About Us


Like it or not, there are only so many chairs at the table. And you want one of them. Ideally,¬†your smarts, hard work, creativity, passion, and all of the other attributes that got you this far should be enough. Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works. There are political battles to be fought and won, good impressions to be made, and unfair perceptions to be corrected. SUM represents almost three decades of experience navigating the complicated and often unpredictable waters of Big Law. Our program of Strategic Upward Mentoring is designed to help you see around the bend, giving you an edge in an unquestionably competitive world.

Our Approach

SUM is a discipline built on identifying the right path to your success. We do that by understanding the nature of your relationships with those around and above you, honestly assessing your strengths and weaknesses, and creating and staying focused on specific interactions, actions, and reactions that will help you succeed. Together, we will build a program specifically designed for you and only you, and we will work together to make sure you stay on track.

The Personality Behind SUM

SUM was founded by Michael R. Gordon, who got to live out his boyhood dream of playing cops and robbers by joining the Bronx District Attorney’s Office in 1985. He left law enforcement in 1989, and entered the world of private clients, commercial litigation, and unreasonable partners. Mike made partner in 1995 and remained a Big Law partner for the next 22 years, leaving to start his own firm in 2017, the same year he and his wife of 29 years became empty nesters. Along the way, Mike made it his business to mentor younger lawyers and teach lessons that he learned, often the hard way. He now offers those lessons to other young lawyers who are just beginning their careers.

How It Works

Call or email Mike and set up a preliminary, complementary consultation. We’ll spend our time briefly discussing your situation and getting to know one another. We’ll talk about your schedule, the kind of guidance you believe would benefit you, your own unique learning style, and your short and long term goals. If we decide to work together, you will be given a fairly detailed questionnaire to complete. We’ll also agree on a schedule of appointments. And then we’re off to the races…