With the vast majority of U.S. states now permitting law firms to use trade names as their official moniker, leaders at younger and midsize boutique firms say a more aerodynamic firm letterhead—instead of a list of each equity partner’s last name—helps to distinguish firms in a crowded practice area while promoting a more egalitarian work culture.
Ryan Baker spoke to American Lawyer Media about the firm’s change from Baker Marquart to Waymaker, which he said reflects the firm’s ethos of “making novel arguments” and “representing cutting-edge clients.”
Aside from having a diverse slate of practice areas, long-standing legacy firms have names that have taken on name recognition, Baker said, despite the fact that many of the name partners are deceased. Younger, upstarting firms don’t have the same level of brand equity, especially if they share a name in common with a Big Law firm players with firms that start with
the name Baker.
Some things stayed the same, Baker said: Firm leaders said they made a point of reassuring clients that the name change would have no effect on their client relationships.
But the change also has the intended effect of fostering an egalitarian firm culture, Baker said. The 16-lawyer firm, for example, has paid closer attention to diversity and equity, promoting two female attorneys to partnership, hiring a female attorney and an attorney of color in 2020.
“Jamie and I are both white males, and the vast majority of law firms are named after white males, and it’s something that we wanted to move beyond,” Baker said.
In 2021, Baker Marquart became Waymaker. Information on this website reflects results obtained by Baker Marquart. Please click here to learn more about our name change.