Reflections on a Law Firm
A little over eight years ago four lawyers of diverse background and experience decided to open a law firm. Each of us had personal reasons for making a change but important to all of us was a belief that we could find a way to practice law differently, in an environment that encouraged collaboration and mutual trust. We wanted a firm where clients felt safe and believed their problems mattered. We wanted a firm where staff and lawyers worked as a team and each member of the team knew that her contribution was important and valued.
I look back over the past eight years and marvel at what we have created. Our clients come to us to have their wills and trusts prepared and we offer them a safe harbor where they feel comfortable returning, year after year, as the structures of their families change and their legal needs evolve. We are here when family members die and loved ones in the middle of emotional crisis need guidance with probate and trust administration. Where it can’t be avoided, we are here to provide clear sighted representation in litigation to contest the validity of a will or the actions of a personal representative or trustee. We help our clients establish and run their businesses, develop special needs trusts for their disabled children, and work through the complicated issues that come with aging with an array of tools, including Medicaid planning, powers of attorney, and guardianships and conservatorships.
In the midst of the hard work we do, hour by hour and day to day, we find time to discuss and laugh and listen to each other. We find time to take on cases for clients in crisis, who do not have the resources to pay for legal assistance. We enhance each other’s strong qualities and balance each other’s prickly ones. Our office doors are rarely closed and when complex issues arise in a case we unite to find a solution.
As I prepare to change my involvement with the firm, from full-time lawyer to an of-counsel role, I know that what I’ll miss most is the staff’s cheerful and generous faces, looking up from their desks when I interrupt them with my questions. That, and of course the weekly Thursday morning partner meetings, where we four founding lawyers have agonized and laughed and found ways to resolve even the most difficult problems without alienating one another or breaking apart.
For all of these reasons I know Pregenzer, Baysinger, Wideman & Sale, P.C. will continue to be an innovative force in New Mexico’s legal community. As I sit at the kitchen table this morning, listening to the wind and drinking my second cup of coffee, I picture each of the fifteen faces of this firm, young, middle-aged and old, kind, merry, and thoughtful, so full of life and promise. I know myself very lucky to be a part of this whole that each of us has created together, and I am filled with gratitude.