It’s not an easy time to run an independent law practice, given the competition from giant firms, digital disruption in the industry, and pressure to keep prices down. Nonetheless, Dorf & Nelson LLP is growing quickly. Located in a 16,000 sq ft space in the International Corporate Center in Rye (plus two small satellite offices, in Los Angeles and New York City), the 33-person firm serves individuals, entrepreneurs, family businesses, and a wide variety of corporations.
Founders Jon A. Dorf, Esq., and Jonathan B. Nelson, Esq., formed the firm in 2008, after being introduced by attorney Linda Alster-Nelson, Jonathan’s wife. Both were running independent practices and had taken parallel paths: Dorf, a graduate of Albany Law School, previously worked as a town prosecutor in Mamaroneck; Nelson, who attended Brooklyn Law School, worked as a state prosecutor in Brooklyn.
Initially, Dorf & Nelson operated from Mamaroneck Town Center, but the firm outgrew the space within three years. Today, the firm’s practice areas include corporate, commercial real estate, commercial litigation, commercial finance, employment, and intellectual property; its client roster counts Diamond Properties, American Sports Entertainment Company, and The Westchester Bank, among others. “The common core we share is our love of business and our sense of entrepreneurialism,” says Nelson.
The founders place a heavy emphasis on building a great culture where team members want to stay — complete with company BBQs and ice cream trucks that pull up to the office in the summer. “One of the great things about Westchester is you’ve got trees, grass, and room,” says Nelson. “We make sure we enjoy that.”