These 27 Fundamentals are the foundation for our unique culture.
1. Deliver outstanding legal advice.
Find the smartest and most efficient way for clients to achieve their goals, while maintaining a healthy respect for their budget and ability to pay.
2. Treat clients’ money as if it were your own.
Think about the cost of the representation. Avoid expenses that don’t have a demonstrable benefit to the client.
3. Clarify and manage expectations.
Establish mutually agreeable expectations as to the time, expense, and goals of every engagement or assignment. Let people know what to expect and when. Ensure clarity by reviewing goals, action items, responsibilities, and due dates to ensure expectations are understood.
4. Walk in your clients’ shoes.
See the world from their perspective. Empathize by understanding their fears and concerns and showing you care. Ask, “If I were in their shoes, what would I want to know and how would I want to be treated?”
5. Listen fully.
Listening is more than simply not speaking. Give others your undivided attention. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Listen with focus. Most importantly, listen to understand.
6. Be passionate about the client experience.
Make each client interaction memorable for its warmth, thoughtfulness, and helpfulness. Create wow experiences. Be obsessive about response time and keeping clients informed.
7. Honor your commitments.
Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, tell others early and agree on a new commitment.
8. Act with integrity.
Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision that you make. Own up to your own mistakes and apologize. If you make a mistake, clean it up.
9. Leave your ego at the door.
At all times, stay focused on serving the needs of our client and our firm, rather than on serving your ego. Remember – it’s about the client and our firm, not you!
10. Communicate to be understood.
Know your audience. Use the language of your audience to write and speak clearly and concisely in a way that can be easily understood.
11. Demonstrate respect.
Treat others with courtesy and dignity. Show respect by listening fully and actively, paying attention to your words and attitude. Give your undivided attention without interruptions.
12. Make a difference.
Play an active role in supporting our community and those less fortunate by contributing time, money, and expertise to enrich the lives of others and improve our community. We can and do make a difference.
13. Embrace diversity.
Celebrate our differences. Be aware of and address implicit bias. Be open to learning from others, regardless of their background or role. Be mindful that we make better decisions when we consider multiple perspectives. Hire, mentor, compensate, and promote based on merit.
14. Work smart.
Be organized and plan work for maximum efficiency. Have the tools necessary before starting your work. Be thoughtful about your schedule and have a game plan for calls, tasks, and the workday. Establish priorities and work on them first.
15. Treasure, protect, and promote our reputation.
We are all caretakers of our firm’s image and reputation at all times and in all situations. Consider how your actions affect our collective reputation and act in a way that brings honor to our firm. Remember, you are always an ambassador for our firm.
16. Don’t be a jerk - always take the high road.
Maintain professionalism at all times. Keep emotions under control. Advocating forcefully for the interests of our clients does not require bullying, condescension, foul language, or temper tantrums. This applies to co-workers, opposing counsel, and vendors. Always be a mensch.
17. Be relentless about continuous improvement.
Be a lifetime learner and continually invest in your own education, both formally and informally. Be curious and never stop improving your legal, technical, and personal skills. Embrace change. Look for a better way.
18. Speak constructively.
Address issues in a candid, direct, kind and respectful manner with those involved or affected. Be courageous enough to say what you believe should be said. Ask questions, share ideas, raise issues, and be open to responses. Make constructive suggestions in a way that helps make progress. When possible, speak in person rather than hiding behind email or voicemail.
19. Lead by example.
The best way to influence others and maintain our culture is by one’s own examples. Walk the talk. Don’t ask others to do what you won’t or can’t. Take responsibility to consistently demonstrate the JW Way.
20. Be a mentor.
Help others. Take responsibility to coach, help, guide, teach, and mentor others. Contributing to the success of others enhances your success and well-being, as well as our firm.
21. Invest in relationships.
Get to know clients, co-workers, and peers on a personal level. Understand others and what is important to them. Strong relationships are beneficial to all parties.
22. Practice blameless problem solving.
Blame has no place in our firm. Fix errors by focusing on solutions, not assessing blame. Learn from mistakes and use that knowledge to improve our processes. Mistakes are a critical component of learning.
23. Always remember that we are in business to serve our clients profitably.
The happier our clients are the more likely we are to get paid. Pay attention to billings and to receivables. There is no need to apologize for making money. The goal of every engagement is happy clients AND paid bills.
24. Maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Stay happier, healthier, and more productive by balancing your time between billable hours, marketing, community activities, family, friends, emotional/spiritual well-being, and physical fitness. The healthier you are, the more you will thrive personally and professionally.
25. Candidly discuss, then align.
Healthy, respectful discussion creates better solutions. Discuss concepts without personal attacks. Check your ego and search for the best solution rather than proving you are right. Once a decision is made, be fully aligned and completely supportive of it.
26. Show heartfelt appreciation.
Recognize positive contributions of others. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation. Give sincere, authentic praise.
27. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Maintain a healthy perspective on your work and professional life. There are more important things going on in the world than your daily challenges. And remember to have fun. Fun renews our spirit, keeps us energized, and helps us think more clearly.