Not to sit and listen.
Not to carry someone’s bags.
Not to take notes.
Not other lawyers at the firm.
Not bag carriers.
And learn from our losses.
Each other. All the time. No exceptions.
Our emphasis is on quality, not quantity. We do not believe in overworking a matter to bill hours – we focus on resolution. This means many of our associates get to handle depositions, client meetings, alternative dispute resolution and trial work and our clients receive the benefit of a deeply knowledgeable team and efficient defense.
Companies hire us to do their most important and challenging cases. As a result, we do some of the most interesting work around.
We are a meritocracy. You are not judged by anything other than the quality of your work and content of your character.
If you demonstrate you are capable of doing the work that a fifth-year lawyer would do at another firm your first year, you will do it. Our goal is to provide every associate the opportunity to master the skills needed to excel in the courtroom and the board room. Some of the best trial lawyers in the country will show you how to become a master of the courtroom.
We believe Smith Freed Eberhard is a great place to work because we take care of each other. We have great benefits and plenty of perks to go along with it. We provide the flexibility to establish a good work-life balance. We have established a company culture that allows us to succeed and develop each other along the way.
This is a tough question because there will always be aspects of a job that aren’t ideal (you know, like the having-to-work part). I suppose I’d like to never have to worry about budgets. I wish I had the freedom to meet every need without cost in mind.
We think our benefits package is pretty on-point. We have 100% paid medical/dental/vision packages that are at no cost for our employees, amongst many other programs that help with bar dues, mass transit, 401k contributions, voluntary insurances (life, short-term and long-term disability). Not to mention our mentorship programs, trial advocacy programs, retreats, massages, happy hours, celebratory firm events. The list goes on.
We pretty much find any excuse to do fun things throughout the year. From Thanksgiving Potlucks, to celebrating passing the bar to Fun February – where there’s an event hosted by different departments every day during the month of February! That’s right. Every day. From bake offs to movie and popcorn days, from guessing games to File Clerk Fiestas, we like to believe we know how to have fun around here. And an unforeseen perk of all of this – we tend to be able to break people out of their shells with all the fun shenanigans, which just makes us closer to each other, so we really operate like one big team.
How efficient are you? There are a few different paths you can take. If you come into work and spend several hours talking to Karen about your new basket-weaving class, you may have to stay a little late. However, if you get your work done, meet deadlines, and have a good attitude, you can work as little or as much as you want. There are billable requirements, but for the most part people tend to be in office for the core hours of 10-4, unless you’re working from home or are out of the office attending trial or working elsewhere. But truly, we’re pretty flexible here and try to meet our employee’s needs, just as they try to meet ours.
You may get constant emails regarding free food in the kitchen. In all seriousness, though, people who refuse to ask questions don’t do well here. We have an open door policy for a reason. We are an open book and we pride ourselves on our training programs, be it our Black Belt program, our Lunch & Learns for CLE Credit, Trial Talks, SFE Academy, or any other platform we can find to continue the personal and professional growth of our employees and attorneys. We want you to ask questions so that we both know that the work is being done correctly – and communication is truly your key to success at SFE
No one is of lesser value based on their job description at SFE. We all work together to be a great firm not only great attorneys, we know that no one has ever accomplished anything great by themselves. We’re constantly making decisions as a firm—giving everyone a voice (you’ll see the firm-wide survey to back it up!). We pride ourselves on being inclusive, open, and honest.