A Blank Slate and a Vision Brought to Life
It seems like yesterday, but on January 1, 2019, we opened our doors as Calderone McKay LLC, just outside our hometown of Philadelphia, where we spent our time building our careers. We had a blank slate and a vision in our heads of a unique type of law firm. A law firm where we could enfold all of the things we loved: our experiences in private practice, allowing our attorneys to focus on serving their clients, practicing law, enjoying camaraderie and team work, and feeling like involved professionals that go home at night with a sense of accomplishment as owners and participants. We wanted life outside the firm to matter, and to provide flexibility in our work/life balance by accommodating remote work and part-time membership.
We also wanted to leave out all of those things in private practice we experienced along the way that detracted from enjoyment of the practice of law or that were detrimental to attorney well-being: bureaucracy, rigidity, shortsightedness, ridiculous policies in which the tail clearly wags the dog, dishonesty, overt or inherent bias, harassment, racism, sexism, microaggressions, cliques. Most importantly we wanted to leave out a lack of true merit-based compensation for diverse lawyers and a failure to devote management time to achieving fundamental fairness.
We set out to write on our blank slate and use all the good associated with the job we love, while working to erase the negatives – a challenge we have accepted and will continue to commit ourselves as long as we are in business. Change is difficult and not automatic; it happens in fits and starts. However, in our experience, change is necessary and achievable so long as we are open to it, able to accept our own humanity and believe that we can always do better.
We reached the realization that even law firm business models that purport to be fair and equitable on their face, when left in biased hands can be manipulated to lack clarity and fairness. Thus, we will always review and examine our own model as we move forward.
A Look Ahead and a Commitment to our Vision
This past year has been fun, challenging, interesting and hard work, but we have learned a lot and will continue to try things and grow from our experiences as we work to create our own, unique place to practice law, and evaluate new opportunities. We will continue to approach things openly and fairly, face our difficulties, and enjoy our successes, while we will work toward a goal of creating the law firm where we always wanted to work.
We will continue to live our values of client service, integrity, truth and teamwork.
It’s amazing to look back at how we went from a few folding tables to a fully functioning and furnished law firm. We started as entrepreneurs with a dream in our heads to a hard-working law firm that is a laboratory for new ideas, new approaches and growth. It was not easy, but we have not missed a beat, and are all very proud of what we have accomplished so far.
We wish to extend a special heartfelt thanks and express our gratitude to all of our clients, employees, family and friends who believed in us and continue to work with us and who have contributed so much to our success. Happy Anniversary, Calderone McKay LLC, and best wishes for continued collaboration, success, health and happiness.