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Bucks in a Name

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You're a young lawyer, setting out to start your own practice, so of course the first and most important thing you have to do is pick a name for your firm.

Firm naming is all the rage these days, with many firms going with just a single name, like Skadden, or Cravath. Other firms have chosen to go the more creative, slightly-edgy route, with Morrison Foerster going by MoFo, and Strook and Strook taking on the Jersey Shore inspired Stroo-Stroo.

If you want to be ahead of the naming curve though, and if you want to make the big bucks you'd better be, you'll want to go with the newest craze, dropping spaces and conjunctions.


BOOM! That's a law firm name. Just watch at the money pours in.*


*cf. The name-pronunciation effect: Why people like Mr. Smith more than Mr. Colquhoun, by Laham, Koval, and Alter, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. Across several different studies, Laham, Koval, and Alter found that easy to pronounce names were far more likely to be liked than hard to pronounce and unusual names.

Of particular note, the researchers looked at complexity of names in law firm hierarchies, picking 500 names at random from NLJ 250 law firm websites. Even after controlling for the effects of racial bias in hiring and promotion (by comparing Anglo-American names against other Anglo-American names, and foreign names against other foreign names) they found a correlation between simpler names and promotion into partnership.

It stands to reason that these results would be applicable to a small, start-up law firm, which must attract clients faced with a number of choices in legal counsel, and establish relationships with other firms in order to receive referral work. As such, a difficult to read or confusing name, such as RamsonBigsby, could significantly hurt a law firm, while a less creative and more familiar looking name would be beneficial.

[Read more from Lawyerlite]

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