Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius are about to swap leaders, with longtime chair Francis Milone stepping down to be replaced by Jami Wintz McKeon. They are both communal minded, firm-first thinkers, with similar philosophies, but there are some anticipated differences McKeon is expected to bring as she steps up from her position on the firms; 18-member advisory board to become the firm’s new chair.
First of all, she plans to continue practicing law. Though Milone focused entirely on his work as chair, she believes keeping active in the practice will keep her prescient on the needs of the company.
“If you’re in a firm or company where the focus is on serving clients, then being involved yourself in client service helps you shape the direction of the firm. I think it’s important for leaders of a firm to stay very close to the practice.”
Secondly, she plans to do more to promote the firm. Milone believes good work speaks for itself. “If you do things well, people who need to know about it, know about it,” he said, suggesting a philosophy of pride and hard work. Nevertheless, he admits he could have done more to promote the public regard of the company.
“Because the firm is not a limelight-seeking place, not everybody knows what we do or how well we do it,” said McKeon. “I’d like to see that improved.”
Nevertheless, the two share a sort of hive-mind or team-player mentality with Milone saying “I have a very simple philosophy; I try to make all decisions on the basis of what’s best for the firm. I may be wrong, I may be foolish, but I try to do them for the right reason. Most of the tie, it ends up being the right decision.” McKeon likewise claims that she never actively sought leadership titles, but said “You’re invited (to lead) as part of your service to the firm.” As the firm is the only home she’s known in her whole career, her loyalty to it sounds a bit like nationalism or religious fervor. She may, therefore, be a wise choice, moving forward.