Mr. J. Stephen Poor is chair emeritus of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, serving as an advisor to the firm’s leadership and as an executive sponsor of strategic initiatives focused on innovation and growth. He served as chair of the firm from 2001 – 2016, leading the transformation of Seyfarth into an international law firm at the forefront of innovation. During his 15-year tenure, Seyfarth grew from nearly 500 lawyers to more than 850 lawyers around the globe.
At the same time, Mr. Poor emerged as one of the most influential leaders in the legal industry. Focused on improving service delivery and the client experience, he pioneered the application of Lean Six Sigma in legal service delivery and the development of the Seyfarth’s award-winning client service model, SeyfarthLean.
In recognition of this work, Poor was named the 2011 Legal Innovator of the Year by the Financial Times, as well as one of Law360’s Most Innovative Managing Partners in 2012. Today, SeyfarthLean represents one of the industry’s most recognized and successful client service models.
In 2016, Mr. Poor received the prestigious Flex Leader Award from the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance which is awarded annually to a general counsel or law firm chair who promotes a more diverse and inclusive workplace through holistic flexibility. He was honored for his demonstrated leadership, dedication and tireless efforts to ensuring that flexibility policies at Seyfarth are a part of the firm’s culture.
Mr. Poor also served on the firm’s Executive Committee from 1998 – 2016. During his career at Seyfarth, he was a partner in the firm’s Labor & Employment department, and served as department chair from 1994 – 1998.
Mr. Poor started his career with Seyfarth as an employment lawyer with particular focuses on trial work and ERISA litigation. He regularly speaks on topics relating to law firm management, including partner compensation systems, change management in the law firm environment and the application of process improvement techniques to the practice of law.
- J.D., University of Virginia School of Law (1980)
- Order of the Coif
- B.S., Indiana University (1977)
- Phi Beta Kappa
- United States Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuits
- U.S. District Court for the Central and Northern Districts of Illinois
- American Bar Association
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