Case ID: 407025
Solution ID: 1605

Duane Morris Balancing Growth and Culture at a Law Firm

Case Solution

After nearly 100 years as a mid-size regional law firm, Duane Morris entered a period of spectacular growth led by CEO Sheldon Bonovitz. Originally founded by Quakers, the firm had a distinct organizational culture featuring a number of unique or unusual business practices: a transparent and flexible compensation system, practice-group integration across multiple offices, ancillary businesses, early adoption of financial reporting software, and consensus-based decision making. The firm was proud of its corporate culture and sought to maintain it as it grew, bringing in only people who would fit the culture, in small groups. In 2005, the firm completed its first merger, taking over a 64-person San Francisco firm. Growth was necessary to remain competitive, but could Duane Morris maintain its unique culture while bringing on large numbers of new attorneys?

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