Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
In March 2000, Patricia Gurne, then a senior partner with Jackson & Campbell, decided to launch her own firm. The D.C. firm now has three female partners � Gurne; Jennifer Porter, who had been a partner at Andrews & Kurth; and Laurie Baulig, who had a 12-year career at the American Trucking Associations � and operates as Gurne, Porter & Baulig. Why did you decide to start your own practice? My decision to establish a new law firm nearly four years ago was the outgrowth of several factors. First, my entrepreneurial instincts told me that if clients could receive the same quality of legal services they expect from a large firm at substantially lower costs, we would be providing a valuable service. Second, technological advances in the past few years � principally, affordable access to the Internet and on-line legal search services � have made it possible for small firms to compete by minimizing the overhead typically associated with legal practice. And third, I felt it was possible to have the best of both worlds by keeping the firm small but establishing “of counsel” relationships with lawyers I respect and who have complementary expertise. For example, Susan Gschwendtner, the former general counsel of JBG Properties, handles real estate matters for the firm. Gurne, Porter & Baulig thus fulfills my vision to create a firm that is both a specialized legal boutique and at the same time might be viewed as a “virtual” full-service firm. Tell us about your clients. Our clients include small and midsized Washington-based businesses, universities, trade groups, educational associations, and other nonprofit organizations. We counsel and represent clients in a broad range of transactional and regulatory matters. Our practice areas include employment law, health law, corporate and nonprofit law, administrative and regulatory law, business and commercial law, real estate law, environmental law, and OSHA law. Where do you find your clients? Most of our clients are referrals from current or previous clients and other lawyers. All three of us are also active in various bar and professional groups, including the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia. In fact, two of us � Porter and myself � have served as presidents of this organization. How do you measure business success? The law is a profession, and success should be measured in terms of providing the best service at a reasonable price. We don’t have any billable hour requirements. We measure the success of our practice in our rate of client retention and referrals of new clients from existing clients and friends. Financial success is paying our overhead and providing reasonable compensation to the partners. What challenges to your practice do you foresee in the future? My greatest concern is that we will become victims of our own success and lose the business and professional advantages of staying small. Already many friends and acquaintances have approached us and wanted to join our practice. To maintain the flexible billing arrangements we have with our clients and to minimize potential client conflicts associated with large firm practice, we will continue to develop the concept of the “virtual” firm, but for the time being not add any new partners.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.