People often ask me, Craig, what do you like about being a lawyer? What makes you tick? What gets you out of bed and in the office? Well, the answer is coffee! Seriously, it’s interesting that most people think that the legal business is a solo enterprise. Even for those who work in a firm, some firms I think this is true. At Lanak and Hanna, it’s just not. And this answers the second question I often get from the general public and from existing clients, what makes Lanak and Hanna special?
The Culture at Lanak & Hanna
I think the secret to our success is the culture that underlies everything we do. That being a sense of camaraderie, and collegiality, which really, at its root means that we all like each other.
And we see ourselves as a team in everything we do. Business and otherwise. I can tell you that I look forward to coming into the office truly, every day. And being able to practice with and lead such a fantastic group of legal professionals. That’s key for me. And I think we all feel the same way about each other. Having been at this for my entire legal career. All Lanak and Hanna for almost 30 years now. Right out of law school, seems like just yesterday. I’ve seen this culture as the core of who we are from the beginning. And I don’t think there’s been a lot of change. Although there’s been a lot of growth in many ways over the years. A few questions about what I am unabashedly bragging about here, we need to answer. One. How does this internal culture that I’ve talked about translate to success for our clients? And the other question is how we maintain it for the 30 years I’ve been with the firm plus a few before that. How do we continue to maintain this mutually beneficial environment?
How Does Our Culture Benefit the Client?
Okay, first is the client benefit. The answer is that this internal environment, this atmosphere, is not limited to our general interactions. It can’t help but exude into everything we do for and with our clients. So our clients tell us, they tell me and tell everybody else, that they don’t have to worry about a lack of communication, whether from our end or the client end, whoever initiates it.
Another thing the clients often express appreciation for is that we don’t nickel and dime them. Our billing practices are not like that. We really don’t focus so much on getting the time billed to the client, it’s how we focus on the value to the client. What are we really doing that is going to be of value, not how much can we charge for it? And the way we do that, the way I do it when I’m reviewing billing and doing billing, is I put myself in the shoes of a client. How is this going to be perceived? Are they going to see value for what they’re being charged? And I always inform clients at the outset that they should really look at us like vendors. That’s why we are really here. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to provide input at any time on what is most important. We endeavor to make it clear to all our clients that we do not need to bill them for every conversation. So they should not hesitate to reach out to us.
So the short answer here as to how our culture benefits the client is that we view the client like we do each other, part of the team, the most important part of the team.
How Do We Maintain Our Culture?
Question number two is how do we maintain this culture? How do we ensure that our employees fit into and contribute to it? It’s twofold. First, our hiring practices. We find people that have had some life, some work and some business experience is key to being able to interact and serve our clients who for the most part are businesses. So we look for a good mix of all these traits. We have found the best lawyers are complete people. We want passion, and we want compassion. We want to recruit lawyers who can grow with us, and help us grow.
The Growth of Lanak & Hanna
The second key to our ongoing success at this is how we grow and how we have grown. When I started with the firm, our core practice was, and still is, construction industry litigation. But over the years, we’ve been able to blend into this mix and expand it such that we are now really a full-service law firm.
Some of the specializations we now have are employment law, intellectual property, trademark, patent, environmental, corporate formation, corporate maintenance, and as a growing part of our craft that is really important to a lot of our clients is an outside General Counsel.
I don’t want to conclude without one thing here acknowledging our founder, Frank Lanak, who is 80 years old, and how he’s decided to ease his way out.
Employees are building on what they started growing the firm practice, areas wise, as I mentioned before, from the limited scope we had before and also continuing to expand our reach geographically, in states from Texas to Hawaii and Washington to Arizona and Nevada.
Thank you and I hope I’ve been successful in painting a picture of who we are and how well we benefit our clients.