The Indiana Lawyer Asks Dinsmore About "Cultural Cohesion" in a Merger

January 18, 2023Quotes & Mentions

The Indiana Lawyer reporter Marilyn Odendahl recently turned to Dinsmore for insights into retaining talent and ensuring cultures fit in the wake of a law firm merger. Drawing on the Firm's recent merger announcement in San Diego and a successful move into Indianapolis in 2021, managing partner Joshua Lorentz and Indy's Misha Rabinowitch talked about the process leading up to such a big decision. An excerpt is below:

Michael “Misha” Rabinowitch, managing partner of Dinsmore’s Indiana offices, noted the importance of economics to retaining attorneys. Leaders must show attorneys how their practices and clients will benefit from the merger, and the compensation must be competitive. Yet firms do not have to offer the biggest paychecks to get attorneys who
will stick around.

“I came up through the ranks; I don’t think it’s changed in this regard,” Rabinowitch said. “I just wanted to grow and learn every day and to be challenged and to be rewarded for my effort. But I think you also have to provide young lawyers the opportunity to create their own path. “That is even more true nowadays — young lawyers want to be able to chart their own course,” he continued. “They want to go out and develop their own clients and business. So I think culture, opportunity and compensation are all important aspects of retaining talent.”

These days, the task of integrating merged firms is coinciding with a generational shift that managing partners are noticing in attorneys’ career goals — namely, associates and young partners are not as likely to spend their entire professional life at a single firm billing 2,500 hours a year.

Dinsmore...(is) addressing the shift by switching from the traditional law firm expectation that lawyers will either be partners in seven years or they will be gone. The two firms have programs and professionals to help their attorneys identify and achieve their goals, even if that means the team member will leave to go in-house, run a nonprofit or teach. Providing such support also creates an allegiance that could result in new business. Former team members are likely to call their former firms when they need outside counsel.

“We want you to be Dinsmore for life, but that doesn’t mean you have to be here for life,” Joshua Lorentz, Dinsmore managing partner and chair, said. “We understand that people want different things. And when you help people get to where they want to go, they’ll remember you in a positive way.”

Read the entire article here.