Defense Digest, Vol. 26, No. 1, Spring 2020

On the Pulse…Culturally Speaking

At 36 years old, I found myself in a unique and quite intimidating position. My setup was no longer feasible for both my clients’ best interests and my own quality of life. I had to make a move and wanted it to be a smart one. I spoke to one of my best friends, who happened to be a Marshall attorney, and he encouraged me to speak to at least four law firms in order to truly understand how different firms operate and, ultimately, to choose what was best for my clients and for me. That is exactly what I did—and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Having been out of law school for about 10 years at the time, I knew very little of other firms’ structures—e.g., equity partnerships and non-equity partnerships, origination, etc. After speaking with four different law firms, Marshall included, what I learned is that Marshall is truly distinctive. It was already obvious to me that Marshall had the best people as I was already friends with all of them from practicing over the years. One friend told me I would never dread being in the office, and he was completely right. I knew I would be laughing on a regular basis under Dan Ryan’s leadership. What remained unknown was how the rest of this large law firm worked.

Marshall’s structure of not being a full origination-based firm promotes a teamwork mentality that is unmatched by other firms. There is a high level of “selfishness” at firms that have origination. There, attorneys are interested in doing work that benefits themselves most. But at Marshall, that type of “work-ethic” does not exist. I have heard “How can I help?” and “Do you need anything?” every single time assistance was needed. There is no hesitation to assist even though it will not benefit the assisting attorney’s own clients. Assistance is offered without question and without my asking. This isn’t just limited to my office in Philadelphia. I have received support from many of our other offices as well.

My clients now have full access to our trial team, who are some of the best and most experienced trial attorneys in our area of litigation. They also now benefit from Marshall’s appellate counsel, who frequently assist us when highly complex legal issues arise. Since coming to Marshall, my clients have had the benefit of Marshall’s many attorneys in its various offices and jurisdictions. Marshall’s team of attorneys has fostered a relationship of trust and respect with my clients.

This type of environment led to an incredible change in my quality of life. I was no longer waking up at 2:00 am every night, worrying about how I was going to get everything done, or how I would handle something with the proper legal support behind me. I no longer missed family and friends’ events because I simply had too much to do. This is not something most can appreciate until they have lived through it. But I will sing these Marshall praises to anyone who will listen to me.

I am typing this as we all sit in our COVID-19 quarantines. Since the shelter-at-home order went into place, our department has had weekly (sometimes more than one) Zoom happy hours. No one comes to these because they feel obligated; we all genuinely miss each other. How many other law firms can say they have employees with this type of bond? Very few, I believe.

*Tiffany is a shareholder and works in our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office. She can be reached at 215.575.2799 or

Defense Digest, Vol. 26, No. 1, Spring 2020 is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1. © 2020 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints, contact