Beyond the Bio

A Day of Reflection: RK Honors Founders

A Day of Reflection: RK Honors Founders

Founders Day 2012

RumbergerKirk celebrated its second annual Founders Day in October. The event, which links attorneys and staff from all offices through video uplinks, was established to celebrate the rich culture instilled by the firm’s founding partners, while encouraging younger attorneys and newer staff members to keep the culture alive for future generations. While much of the time was spent remembering the past, there was a focus on identifying the unique qualities of the Firm’s culture and how it bonds the people who make Rumberger the great firm that it is.

Scott Sarason, the Administrative Partner in the Miami office, shared memories sparked by the celebration, “At Thom Rumberger’s memorial service last year, I was struck by how many people were talking about the remarkable culture that he and his partners had instilled in the firm. For me, the firm’s culture has a very personal meaning as I have been with Rumberger for 25 years now.”

Remembering what it was like to go to trial with the firm’s founding partners, Tampa office Administrative Partner, Rob Blank, recalls how much he learned about being a trial lawyer and the importance of passing that knowledge on to the next generation. “We have an obligation to maintain the firm’s culture – to remember the past and keep the vision of the future alive,” says Blank.

Throughout the day’s remarks, people acknowledged the basic values that have led to the firm’s success over the years:

  •  A commitment to excellence;
  • A commitment to aggressive trial preparation; and
  • A commitment to zealous representation of clients.

However, the one thing that makes the firm stand out, is its people and the depth of care they have for each other – not just the lawyers, but also the paralegals, secretaries, staff and management. Leonard Dietzen, Administrative Partner  in the firm’s Tallahassee office, advises that a culture resides within its people, “We strive to be great trial lawyers, but we do so with a special sense of friendship and collegiality.”

The firm’s culture transcends the location of its offices, despite distinct differences in each community. Many companies have a hard time holding onto their cultures as they grow. Maintaining a law firm’s culture can be especially difficult as lateral hires are brought in and new attorneys are more focused on the primary reason they joined the new firm – earning more money or having more clients. At Rumberger, the firm’s culture focuses on its people, and the support they provide for each other and their enduring friendships.  “Our firm is a business, and of course financial success is a priority,” advises Frank Sheppard, RK’s Managing Partner.  “But you cannot forget that a good working environment is a contributing factor to achieving success, and our culture helps set us apart from other firms.”

“As the firm continues to grow with third and fourth generations, we make sure that we take the time to reflect, as a firm, on the importance of remembering our people and the history of RK,” adds Sheppard.  The firm will celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2013.  “I have received very positive feedback from attorneys and staff members after the Founders Day luncheon,” he continues, “that’s when you know these types of things make an impact.”