Attorney Patrick Lawler has gone from being a partner at a number of top firms, including Kirkland & Ellis, to a counsel at his new O'Melveny & Myers job.
That could become more common, Lawler said, as firms want more proof new partners can perform before slotting them into the partnership ranks.
“They wanted to look and see — it’s a little bit of a trend now,” he said.
But, Lawson isn’t too bummed about the title downgrade: “It’s obviously not ideal, but it ended up being the same thing financially.”
Lawler practiced with White & Case in New York, and made partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in San Francisco before joining Kirkland and Ellis in 2003 as the partner in charge of the San Francisco finance practice. He took off two years ago for San Francisco finance shop Chapman and Cutler.
“I wanted to move to L.A. and I wanted a wider variety of work,” Lawler told Legal Pad, admitting that the narrow focus at his previous firms was a bit boring. He wanted to get back to the variety of work he did at Pillsbury. Even Kirkland was “a one-trick pony,” only representing private equity clients, he said. And, he had to work on firm clients there, instead of building up his own book.
Now he’s looking forward to expanding his practice to entertainment finance deals that were “my favorite type of work at Pillsbury.” And he wants to build his book, something that might shoot him back up to partner.
Speaking of finances, Legal Pad couldn’t help but ask Lawson if he was concerned about O’Melveny’s flat PPP and obvious attempts to bolster that.
“I talked to people, and I don’t think it’s an issue at all,” he said. “The prospects are great, especially for the Century City office, where everyone is busy.”
— Kellie Schmitt