Reflecting on your 35 years at the firm, what’s one of your fondest memories of your time at Loeb?
My fondest memories at Loeb revolve around my early mentors, Lee Steiner and Dick Barovick. There are too many stories with these two to recount here. Suffice it to say that when I came to the firm in 1984, they were instrumental in guiding me and incredibly encouraging in terms of helping me develop my practice. I learned from both of them how to be a good partner, build a client base and really have fun doing it. While Lee and Dick had different styles and skill sets, they taught me the importance of building relationships with clients and opposing counsel alike, and maintaining a sense of humor, even during difficult negotiations. Their clients were truly devoted to them. I wanted that for myself and thought deeply about how they achieved that. I’d like to think I borrowed what resonated for me, and then created my own style and personality as a young lawyer in an entertainment field that was set to dramatically expand into a massive industry with the advent of cable television, and of course later, the internet. Having mentors like Lee and Dick was essential in starting my career as a young lawyer, and they cemented my relationship with the firm. I was very fortunate to have two wonderful mentors.
Few law firms (or companies of any sort) are thriving in their second century. Most don’t even survive that long. What enduring qualities have made Loeb stronger than ever at 110?
As a firm, we’ve always had a collective culture that is deeply caring about our personal relationships with each other and embracing the diversity and uniqueness of each individual. We want to know each other as people, as friends, which is something that is probably harder to do on an institutional level at larger organizations, law firm or otherwise. We have a baseline essential affection for each other as individuals, and not just for the value we bring to the table as excellent lawyers. It’s something that we’ve been very careful to maintain as we’ve expanded. Whether you’re a partner, an assistant, a paralegal or in firm administration, we are all invested in developing personal connections with each other. We don’t view work as something that we go to and then we go home to the “better” part of our lives; I think most of us try to lead enriched professional lives that complement wonderful personal lives. We’ve been careful to grow in a way that maintains that culture, but also allows us to be large enough to compete and thrive in today’s market. Our attorneys feel a real connection to the firm, and that’s reflected by the number of attorneys and staff who have been with the firm for 10+, 20+ and 30+ years, and by the tremendous success we’ve had with lateral lawyers—who, in a very active lateral market, choose to stay with us because they adapt to and embrace the culture we have. That’s a rare thing today in a law firm, and I think it’s what makes this place really special.
Loeb’s reputation as one of the country’s foremost entertainment law firms began in the early 20th century and continues today. Has this legacy helped shape your individual practice as an entertainment lawyer?
I think our legacy is not only as leading entertainment lawyers, but also as innovators. We have created a unique entertainment practice, balanced across both coasts and Nashville, that goes beyond traditional entertainment. As the internet became vital to what we do and the industry moved toward digital and streaming services, Loeb was at the forefront because we had a great group of lawyers who not only understood these new technologies and the legal and business impacts they had on the industry, but they fully embraced that crossover. We view our practice as cross-transactional, regularly working with numerous departments across the firm to meet a variety of demands our clients face in their world. We really are the 21st century firm for a broad cross-sectional entertainment practice in that we embrace both the traditional and the advanced media and technology elements.