The Business Side of Law: Authority Magazine Features Marshall Gerstein’s Jeffrey SharpSeptember 23, 2022
In an interview with Authority Magazine, Jeffrey S. Sharp, managing partner of Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP, shared his insights on leadership, the business of law, and building a thriving practice. Jeff advised aspiring practice leaders to “learn the sweet spot of the intersection between what energizes you and what your clients need” to achieve both success and fulfillment.
“I think practicing patent law as outside counsel is the best job in the world,” said Jeff. “But that’s me – and just because someone can do it doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Find the work you like doing and the people you like doing it with, and if a particular situation isn’t fun most of the time, find one that is. I received this advice early in my career, and for 38 years, practicing law has rarely felt like ‘work.’”
Jeff also discussed what it takes to lead a successful law firm – from technical skills like accounting and finance to motivating a highly-skilled and talented team. He said, “Law firms are professional services firms whose only real assets are their people. Because of that, it’s important to like and be interested in people and to understand their motivations and needs so that you can support groups of smart, motivated professionals in working well together for the benefit of the firm and its clients.”
Additionally, Jeff emphasized the firm’s focus on its people in describing one of its most exciting and recent successes. “Marshall Gerstein recently completed an 18-month collaboration with Diversity Lab – which began in September 2020 – to track, consider, measure, and achieve diversity in recruiting, staffing, business development, and leadership. We became one of just 26 midsize law firms that have achieved their inaugural Midsize Mansfield Rule Certification. I am especially pleased to share that we were one of just 16 Certified Midsize Mansfield firms in the country to achieve Certification “Plus” status for exceeding more stringent requirements in those areas. Our people are our greatest asset, and all of us at the firm are passionate about ensuring inclusive and equitable work environments and promoting the next generation of diverse leaders in the legal profession — and beyond.”