WKPZ Celebrates 40 Years: Thoughts on our success

Posted on February 29, 2016 in Consulting

As WKPZ celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, Margo, Amanda, and I reflect on our five years with the firm and what makes WKPZ so special.

 Letting People Explore their Talents

By Margo Melendez Karr

For me, WKPZ’s continued growth and success lies in its ability to find and build on the best personal strengths of its talent.

I left the workforce for a few years to raise kids a/k/a become a full time taxi driver, maid, cook, nurse, mediator, therapist, shopper and cheerleader. It is an under-rated, under-paid job I highly recommend. When I decided to re-enter the workforce part-time I knew I would not be able to find what I really wanted: a part-time marketing position. As I sifted through various sites, I found an overall office assistant position with varied duties at Levine & Associates. I now know that Mark received more than 400 resumes and interviewed 5 people. (He enjoys telling the story of finding my resume.) A few days later, Mark asked if I would take the OMNI Profile Job Candidate Personality Test. He volunteered to take it as well so that we could confirm our personalities would complement each other. My profile suggested that I need daily challenges and diversity of duties to remain excited about a job. In my mind, this meant Levine & Associates would be a temporary job, and Mark would admit today that he also knew he would be hard pressed to keep me interested.

Our move from Levine & Associates to WKPZ changed everything.  I took on new duties helping with Firm newsletters and marketing activities, and not long after, the shareholders asked me to assume the role as Marketing Director. Albeit a hybrid position, since I still assist lawyers in their cases, I now have an additional role that allows me to utilize my skills. My days fly by and are exciting, coexisting between the roles I hold and I truly believe it is the keen skills of the management team to allow me to explore and pursue my talents.

Diversity in the Workplace 


By Amanda Gutierrez

Diversity is a fun “hot topic” for business advisors to theorize about, but for me it is a benefit just as important as a 401k plan or health insurance.  As a young Hispanic woman, it was paramount in my job prospects.  We would occasionally joke that Mark was the minority Caucasian at Levine & Associates and the only male attorney. Our move to WKPZ allowed us (and me in particular) to work with more lawyers and many female lawyers (of various racial groups) who have expertise in a variety of different areas of the law.  In fact, when I joined the firm most of the associates were women. The female shareholders serve as fantastic role models. Likewise, I have been able to make my own unique contribution to our collective voice.  WKPZ works for me because we have a great mix of people, a benefit I never take for granted.

Governance by Consensus

By Mark J. Levine

I spent many months thinking about closing down Levine & Associates and joining WKPZ. I had two primary concerns. First, I wanted to make sure my people would have the opportunity to succeed. WKPZ exceeded my expectations as you can see above. Second, I did not know if I would be a good teammate after so many years as my own boss.   I discovered quickly that we govern by consensus, far different than some other professional service firms that rule by ego-driven perceived self-importance. At my first shareholder meeting in April 2011, I overheard a shareholder whisper to the Office Manager, “Am I the Firm President this year?” The point, I would learn with time, is that every person’s opinion matters equally and that no one assumes more power than another no matter their title, tenure, or name on the door. That is a fantastic — but unfortunately unusual — dynamic at a law firm. We talk through an issue until we reach consensus, and if we don’t have one, we move on to something else and return to the topic when we are prepared to reach a conclusion. The solidarity of our team makes it so easy to focus on what matters: clients. What makes WKPZ special is that the lawyers set their ego aside and focus on a team effort to provide best quality legal services to clients.


I hope you enjoyed this newsletter and to see you on April 21.

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