The much-hyped and unecessary validation bestowed on Music City by The New York Times as the nation's new "it" city has everyone buzzing. But we couldn't help but notice this recent report from The Wall Street Journal that also mentioned Nashville. In detailing the hits taken by law firms — and specifically their partners — due to the economic downturn, Waller's John Tishler says his firm went from 85 equity partners to about 55, with pay structures and hourly goals adjusted as well.
The Journal piece sheds a little more light on Waller's strategy in recent years. We wrote in the summer of 2011 about the rash of senior-level departures the firm had seen in months prior. At that time, Tishler was traveling and the firm was more circumspect about sharing its priorities.
If you're looking for signs that the regional economy is really on the mend headed into 2013, you could do worse than look at what our prominent law firms are up to and what that tells us about their confidence levels. Some are signing up for shiny new office space, while others are poaching top-level talent or promoting up-and-comers. The leaders at Bass Berry & Sims, one of the city's largest firms, are looking to grow organically in 2013 and have put out word that they want to add somewhat-experienced associates to their labor, IP, corporate/securities and commercial transactions practice groups. Bass' office at The Pinnacle at Symphony Place already is home to about 170 attorneys.