Partnership comes with many benefits – firm ownership, prestige, higher billing rates. But at Houston-based Susman Godfrey, partnership also comes with a new pair of western boots. “You attend your first partners’ meeting and after that some of the partners retire for drinks,” says Daniel H. Charest of Dallas, who attended his first Susman partners’ meeting in Houston on Jan. 15. “Then a partner in Houston, Neal Manne, gathers the new partners together and brings you over to the boot store and tells the manager to ‘hook them up.’ Charest says there are five new Susman partners this year including himself. Charest’s brown leather Lucchese boots (pictured left) arrived this week. “It’s really cool, because it’s a Texas firm at heart, but also draws people from all over,” Charest says of Susman Godfrey. Charest -- who grew up in West Buxton, a small town in Maine -- says the new boots are not his first pair, but they are his “best ones for sure.” Manne does not remember when he first started buying boots for new partners. “I just thought it would be fun,” he says. “The key thing is we have offices in Dallas, Houston, New York, Seattle and L.A. and it seems like, especially the new partners in California, Seattle and New York, when they come in for partners’ meetings, they always wear the boots they got the year before or eight years before.” Manne says after their first partnership meeting, he takes the new partners to different stores in Houston so that each lawyer can find the boots they prefer in the right size. Manne notes that Charest called him when his boots arrived this week. “He was feeling mighty good with his boots on,” Manne says.
-- Jeanne Graham