Nearly All Female Law Firm Brune & Richard Impresses with Superior Work
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Susan E. Brune and Hillary Richard were classmates at Harvard Law School in the middle of the 1980s. While there, they dreamed about opening their own law firm at some point in the future. Their dream came true one decade later in Lower Manhattan. The only thing is that it is an all-female firm, which was not their intention, according to The New York Times.

“That wasn’t the plan,” Brune said. “It just happened, and then it became kind of a thing.”


The firm is called Brune & Richard and 13 of the 19 lawyers are women. Six of the firm’s nine partners are women. The firm works on corporate disputes for clients such as Pacific Gas and Electric and Prudential Insurance.

“I have no choice but to practice law as a woman,” Brune, said.

“Clients don’t hire us because of our sex,” Richard said. “They hire us because we win.”

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Following their time at Harvard, Brune began working as a prosecutor in the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. Richard became a partner at Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman.

They launched their firm in 1998.

“Susan and Hillary were ‘leaning in’ long before Sheryl Sandberg raised these issues,” said Michele Hirshman. Hirshman was Brune’s supervisor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “At the time when other women might have leaned back and settled into more comfortable jobs, they did something different and bold.”

The director of the Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School, David B. Wilkins, said, “The problem is that the typical legal career is that it’s not just built for a man, it’s built for a man with a wife that doesn’t work. There’s a deepening crisis in the legal profession about the retention and promotion of women.”

In 2010, Jessica R. Holloway joined the firm after six years with Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She said, “So much of the time, the important decisions are being made by women, all of the key legal arguments are being delivered by women, and they aren’t shying away from that work or deferring to anyone else.”



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