A love letter to FisherBroyles


Today is my last day at FisherBroyles.

Black Hawk Down; FisherBroyles Up

But the story of FisherBroyles, my home (in every sense of the word) for the last six years, began long before I arrived in March 2018.

As my friends and FisherBroyles founders, Kevin Broyles and James Fisher, tell it, they arrived at the idea for FisherBroyles, the first (and what would become the largest) distributed model law firm, in the early 2000s. They were two lawyers caught in the wake of a bursting tech bubble, left scrambling for billable hours, who decided to fill the remainder of another slow workday with a matinee showing of Black Hawk Down.

Over popcorn (and I’m thinking Jujubes), they envisioned a law firm model that removes the brick and mortar, billable hour requirements, and star chambers. In their place were less overhead, more work-life balance, and an objective compensation model that removed all potential bias or favoritism.

But would the practice of law remotely actually work?

Spoiler alert: the model works.

By 2018, the firm had swelled to a national practice with over 200 attorneys – mostly BigLaw expats – approaching $100M in annual revenue. Kevin and James had realized their vision and proven the model’s success beyond any doubt.

That’s when I got here.

My concern upon arrival, as I set up my workstation in a makeshift “office” in my dining room, was that I’d find myself siloed, longing for in-person collegial relationships that I’d forsaken by leaving a traditional law firm.

Not so.

Like the warm embrace of a favorite comforter, my partners and this firm immediately welcomed me into the family.

We spoke regularly, collaborated on matters, and offered superlatives – a regular segment on monthly conference calls (later on Zooms and Teams) – where partners would effuse heartfelt gratitude to their colleagues.

Meanwhile, this eat-what-you-kill compensation model that readers of this blog have seen me praise in daily email-blasted blog posts wasn’t too good to be true. I got to keep up to 80% of what I billed, including 48% of what I billed on matters that other partners originated.

I’m not sure how else to describe these numbers, but to borrow from Teri Hatcher on Seinfeld:

“They’re real, and they’re spectacular!”

I was so proud of the FisherBroyles model and culture that I knew I had to share it with others, which I did here and here and here.

I recruited others to join, many of whom contacted me about the firm – especially during and after the pandemic when our numbers swelled and lawyers understood that a distributed model could reap significant benefits. Still, many were skeptical, and I was transparent about my biggest gripe about FisherBroyles:

“Why didn’t I come here sooner?”

Thank you!

But here I am…leaving.

In my nearly six years at FisherBroyles, I’ve noticed that most people who leave the firm do so for an opportunity that’s too good to turn down. My situation is no exception, and I’ll elaborate on it next week.

But today is about Kevin, James, my partners, the staff, and all who make FisherBroyles a special place to practice law.

Thank you for your professionalism and friendship.

Thank you for making one of the most daunting decisions of my professional career turn out to be the best in hindsight.

Thank you, FisherBroyles. I love you and wish you nothing but continued success.

(And yes, James, I know I always have a home at FisherBroyles.)

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”
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