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A fishing analogy for law firm leaders on surviving the recession

By Julious P. Smith Jr, Chair Emeritus, Williams Mullen

16 June 2014

At one time or another, all fishermen have spent long hours fishing without a nibble. Meanwhile, less than 50 yards away, someone is catching fish by the bucketful. The unsuccessful fisherman usually moves his boat, trying to get to the fish. His thought process usually involves “I must be in the wrong spot”, followed quickly by “I wonder what kind of bait he is using”. Then, as a last resort, the fisherman says out loud in deep frustration “I need a new rod and reel; this just isn’t working”. Rarely, if ever, does he get the
real answer. Maybe he is just watching a better fisherman.

The fishing experience presents a strong analogy to the success and failure of many law firms. The recession occurred five-plus years ago. Parts of the economy rebounded; other parts did not. Market indicators show a strong recovery of some mid-sized and large firms; others continue ...

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