Cravath, arguably the most prestigious law firm in New York, just hired its first marketing director! It's Deborah Brightman Farone, who is leaving Debevoise, a 550-lawyer firm where she has worked for 13 years. She will be the first marketing director for Cravath, a 500-lawyer firm with offices New York and London. She will report to both the executive director and some of the partners. She starts on Sept. 2.
What makes this notable is that Cravath exemplifies the stodgiest definition of a white-shoe firm that does things the old-fashioned way. It's like the Luddites deciding to use machinery, or the Amish agreeing to buy cars. The hiring was so newsworthy that the New York Lawyer published an article about it.
But don't expect anything too flashy. Cravath presiding partner Robert D. Joffe said the firm will not be running ads, but that the Web site may get an overhaul. The site is 100% Flash and is quite user-unfriendly; it certainly could use an overhaul. Take a look at www.cravath.com.
To give you an idea of how low the expectations are for the new marketing director, Joffe told the New York Lawyer: "The old saying is marketing at Cravath is picking up the phone on the third ring rather than the fourth ring. Deborah's job will be to make sure we do get it after that ring."
Best wishes to Deborah, who is a delightful person and expert marketer. And good luck.