My name is Joanna Peck, I’m a fourth year rising associate at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.. I’ve been here since June of 2012. I, just by way of background have an MBA and approximately fifteen years in investment banking and owned my own company.
Q. What has your experience at ALBPC like?
A. At ALBPC, why this is such a great experience and why this is such a perfect fit for me is that first of all, it’s extremely entrepreneurial, so I get a pack of cases, Adam calls me into his office and says, “Hey, we need you to look at this, we need you to analyze this” and I got into my space, I figure it out and I come up with a lot of ideas. Now, secondly, it gives me an opportunity to take a lot of ownership with the clients, so I get to work directly with clients. Clients come to me, they call me, it’s not about going through a hierarchy or a partner to speak with somebody, nobody gets threatened. I can speak directly with my client and client can speak directly with me and a lot of ideas come out of that, a lot of different opportunities for clients in terms of advocating for them. Thirdly, for me, having had this huge business background, I didn’t want to just cast that to the side, and one of my concerns actually, going into real estate is that I would too siloed in the area of real estate, which I frankly didn’t have a ton of experience in. But, as it turns out, real estate is very commercially orientated, and so for me it’s been this incredible opportunity to leverage my background in business and use those skills, which a lot of lawyers don’t have into play with my clients and into play with the colleagues I work with here. As far as Adam goes, he’s extremely hands off unless he needs to be involved, which is great because you can go to him with just about anything and he’ll give you guidance, but unless something is really hot and something that’s really necessary, he’s not involved in your day to day micromanagement, and again that goes back to the entrepreneurial culture of the firm which I simply love.
Q. What is compensation like at ALBPC?
A. As far as money goes, a lot of people who are young and coming in out of law school think the best thing in the world is to go to a big firm, because you’re going to make a ton of money. But as it turns out, when you work in a entrepreneurial firm like this, and a small firm, not only do you get the better experience as I described earlier, but as far as the diving in, everybody getting a piece of the action, feeling like you’re part of a team, you also get compensated for that. In other words, when you look how much I work on an hourly basis a week, which is not as scary as a big firm, on an hourly basis I make a lot more. I’ve actually been able to take that opportunity to really be a high paying associate at this firm and that’s because, again, of the entrepreneurial nature that Adam has instilled in everybody and the kind of people he looks for.
Q. How is your experience working at a small firm?
A. There’s a lot of kids out there that are coming out of law school, as I said, who think that working at a big firm has brand, it’s got money, and It’s got prestige and you end up going into those situations and nine times out of ten you’re working seventy hours a week, Monday through Sunday, and you have no life and you’re locked up in some gross room doing document review. Nobody cares what case you might know about, what little smoking gun you find in the documents, it doesn’t matter, and you might be able to come out of a firm like that with a certain kind of notch, because you have a brand behind you, but as far as the experience goes, it pails in comparison to the kind of experience you get in a small firm, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit. The thing about Adam, is that part of the entrepreneurial culture requires people who are comfortable taking risks and Adam takes risks in people that he believes in. The thing about this culture, that I think differs from the big firm culture, and I think a lot of small firm cultures , is that Adam takes risks on people. If Adam hadn’t taken a risk on me, I never would have been before a judge doing a motion this early in my career, I never would have been leading an client charge on figuring out what causes of action we might have in a situation, and that again goes back to the entrepreneurial culture of the firm that I simply love.