Wednesday, July 05, 2006

West Virginia Law Firm Leaders

Bruce McEwen over at Adam Smith, Esq., a law blog focused on the economics of law firms, has an interesting post, "Are you making your times, or are they making you?" where he discussed two global law firm leader CEOs, Greg Jordan of Reed Smith and Ralph Baxter of Orrick. Both men are originally from West Virginia. Mr. Jordan grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia and attended my alma mater, Bethany College. Mr. Baxter, grew up in New Martinsville, West Virginia and his family is originally from the Proctor area, similar to my family who lived out Proctor on Coffield Ridge.

Reed Smith and Orrick have been two of the most successful global law firms of the last 10 years. Consistent with the theme of Mr. McEwen's post I'd agree that both Mr. Jordan and Mr. Baxter are people "who make the time" rather than being individuals created by the time. However, I also have to believe that the caring community oriented West Virginia environment that both grew up inlargely influenced their ability to be successful.

Additional information about Ralph Baxter's background and connection to West Virginia appeared in this 2001 Daily Mail article about Orrick's move to centralize its global operations center in Wheeling.

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