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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

CULTURE SHOCK - Midsize law firms have long touted their “midsize-ness” as an advantage, contrasting their collegial cultures with Big Law’s cutthroat climate. But, as Law.com’s Lizzy McLellan and David Gialanella write in a recent article for ALM’s Mid-Market Report, no matter how good the vibes may be, a crisis will really test a firm’s mettle—especially if that crisis causes a cash crunch. So can morale remain high when funds are tight and stress is rising? And, if so, is that enough? As Michael Stein, head of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden in Hackensack, New Jersey, noted, the firms—especially midsize firms— “that have the strongest sense of culture and community” tend to fare best, but the “reservoir of goodwill” can run dry. “If you have a bad year, if the culture is strong … you weather that storm,” he said. “If you have five bad years, I don’t care how good your culture is.” For a free trial subscription to the Mid-Market Report, click here.

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