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Farber Taylor is a five-lawyer firm in Rockville, Md., whose sole focus is employment law in both the private and public sectors. The principals are Mindy Farber and R. Douglas Taylor Jr. And the practice is divided almost equally between representing employers and employees. Why did you decide to start your own practice? From 1991 until the summer of 2002, we were the largest part of Jacobs, Jacobs & Farber, with Harvey and Lewis Jacobs doing a great deal of very well-respected estate planning, corporate, and personal injury work. Our large and totally unrelated practice of employment law had by necessity a need for different resources and approach to practicing law. When the lease came up for renewal, the Jacobs brothers, after 50 years of making their mark in the metropolitan D.C. legal world, decided to scale down. We saw this as an opportunity to refurbish the existing space and concentrate solely in the area of employment law, with total control over our budget, advertising methods, hiring, and manner in which we could grow. Who are your clients? Our clients are a 50-50 mixture of management and individuals. It always surprises other attorneys to know that we represent both sides and have no ideological inclination. We try very hard, of course, to make sure that we have no conflicts and do the best possible job for whomever we are representing. We have never had any client object to the fact that we represent both sides of the fence. As a matter of fact, many clients view this as an advantage, since we can anticipate what the other side will say or do � because we have been there. We represent government contractors, consumer counseling organizations, insurance companies, placement firms, and professional groups such as doctors and CPA firms, as well as federal government employees and other professional individuals on anything related to employment law. Because our speciality is red-hot, our clients hail from every part of Maryland, with work in the District of Columbia and Virginia as well. Where do you find your clients? Our clients pour in from referrals from other attorneys, referrals from existing or former clients, our Web page, referring judges, and advertisements in various journals. Large law firms in the District of Columbia and Montgomery County are particularly good referrals, because they know that since we focus only on employment law, we will not entice their clients to leave them for good. Tech gurus might note that a great deal of work comes from our well-positioned Web page. We also do extensive lecturing for national seminar presenters, which provides management clients. Our general philosophy is to help out and cooperate with our colleagues, to let them know we are always there to answer a question. What goes around comes around in getting business. Every new employee who comes to work for us is simply astonished by our volume of work. We average anywhere between 20 to 40 new clients a month. What is also different about us as an employment and labor firm is that we do very little contingency work � maybe two cases a year. Almost of all our billing is done on an hourly basis. All of our attorneys are encouraged to bill about 7 hours per day; of course, there will be variations. After a year, each attorney gets three weeks of vacation, and we encourage them to take their breaks from work, which can be very intensive. How do you measure business success? Success can partly be gauged by our reputation in the legal community, particularly in the Maryland suburbs. If you ask any attorney in Montgomery County the name of an employment law firm, we think Farber Taylor would be the answer. Our attorneys are well-compensated and are expected to control and minimize their arrearages. We bill on a monthly basis, and we are firm about being paid. Our accountants have remarked that our income, given the size of our firm, has to put us at least in the top five most-profitable law firms in Montgomery County, which we hope is correct. Since starting the firm, what are the biggest surprises that you’ve encountered? The biggest surprise I have encountered so far is how profitable a smaller-sized practice can be. When I first met my husband, Ted Schweitzer, who had spent more than a decade at Shaw Pittman, his assumption was that I must have, being an “attorney in the county,” a respectable but not extraordinary practice and life in Silver Spring or the modest part of Bethesda. The economic reality of our practice simply blew him away. It is also surprising how so many clients specifically seek out a woman attorney for representation. I am viewed as tough; Doug, as conciliatory. So much for stereotypes.

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