Terry Conner in ABA Journal: No Jerks - Some Firms Argue that Collegiality Pays


Some law firms have an official policy: No jerks allowed. Even if it means dismissing a lucrative partner or cutting ties with a client...

At Haynes and Boone, which touts its long-standing no-jerks policy, Dallas-based managing partner Terry Conner talks about “expressing disagreement the Haynes and Boone way.” This doesn’t mean the firm’s 530 lawyers are easygoing or always agree; it means they try to argue respectfully.

If someone is consistently making others feel demeaned, the firm takes a hard line. Practice group leaders, or even Conner, start by counseling the offender internally or, occasionally, bringing in a consultant.

“Folks ... may have the right answer, but it’s important to know how you express it [without having to] attack people or really go after them,” says Conner, who is 60 and has been with the firm 36 years.

Excerpt from ABA Journal, Feb. 29, 2012. To view the full article, click here.

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