Story analyzes why Susman Godfrey continues to enjoy enviable success despite pressures on the legal industry and litigation as a whole
Lawdragon has published an in-depth profile of Susman Godfrey LLP that calls it “America’s Leading Trial Firm” and details many of the driving factors behind the firm’s success.
Titled “Don’t Mess with Texas” the story delves into the firm’s history and tells the story of how many of its key members came to join. There are also personal anecdotes about Susman Godfrey lawyers that reveal the unique mix of people that make up the firm.
For anyone watching the legal industry, and the rise and fall of many well-known firms since the economic collapse of 2008, the piece is also an illustration of how to run a successful trial firm that consistently ranks at the top of the list across the country.
Firm “Runs Circles” Around Everyone Else
Susman Godfrey’s success can be measured any number of ways, says the Lawdragon story, and it all amounts to the same thing — a top trial firm.
“Pick your metric — money, U.S. Supreme Court clerks, bet-the-company cases, percentage of partners in trial annually — the firm runs circles around everyone else. In fact, with 93 percent of its attorneys having held federal clerkships (that’s 96 of 103 lawyers and all of its partner-track associates) it beats by a handy margin even the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court’s own mark of 66 percent.”
Lawdragon also calls out the fact that “In 2016 alone, Susman Godfrey won more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for its clients. And it posted a remarkable ‘in-trial’ rate of 44 percent, meaning a staggering 44 percent of its partners and associates were in trial in 2016. Compare that with your average litigation firm.”
It should be noted that, for 2017, the firm’s in-trial rate has actually jumped to 50 percent.
This is all the more impressive during a time when trials are on the decrease.
Success by Design: A Firm Built to Win
The reason Susman Godfrey is so successful is that, as noted in the Lawdragon story, it valued business generation, performance and results from the very beginning. Everything was structured around winning for clients.
That includes choosing the best people and giving them opportunities to shine and grow. Susman Godfrey only hires litigators who have completed a federal clerkship — and gives preferential signing bonuses to those who have clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court. That alone gives them access to some of the best legal talent in the country.
As the Lawdragon piece goes on to describe, however, the firm also puts those lawyers, even at their most junior, in high-profile roles at trial. They may do anything from handling opening arguments to examining an important witness. Senior partners regularly step aside to let associates and younger partners take center stage.
Susman Godfrey: A Top Trial Firm for a Reason
The Lawdragon story provides a unique look behind the curtain into the inner workings of a trial firm literally like no other. Susman Godfrey is a success on its own terms. Its lawyers do things differently and have had this unique perspective since day one.
And, as the Lawdragon piece demonstrates, the formula is definitely working.
To read the full article, click here.