One afternoon in August, Matt Bergman was finishing client calls from the deck of his 39-foot boat, docked on the South River in Edgewater, Maryland. He wasn’t on vacation; for him, it was a regular day at the office. Bergman is a partner at Potomac Law Group, which has functioned remotely since its founding 10 years ago—long before the pandemic sent practically everyone else scrambling to work virtually.
Though PLG maintains a receptionist and some “as-needed” office space in D.C., “the firm is roughly 98% virtual,” says Marketing Manager Melissa Meierhoefer. Today, the firm has 125 attorneys and a support staff of about 30. Nearly 20% of its people live—and work—in Montgomery County, she says.
Bergman, who lives in Potomac and keeps a small office in Rockville, joined in 2019, after two decades of traditional law firm life. He says he’d had enough of office politics and “bureaucratic red tape,” and loves that PLG’s virtual structure means less money spent on expensive office space and fancy conference rooms. “I can pocket 80 cents of every dollar instead of 30 cents of every dollar,” he says.
Founded in 2011 by attorney Ben Lieber, Potomac Law Group initially set out to attract working moms looking for more flexible schedules. But Lieber, a former associate at D.C.’s Covington & Burling, says men are just as drawn to the work-from-anywhere paradigm. Today, 65% of the firm’s lawyers are male. “Back when my son was in high school playing soccer, I could go watch his game for 45 minutes in the afternoon and come back,” Lieber says. “I think a lot of people value that, and that’s part of what draws them here.”
By Amy Halpern