1. We exist to serve clients.  Without satisfied clients, we cease to exist.  Their needs and our professional obligations govern everything we do.

  2. We are a profession first and a business second.  If we perform our professional duties in accordance with the highest ethical standards, our business will thrive.  However, in order to satisfy our professional obligations and serve our clients, we must manage our business efficiently and effectively.

  3. We are in the people business not the law business.  Behind every file is a human being who has entrusted us with something that is very important.  This is the case even if the client is a large organization. 

  4. We can best serve our clients as a team and not as individuals.  Our team consists of our lawyers, our staff and our critical suppliers.  We must all work seamlessly together.

  5. The best teams not only have the best players, they have the best facilities and the best equipment.  Our working environment must be conducive to the well being of the team and the provision of service to clients.

  6. Appearances matter.  Our personnel, our office, and our work product must present an impression of understated competence and professionalism.

  7. We are general practitioners.  Therefore our focus is on our clients rather than the law.  Our clients’ legal needs will vary and we must constantly retrain ourselves to meet these needs.  Neither we, nor our clients, cannot afford the luxury of narrow specialization.  We recognize that there are specialized legal services that we may not be able to provide to our clients.  We will refer a client to a specialist when necessary.

  8. We are sensitive to the cost of legal services.  Our services must always represent good value to the client.  Ultimately, legal services are valued by the results achieved not by the time expended.  Time is a factor in calculating cost to the firm.  It is not a factor in assessing value to the client.

  9. We will not demean ourselves or the value of our work by unnecessarily discounting our fees.  Our fees reflect our expertise, our training, the risk we assume and the cost we incur.  There will be some cases where our fees will be reduced or even eliminated if the work involves significant legal principles or extreme hardship for the client.

  10. We must be sensitive to the market we serve and the clients who hire us.  We serve a relatively small market and clients of varied means.  We must maintain small town values, but provide big city competence for fees commensurate with what the market will bear.

  11. We recognize that there is a perception amongst some people that because we practice in a small community, we are not as capable as those who practice in big cities.  To overcome this perception, we must be better lawyers and provide better service than our big city counterparts. 

  12. While we are a professional firm operating on sound business principles, we recognize that each member of our team has important aspects to their lives outside the office.  Without intruding on privacy we will accommodate family needs, encourage participation in the community and acknowledge the importance of personal health and fitness.  A fulfilled lifestyle outside the office will better enable us to serve our clients from the office.

  13. Because we are members of a profession and not just a business, there is a public interest component to what we do.  We are held to a higher standard than the businesses we serve.  Anyone can start a business, only lawyers can practice law.  We must never abuse the privilege of serving the public in a discipline that is fundamental to the welfare of our society.

  14. The essence of providing legal advice is exercising sound judgment.  The exercise of judgment on difficult legal issues rarely involves obvious conclusions.  We must always accommodate differing opinions.  Frequently there are no correct answers or definitive solutions to legal problems, only best alternatives.

  15. We will always protect client privacy and confidential information.  The privilege of absolute confidentiality distinguishes the work of lawyers from all other professions.

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