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About

          Jerome Kowalski and his firm, Kowalski & Associates ( www.kowalskiassociates.com ) , a nationally recognized consultant and adviser to law firms, advises law firms on a variety of matters, including strategic planning and  growth, trends in the profession, partner compensation, associate hiring, compensation systems, training and retention, alternative fee arrangements, project management, law firm mergers, opening branch offices, acquiring practice groups, merger integration, marketing and related matters. 

           Jerry is a 1972 graduate of Brooklyn College where he majored in political science and served as the president of the Political Science Society.

            Upon graduation from college, Mr. Kowalski attended New York Law School, from which he graduated in 1977 with honors. Following graduation from law school, Mr. Kowalski became associated with the Wall Street law firm of Reavis & McGrath, which subsequently merged in to Fulbright & Jaworski, one of the nation’s 100 largest law firms. In 1979, Mr. Kowalski became associated with Finley, Kumble, Wagner, and Heine & Underberg which, by 1983 became the second largest law firm in the world. Mr. Kowalski was elected to the Finley Kumble partnership in 1982, becoming the youngest partner ever elected to that firm’s partnership.

            In 1982, Mr. Kowalski was appointed to serve as the Chairman of Finley Kumble’s Hiring Committee. The firm’s hiring committee was then one of only three managerial committees of the firm, the other two being the firm’s Executive Committee and the firm’s Management Committee.  In his capacity as Chairman of the Hiring Committee, Mr. Kowalski had supervisory authority over the hiring of over 100 lawyers a year throughout Finley Kumble’s eight offices around the world.  Mr. Kowalski served as a member of the advisory committee of the National Association of Legal Placement, an organization consisting of the deans, deans of admission of each ABA accredited law school and the hiring partners of each of the nation’s major law firms. Mr. Kowalski chaired various panels of NALP and spoke at various symposia of NALP.

            In 1984, Mr. Kowalski was appointed to serve as a counsel to the Governor’s Committee on Judicial Selection.  In 1985, Mr. Kowalski was appointed to serve as a member of the Global Board of Overseers of Bar Ilan University, the largest university in Israel and served on the committee which created that university’s law school, the first post baccalaureate law school in Israel. 

            In 1987, Mr. Kowalski joined the firm of Parker, Chapin, Flattau & Klimpl, a 150 lawyer New York based law firm, which subsequently merged with Troutman & Sanders, one of the nation’s 50 largest law firms.

            Mr. Kowalski, while in the active practice of law was a member of the American Bar Association (Sections of Litigation and Law Firm Management), the New York State Bar Association and The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he served on the Committee on Lawyer Discipline.

            Mr. Kowalski served as counsel for the Government of Israel’s Departments of Defense, Department of Finance, the Bank of Israel (Israel’s central bank), the Government of Israel’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, El Al Israel Airlines, Clal, the second largest corporation in Israel, and served as an adviser to Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin and Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Minister of Finance Ya’acov Ne’eman. Mr. Kowalski has been honored by Bar Ilan University, The Israel Bond Organization, the Lubavitch Youth Organization and various other communal groups.

             In addition, Mr. Kowalski served as counsel for Island Records (U2’s Label); Island Motion Pictures; Motown; Gordie Berry; the Shah of Iran; The Apollo Theater; Robert Evans (producer of The Godfather series of movies, The Cotton Club and other award winning films);  Anastasio Somoza (former President of Nicaragua); Gene Barry (former star of stage, TV and screen);  Wilbert Tatum (publisher of The Amsterdam News); and a number of Fortune 500 companies.

            In 1992, Mr. Kowalski, while continuing to practice law part time, became associated with Alan Roberts & Company, a legal recruiting firm, specializing in the placement of partners and practice groups with the nation’s largest law firms.

            In 1995, Mr. Kowalski formed Kowalski & Associates, which provides management consulting merger and acquisition services, advisory services regarding strategic planning, maximization of profitability, maximum utilization of professionals employed at law firms, compensation of associates and distribution of profits among partners and legal recruiting exclusively to law firms. K&A possesses unique in depth knowledge of law firm economics, trends in the legal profession, management, compensation systems for partners and associates, and possesses in depth knowledge of varying cultures at different firms.  K&A works with its client in developing business plans and helps identify growth opportunities unique to each of its individual clients.   The firm conducts focused searches for prospective merger or acquisition candidates, including branch offices, practice groups and individual candidates.  Kowalski & Associates prepares detailed analyses and profiles of prospective candidates, facilitates discussions and negotiations, and works with its clients in developing merger and integration plans.  The firm’s guiding principal is to always work collaboratively and in partnership with its clients.

