Pullman's New Chair No Stranger To Leadership
Shearin said he takes the reigns at the firm at a challenging time for all law firms. "I think the challenges facing the legal industry are not unique to Pullman & Comley," he said.
One of the top challenges, he said, is that many law firms in a competitive and "overpopulated field" have bent under pressure to cut costs for clients by offering what he calls "commodity-based legal services."
What he means by that, Shearin explained, is some legal work, such as real estate closings, might be easily handled by using cookie-cutter forms and standard responses. But those types of representations can cause costly problems for clients in the long run.
"Too many companies, and in some instances, too many lawyers believe that legal services can be served on a paint-by-numbers basis," he said. "Certainly, some legal services can be handled that way, but most legal services really require an individualized approach. The more we ignore that individuality of the practice of law, and the more we dilute that, the more I think we're hurting our clients in the long run."
With that in mind, Shearin said his top priority as chair will be for the firm to provide "vibrant legal representations" for its clients. "I've had the great fortune of being on the Executive Committee of the firm for 15 years, and in that capacity I was trained by Rob Morris, who was a master at running a law firm. One think Rob taught me is you have to devote all of yourself and all of your time to making sure that all of the firm's lawyers and staff are committed to the firm's obligation of being a trusted advisor for our clients." •