Following up on this earlier post here is yet another article on alumni networks, this time from the Chicago Tribune, entitled Companies Learn to Value Alumni (December 18, 2005). As the article reports, law firms are the latest to join the trend:
Law firms are among the latest adopters. Their practice of forcing out lawyers who don’t make partner scatters their former members far and wide. “The more successful our alumni are, the more it builds our brand,” said Stephen Patton, a senior litigation partner at Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis LLP, which launched an alumni network Nov. 1. “Our alums are friends and cohorts, but they’re also our current or future clients. It just makes sense to strengthen our relationship with them.”
So, is it awkward hobnobbing with a firm that pushed you out the door? I don’t think so (and that’s based on personal experience), especially if you’ve moved on to something even better, like starting your own firm. And sometimes you find that there are people whom you get along with much better when you don’t have to work with them.