           Kowalski & Associates, with offices in New York and Washington,  has a full time staff of 12 and has more than 15 additional associates  who provide specialized expertise in particular engagements, when needed.

            Mr. Kowalski also delivers detailed proprietary confidential annual reports to the firm’s clients addressing, among other things,  emerging trends in the legal profession, economic and industry trends directly affecting the profession, compensation trends, alternative billing systems, emerging growth areas, as well as identifying particular practice areas which are on the decline.

            In recognition of Jerry’s expertise on law firm managemnt and consulting,  Jerry frequently addresses law firm management groups,  meetings of law firm executive and managing committees and law firm partnership meetings as well as peer group sessions of managing partners.

            Mr. Kowalski serves on the executive editorial advisory board of Precision Law, the nation’s second largest publisher of legal periodicals.

            In recognition of his reputation as a law firm consultant, Mr. Kowalski has been quoted an average of five times or more each month in various publications as an authority on matters affecting the legal profession.  Among others, Mr. Kowalski has been quoted in Law 360 publications, AmLaw publications, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg, various legal blogs and syndicated television programs on the areas of his expertise and law firm management issues, as described above.

            In addition, Mr. Kowalski has published many articles, including, most recently, Law Firm Reports on Revenues and Profitability: a Radical Proposal; Associate Compensation in the New Era; Associate Utilization in the New Era; Lateral Partner Movement in 2010. The Art of Client Alerts and Bulletins; In addition, Mr. Kowalski regularly delivers lengthy proprietary monographs of a confidential nature to individual clients.

            Jerry Kowalski is also the author of a major treatise concerning the hiring, training and retention of lawyers, the business side of the legal profession and current emerging trends in the industry, entitled Navigating the Perfect Storm:  Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Lawyers in the Coming Decade; Lessons Learned and New Opportunities Exploited (Ark Press, 2010).

Jerry Kowalski can be reached at 212 832 9070, Extension 310 or jkowalski@kowalskiassociates.com.

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22 Responses

  1. Your comments on blogging are very important. I have just recently left an in-house position, (the company was sold) and re-entered private practice. I blog almost daily, link to linkedin and I am just starting a twice a month newsletter.
    I am writing a couple of article for industry specific publications, I am going to post links to the articles on my website. I am on a couple of industry informational speaking panels, and I teach at UCLA. I am a member of a local networking group which I work at almost daily. What else do you think I should be doing?

    • When posting items on your blog, you need to be specific and narrow on the subject matter on which you post. In house lawyers who use Google tools, for instance, to track information specific to their indutries, will be follwoing those specific items. For example, an in house lawyer will not bother to find or follow posts regarding general federal or state tax, but, if fo example, your area is taxation of Internet based businesses, your postings should contain that phrase and variations of that phrase often. In that fashion, you will likely be found more easily. In addition, in house lawyers who are interested in that subject matter who are using various tools supplied by Google and others will more likely be direected to your site. And, if there are matters of substance that you post and demonstrate real expertise, those lawyers will likley subscribe to your site. If you follow these steps correctly, in house lawyers, will not only have a greater likelihood of calling you, but valuable substantive matters you posted will be the subject of discourse both within that company, but in discusssions your subscribers will have with other colleagues. In other words, you want to be in that place in the ether when one lawyer says to another “I just ran into an interesting Internet taxation issue; have you ever dealt with the issue?” Your aspiration should be that the lawyer making the response, says in words or substance, I haven’t, but I saw an interesting posting by Sanford Millar on the subject.”

      Hope that was helpful.

      Jerry Kowalski

  2. When posting items on your blog, you need to be specific and narrow on the subject matter on which you post. In house lawyers who use Google tools, for instance, to track information specific to their indutries, will be follwoing those specific items. For example, an in house lawyer will not bother to find or follow posts regarding general federal or state tax, but, if fo example, your area is taxation of Internet based businesses, your postings should contain that phrase and variations of that phrase often. In that fashion, you will likely be found more easily. In addition, in house lawyers who are interested in that subject matter who are using various tools supplied by Google and others will more likely be direected to your site. And, if there are matters of substance that you post and demonstrate real expertise, those lawyers will likley subscribe to your site. If you follow these steps correctly, in house lawyers, will not only have a greater likelihood of calling you, but valuable substantive matters you posted will be the subject of discourse both within that company, but in discusssions your subscribers will have with other colleagues. In other words, you want to be in that place in the ether when one lawyer says to another “I just ran into an interesting Internet taxation issue; have you ever dealt with the issue?” Your aspiration should be that the lawyer making the response, says in words or substance, I haven’t, but I saw an interesting posting by Sanford Millar on the subject.”
    +1

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