that our work on every project will be of the caliber our clients have come to expect of us.

Client Service. To us, “client service” means more than providing first-rate legal service and being responsive to our clients’ business needs. Our objective is to become trusted business advisors that clients can depend upon now and in the future. We also believe that how we deliver our legal service—meaning our clients’ overall experience with us—is as important as the service itself. Our firm-wide commitment to principles of service excellence recognizes that every staff member contributes to the firm's success and is demonstrated in the quality of every interaction clients have with every person in the firm. We are also committed to the promotion of diversity throughout the firm, which we believe makes us a stronger, more vibrant institution and better able to serve our clients.

Diversity. We are committed to increasing diversity among our lawyers and staff. To foster the recruitment and retention of people of color, women and people of varying sexual orientations, we have established a firmwide Diversity Committee that includes representatives from firm leadership and lawyers from each of our three major US offices. Our goals are to ensure that all lawyers and staff have the opportunity to develop their talents fully; to create a firm whose composition more closely reflects that of our clients and the world in which we practice; and to promote greater diversity in the legal profession.

Entrepreneurial Spirit. As business and technology have become more complex, the law has also become more complex. Where once every lawyer was a generalist, now we are a firm of lawyers who have fine-tuned their skills in specialty areas. The globalization of the economy, the advent of the Internet, and the overwhelming importance of technology and intellectual property have transformed our lives. The impact of these changes upon the legal profession has been revolutionary: law firms must have greater vision, greater expertise, greater breadth and depth, and greater commitment. We operate much like our clients, using fresh and inventive approaches and benefiting from the collaborative strength of multi-disciplinary teams. Many of our lawyers have degrees and first-hand experience in business and government. Innovation has always been a key element in achieving and sustaining our progress. Staying ahead means not only participating, but more importantly, playing a leading role in shaping change. Over the years, our firm has used innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to effect significant change in the practice of law and the conduct of business.

Collaboration and Collegiality. We believe the best results are achieved by drawing on the exceptional talents and varied experience of all of our lawyers. Accordingly, we share our time, ideas, and inspiration with our colleagues. We view every client as a client of the firm, not of an individual lawyer, and our lawyers reach out naturally to other lawyers in the firm with the necessary experience to meet a client's needs. We enjoy working hard together as team; we value excellence and our reward is loyal clients who recognize the difference that results from our dedication. Because our clients know they can count on us, we are also rewarded with exciting, often groundbreaking, work. Our collegial culture also means that we are always pleasant to deal with, even in the most difficult and high-pressure situations.

Public Service. Because the law is still a profession as well as a business, lawyers have special obligations to the administration of justice and the development of the law. We encourage our lawyers to meet these obligations through pro bono work, government service, service to the bar, and teaching. We also urge our lawyers to write and speak on legal issues and to participate in the affairs of their larger communities. We are, as we have always been, a national leader in our pro bono services and charitable activities. While we enjoy and are proud of our economic success, we take equal pride in our pro bono activities.

Community Giving. We strongly believe that we have a responsibility to help strengthen our communities. We have a long history of supporting public institutions and charitable organizations in the communities in which we practice. We encourage leadership and support on the part of our attorneys through matching gift programs and service on boards and committees.

Exceptionally Talented Lawyers. The lifeblood of the firm is the recruitment of exceptionally talented lawyers. We hire lawyers with diverse backgrounds but with the common trait of outstanding academic and personal achievements. We then seek to make the most of their talents by giving them the training, support, and challenging opportunities they need to become accomplished lawyers of the first rank.