Jones Day’s Low-Profile Roots?

OK, this is off-topic for this blog (I had to create the new “Law Practice & Marketing” category for it), but it concerns one of my old firms — my first firm — and I can’t help commenting.

Jones Day was my first law firm out of law school in 1992.  I was in their 90-lawyer L.A. Office.  It turned out that “big firm” life wasn’t for me, and I left after two years, but there were many fine people and lawyers there.

Which made it both amusing and distressing for me to learn from Carolyn Elefant at law.com about an article in Cleveland Scene titled “Deception HQ: Jones Day, embarrassed to be from Cleveland.” Jones Day, the nation’s second-largest law firm, appears to be playing down its Cleveland roots, says the article.  When I looked for other prominent Cleveland-based firms, I ran across the 2006 “NLJ 250.”  Jones Day was right there at no. 3, with its principal city listed as . . . Washington!  Could the Cleveland Scene article be correct?

The Cleveland Scene article points out a six-month old post at The Wall Street Journal Law Blog about large firms going “headquarter-less.”  In light of the WSJ blog’s possible explanations for the trend (as well as some of the comments), I think the Cleveland Scene article rather unreasonably assumes that Jones Day is doing this out of a sense of embarrassment.  The WSJ post points out that the firm’s managing partner is in Washington and its largest office is in New York.

Whew!  Now I don’t have to be embarrassed about having worked there.