Ronald W. Schuler, Member in Charge of Spilman’s Pittsburgh office, was recently asked about the impact of Pittsburgh’s law firm leadership being located outside of the city. It’s a trend that has materialized with two of Pittsburgh’s largest law firms, but has been avoided by Spilman.
Schuler was interviewed by the Pittsburgh Business Times regarding his take on how outside leadership can impact the city. According to Schuler, “One of the inevitable consequences is leadership shifts outside of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh becomes de-emphasized to some degree.” He continues, “When the leadership of a law firm is in Pittsburgh, it’s more likely those firms will play a role in or have influence here. If it isn’t, it’s harder for that to occur. The things law firm leaders did in the 1980s and 1990s, participating in the birth of technology and starting business opportunities, were because they were in Pittsburgh. When firms become more nationalized or delocalized, that begins to fall away.”
Examples of the impacts can be seen with other industries. “You might have local leaders but leadership and influence run from the top of the firm and that’s the danger we face,” Schuler said. “I don’t say it’s the end of the world. But it’s akin to what happened to the corporate sector. You could see it in Pittsburgh that large CEOs felt a duty to collaborate. You don’t see that same paternal approach over trying to improve the city when leadership changes from local to national and international.”
So what do the largest firms have to say about this trend? Click here to read the entire article.