Law firms and the attorneys that serve them should not be based on who is the “biggest” or who has the most offices. The practice of law should always be about relationships – relationships between lawyers within a firm, and relationships between lawyers and their clients. When law firm expansion akin to private equity consumption results in completely unconnected and uninvested lawyers posing as “partners” in an expansive conglomerate only tangentially connected to the true purpose of legal practice, everyone suffers. While surely there are individual lawyers in such “Big Law” firms who are great individuals and great attorneys, there is a reality that quality, consistency, and institutional knowledge are diminished each and every time the “core” of the fundamental aspects of the firm are chipped away. In more simple terms, “death by a thousand substandard additions” is just as harmful as “death by a thousand cuts.”
Our commitment is simple. Rolfes Henry will never do that. Rolfes Henry attorneys value relationships and the consistency that more than three decades of practice have brought to our firm. While we also expect to add quality, dedicated attorneys to our lineup, we will never sacrifice the core principles of this Firm for the sake of expansion. With slightly more than three dozen attorneys, we have grown organically at the rate of a bit more than one attorney addition in each of our 33 years in business. Our clients have come to know and respect this thoughtful, purposeful means of expanding our practice areas with their interests in mind – not our own self-interest in some dystopian view that only the strongest or biggest will survive. If that conservatism of thought and action means that Rolfes Henry will never reach some magical threshold of a number of attorneys, or will not have an office in Portland, Oregon, then so be it.
Contrary to those “Big Law” firms, our clients mean more to us than artificial expansion does – which, in fact, means nothing to us at all. Because invariably, such artificial expansion results in a substandard practice: less qualified and unvetted attorneys are added to the roster; rates are increased unnecessarily to cover new overhead; and “institutional insight” begins to mean nothing. We will not allow that to happen at Rolfes Henry.
We will serve our clients’ needs. We will meet our clients’ expectations. And we will do so by putting one foot in front of the other, year after year, and being the kind of firm that our clients and business partners have come to rely upon – not some modified 21st-century version of what “Big Law” thinks a law firm should be.
Guided by integrity. Governed by principle. Ready for anything.