We family law attorneys are not usually focused on anniversaries, but I couldn’t let 29 years of practicing with the same firm go past without saying a few words of admiration for the people I am fortunate enough to work with.
In January of 1994, 15 lawyers banded together to start a new firm in downtown Clayton, Missouri: Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C. As of March 2023, five of the originals are still practicing with our firm, along with 23 other talented lawyers and a staff that numbers nearly 40. Along the way we have enjoyed triumphs and endured losses, as is the case with any law firm, but we have also managed to focus on our personal joys and sorrows and have been there to support each other through all of them.
I’ve now been practicing law for nearly 40 years. Many of my contemporaries have decided they have had enough of the high stress world of courtrooms, clients, and opposing counsel, yet I continue to enthusiastically come to the office every morning.
What is it that makes me want to keep pursuing such a challenging profession when I could be relaxing in my golden years?
Simple answer: I love the people I work with. At Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal we make every effort to employ people who are more than just highly skilled at their jobs; they also need to be highly skilled at interacting with their co-workers.
That means that we lawyers are constantly communicating with each other, not only about cases and developments in the law, but also about how one attorney’s nine-month-old just started walking or how another attorney’s daughter scored 34 points in her basketball game.
That communication extends to all of our staff. They don’t work FOR the lawyers; they work WITH the lawyers. We lawyers know we would be lost without our staff, and we make sure we let them know.
We show up for each other both at joyous events and in moments of crisis. We tell everyone here that we want them to be present for their families. When family commitments and work commitments collide, we do everything possible to fill in for the lawyer or staff member so they can attend to the things in life that are truly important.
Don’t get me wrong: We work very hard for our clients and continually strive to provide them with the best legal representation available. We believe, however, that we can be outstanding lawyers while also being outstanding people, people who recognize that respect for colleagues is the foundation of any first-rate business, including law firms.
Lawyers who care for their colleagues are lawyers who care for their clients.