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A Boss Is Only as Good
AS HIS WORST EMPLOYEE
When you run a business, office, practice, or firm, you’re only as good as your worst employee. That’s why I make it my mission to surround myself with A+ employees, and I can definitively say that I’ve succeeded in that mission. March 6 is Employee Appreciation Day, and my hardworking and dedicated staff are definitely worth appreciating. Because of their focus on the day-to-day operations of the firm, I can focus more on our overarching mission: to help our clients get the justice they deserve. When I started my law firm 20 years ago, I only had one employee, a secretary who handled the paperwork while I did all the heavy lifting. It was exhausting. Even though I wanted to get to a place where I could provide the best possible service for my clients, I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I was micromanaging everything and worrying more about deadlines and paperwork than I was about my clients’ cases. Something had to change. I needed help.
clients, and the burden those deadlines and paperwork put on me began to get lighter. I began to really recognize the value quality employees bring to a law firm. Working at a law firm is stressful, and it certainly isn’t for everyone. For all the quality people I’ve had the pleasure of hiring over the years, I’ve also had to let a lot of people go within their first 30 days at the firm. Just getting more people to work at my firm wasn’t enough — I had to find people who could grapple with the responsibility of helping people during some of the worst moments of their lives. Over time, I found that the best way to draw in top talent was to treat your employees well and reward them for their hard work. I am lenient when it comes to vacation time and I pay my staff well. Beyond just paying employees well and giving them benefits, I also respect my staff. I don’t look over their shoulder to make sure they’re getting their
work done; I trust they’ll get it done. I want to foster a working environment characterized by mutual trust. That’s how I’ve ensured only the best, most dedicated individuals have been hired. At this point, most of the people who work at the office have been with me for years. They’ve proven they can handle the stress and the responsibility of legal work better than anyone, and I’m incredibly thankful for all they do. Our law office has become a well- oiled ship, and I have the people I work with to thank for that.
“Our law office has become a well-oiled ship, and I have the people I work with to thank for that.”
– Daniel J. Miller
I started hiring more people to take care of anything keeping me from helping my
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