Oblon Managing Partner Philippe Signore, Ph.D., recently was interviewed by Law.com about his experiences as the Firm’s managing partner and his viewpoints on being a law firm leader. The interview, which is part of the publication’s ongoing series “How I Made Managing Partner,” published on August 1, 2022.
In the interview, Dr. Signore talks about how he ended up joining Oblon after pursuing an education in physics and how he became the Firm’s managing partner, attributing the appointment to his efforts over the years in developing diverse relationships inside and outside the firm.
“Instead of staying in the office to crank through matters and log my hours, I did a lot of teaching, lecturing, counseling and meeting clients face to face. That helped me win new business and maintain client relationships,” Dr. Signore said.
When asked what the best piece of advice he has for those who wish to hold positions in law firm management, Dr. Signore encouraged others to build relationships with both attorneys and staff.
“Partners who want to go into leadership need to understand the key role that staff play within a law firm and in client relationships,” he said. “More and more, clients are looking for things that differentiate one law firm from the next. That includes things that staff do…”
When asked about who had the greatest influence on his career, Dr. Signore named Oblon founder Norman Oblon for his energy and positivity, as well as Marvin Spivak for his no non-sense leadership style, Greg Maier for empowering younger professionals and Arthur Neustadt.
“[Arthur] knows the law inside and out. He reminds me that, beyond salesmanship, common sense and empowering others, you ultimately need to know the law and successfully counsel clients on complex matters,” Dr. Signore said.
In hindsight, Dr. Signore finds that serving the firm’s community is what matters most. “Success isn’t about getting a bunch of patents. It’s not about making money or being number one in this or that. To me, what really inspires and motivates me is the sense of community that arises from all the people who are in some way connected to the firm: attorneys, staff, family members, clients. We all collectively make up this ecosystem that exists because of shared values and priorities. It’s been a real honor for me to serve this community over the years, especially during the past five years as the managing partner.
You can read the full interview here. (Note the article is only accessible to Law.com subscribers.)