SILICON VALLEY – I would be willing to bet that most (if not all) summer associates have heard reference to the “one firm” nature of Weil at some point this summer. I heard it last summer during our regional weekend and again this summer when Weil Executive Partner Barry Wolf visited the Silicon Valley office. This summer proved to me just how committed Weil is to its one firm principle.
I spent last summer and the first four weeks of this summer in the Silicon Valley office and then travelled to the London office, where I spent the remainder of the summer. This provided an opportunity for me to witness firsthand what Weil’s one firm principle is all about.
Candidly, I expected few things to be similar about the London and Silicon Valley offices. After all, the offices are separated by more than 5,000 miles and operate during opposite time zones. Not to mention that the typical path to Weil in the United States (i.e., law school, bar exam) is dramatically different for those aspiring to be lawyers in London (i.e., vacation scheme, trainee contract). Despite these differences, I felt right at home almost immediately upon arriving at the London office. I found the same sense of internal collaboration that I experienced in the Silicon Valley office. I found the same technology and applications, which allowed me to hit the ground running. I found hard working colleagues that were committed to serving their clients. Similarly, I found the open-door culture and friendliness that exists in the Silicon Valley office. The resources of each office are nearly identical, as is the high profile nature of the matters each office works on.
What I found in London was that Weil truly has a dedicated interest in maintaining its technology, management and resources in each office. More importantly, it is evident that Weil proactively seeks to maintain its culture. A lot of firms will pitch themselves to law students as having a great or unique culture, but I think it takes something special to maintain cultural consistency across offices on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
People might think that a “one firm” principal is great in theory but unrealistic in practice. I know I did. But Weil truly seems devoted to maintaining a sense of unity across offices, something that I believe distinguishes it from other big law firms.