We opened our doors in 1968 with six partners and eight associates, a small firm determined to compete with much-larger rivals, in a city with no shortage of law firms. We envisioned a full-service firm, though some of our first departments had only one or two lawyers. From the outset, our emphasis was on recruiting, training and retaining the best lawyers we could find, placing them in a comfortable, collaborative environment where they could grow and thrive. Then, as now, we stressed a pragmatic, results-oriented approach, encouraging our teams to be dynamic and creative, but to look beyond the legal issues to the larger business challenges our clients face.
Our vision of a firm where excellent lawyers could build long careers has largely been fulfilled. Many of the partners we’ve added since 1968 came to us directly from law school or clerkships. Others joined as associates from other firms. Laterals have, in fact, played a significant role in our growth over the years, helping us build or strengthen many of our practice groups. Many had been partners or in-house counsel elsewhere, but were clearly attracted to what they considered a more congenial environment for building their practices. In recent years, we have brought in entire groups with established practices in intellectual property, land use, immigration, securitization and private equity.
In 1970, we moved our then 20 lawyers to 919 Third Ave., which remained our home for 35 years. At the time, our practice areas were limited to litigation, corporate, real estate, tax, and trusts and estates. Today, from our state-of-the-art headquarters at 1177 Avenue of the Americas, we have grown to over 375 lawyers in some 20 practice areas.
Our growth has been geographic as well. As our clients’ matters dealt increasingly with cross-border issues, we moved to add to our international practice. We opened our Paris office in 1999 with 20 lawyers who had practiced together for 20 years. In September 2011, to expand our reach and depth in our intellectual property practice, we opened our Silicon Valley office. In addition, we have built strong relationships with key law firms throughout the world, expanding our reach and enabling us to serve clients internationally.
We are today an exciting place to practice law, offering some of the most challenging, diverse and innovative work in an informal and open environment that is highly attractive to both our attorneys and our clients.
Looking ahead, we expect significant growth in all areas, and we will continue to draw strength from the values that have fueled our success in becoming an Am Law 100 firm: our emphasis on recruiting and training, our creative instincts, our insistence on excellence, our pragmatic approach, and our ability to combine all these things to achieve exceptional results for our clients.