Yesterday I joined our team in celebrating Colligan Law's 10th anniversary. We gathered on a trendy rooftop bar in downtown Buffalo on one of the nicest days so far this summer. We enjoyed a gorgeous evening with familiar faces and toasted to what we all have helped create.
It's wild how fast the time has gone by.
Nearly 10 years ago, David Colligan was interviewing me for an associate job at the firm he and John Moscati had just created. I was one of the first interviews. We talked about entrepreneurship, the practice of law, and maple syrup. At the time I had just founded a distillery making rum from maple syrup (which I've since sold). David (as anyone who knows him knows) is a maple enthusiast. Each spring he spends much of March boiling sap in his sugar shack to create a delicious, dark-amber syrup that he thankfully shares with all of us. It is a delightful morning to walk in and see his private labeled maple syrup sitting on your desk.
David, no doubt concerned about my varying interests, asked me at the time what my 10-year plan was. I didn't have a 10-year plan. In fact, I still don't. I'm not sure I've ever been able to visualize that far out. Two to three years? Sure. But 10? It just seems like an eternity. Still, it was a fair question to ask given that I had just helped found another business. Trying to be honest, I responded: "Well, if I am still practicing law, I will be practicing law here."
Ten years later, that comment turned out to be spot on. Moreover, I now find myself on the one-year anniversary of becoming managing partner of that very firm. The last 12 months have certainly been an interesting time to be leading a law firm. Whether it realizes it or not, the practice finds itself at an inflection point. Many firms have turned to consolidation with larger firms – putting increased pressure on mid-sized firms. Record inflation and interest rates have put stress on many clients and presented opportunities for others. Meanwhile, the labor market for attorneys has been extremely tight, with competitors regularly trying to poach team members. Technology advances such as AI are disrupting areas of the practice and shifts in workplace habits and culture have meant adapting and evolving at a rapid pace.
I'd be lying if I said it's easy, but through it all we have remained committed to our values and beliefs that the practice of law can be more – more for our team, our clients, and our community.
Cheers on 10 years! I couldn't be more thankful to be part of such an amazing team.
we’ve continuously punched above our weight class while staying true to our values: family first, teamwork, fairness, entrepreneurship, and honesty. We’ve been early adopters to technology and change. We have encountered challenges head-on. We believe in pushing the practice of law to be a better profession for us all. It’s that entrepreneurial spirit that we see in so many of our clients that is in our very own DNA. It’s why we choose to work with each other, and why we have pride in our work. It is who we are.