August 21, 2016
Pryor Cashman partners discuss emerging industry issues; what makes for exceptional client service; and how the firm’s culture helps their practice earn accolades year after year.
Attorneys at Pryor Cashman, the midsize powerhouse headquartered in New York City’s Times Square, know a thing or two about the issues impacting the labor and employment sphere. Among their many notable clients, the firm represents more than two-dozen actors from the Broadway hit, "Hamilton," in a groundbreaking profit-sharing deal, and also serves as counsel to HR departments, members of the C-suite and corporate clients across industries.
Recognized nationally for their work in labor and employment and immigration law – they are listed in Lawdragon’s “Most Powerful Employment Lawyers” in the “Hall of Fame” and “40 Up and Comers” categories – the firm enjoys being on the forefront of these rapidly evolving areas of law.
Ronald Shechtman, Pryor Cashman’s managing partner and chair of the firm’s Labor + Employment Group, sat down with fellow partners, Colleen Caden, who heads the Immigration Group, and Joshua Zuckerberg, also in the L+E Group, to reflect on the firm’s culture, how attorneys can provide exceptional client service, and the emerging issues they believe will greatly impact the industry.
Ronald Shechtman: First, I’d like to thank both of you for joining me today to talk about these important issues affecting our clients and our work. I thought we could begin by speaking about the unique culture at Pryor Cashman, and how it’s allowed us to consistently earn accolades within our fields.
Colleen Caden: Thanks, Ron. The firm has a culture steeped in collegiality where every single person – from the lawyers to paralegals and the administrative support staff – seeks to collaborate and assist one another. Our people are also among the best at what they do, which allows me to provide clients with high-quality, high-touch legal services.
Joshua Zuckerberg: Agreed. We really eschew the lone-wolf practice and instead depend on the camaraderie of our close-knit group to consult with each other in developing the best possible advice and practices on behalf of our clients. I think clients appreciate our responsiveness and considered analysis of the thorny workplace issues they are confronting.
RS: Indeed. Employment matters often require services that exceed the monetary stakes of a case because employers are compelled to avoid settlements or precedents that will cause other employees to seek similar relief. Our Labor + Employment Group recognizes the need for value-engineering the handling of these cases, and focuses on efficient representation so as to conclude matters without budget-busting.
JZ: I think readers might like to know how you best serve your clients, given the ever-changing landscape of this area of the law? For me, it means staying apprised of the changing legal developments and devising practical, innovative solutions to the challenges they pose.
RS: Yes, and it’s also critical that our L&E lawyers effectively communicate with clients in order to ascertain the “real” facts underlying an employment claim. This process can be facilitated by establishing protocols with the client to deal with potentially problematic employment decisions so both they and our attorneys are focused on the right questions and answers.
CC: In my practice, you must be available 24/7, as immigration emergencies arise at all hours on any day of the week. Clients know they can reach me anytime on my cell phone and I will be available to answer their questions and guide them through any crisis.
RS: What trends do you see impacting the industry in the next year or two?
JZ: I think we can expect to see more activity surrounding transgender and sexual orientation issues. Companies can and should be taking steps to avoid discriminatory practices with respect to these areas.
CC: Yes. I also believe that in our increasingly global and competitive economy, employers will continue to need to hire the best and brightest talent available in the world and be able to retain this talent within their U.S. companies. I think we’ll continue to see high demand for U.S. visa sponsorship, which requires sophisticated legal assistance to navigate the multi-step, multi-agency adjudication process.
RS: I’d say that with ever-increasing regulation in the workplace, affirmative steps between counsel and clients will remain critical in ensuring that new rules are understood and properly implemented.
CC: Shifting gears a bit, I wonder what accomplishments you both are most proud of?
JZ: I’m most proud of the fact that our firm has a number of high-profile and very accomplished clients in various spaces who seek my counsel and advocacy. It always feels good when folks at the top of their respective industries look to you as someone who can help them solve problems.
RS: Every time I keep a matter of out the courtroom, I feel I’ve achieved some success for my client. Every time we get a call about an issue before it becomes a claim or lawsuit means that our clients understand the priority of claim avoidance. I’m proud of our accessibility and familiarity with our clients’ needs and issues, which facilitates cutting off the claim before it has a cost.
CC: I’d say I’m proud to be the founder of our Immigration Group, which today – less than seven years after its launch – has an international reputation as a premier practice representing corporate clients in a host of industries.
RS: Yes, I think we’re all very proud of that. In closing, what is the one thing you’d like Lawdragon’s readers to know about you?
JZ: I’m an advocate; I like to help, and I like to win. In many cases, helping means counselling and solid drafting and negotiation. However, in those situations where things become litigious, my desire to win helps me take on the other side and achieve results for my clients.
CC: I’d like people to know that I am passionate about my work and devoted to my clients. What about you, Ron?
RS: That I am practical and I understand the workplace. I’m able to facilitate communications between employers and employees. This skillset is an important element in helping employers avoid employment claims.