Legal firm with big clients doesn’t forget small touches
At Perkins Coie Brown & Bain, the needs of such political clients as Barack Obama and Janet Napolitano are as important as those of a part-time assistant who sets up the conference room, does some filing and answers the phone.
Thirty-three years ago, Barb Niebel was that office assistant. Today, she’s the human resources coordinator after spending time as the firm’s librarian and a litigation assistant on large cases.
“The firm’s philosophy has always been to treat its employees like family, which accounts for the longevity of so many,” Niebel says. Apparently that way of doing business made Phoenix-based firm Brown & Bain (a pioneer in media law, founded in 1960) a good match for the international Perkins Coie, which has been named the past six years by Fortune magazine as one of the 100 best companies to work for. The firms joined in July 2004.
The firm’s attorneys speak in terms of practicing good manners in the same breath as giving 100 percent in the practice of law. Bridget Minder says she commits to producing “the very best work I’m capable of on each project.” The young associate in the firm’s litigation practice adds that she strives “to be professional, well-mannered, and honest in all situations, no matter how contentious a particular case may be.”
It comes down to what office managing partner Joel Nomkin says is a firm personality that “fosters the sort of teamwork and collaboration that enables all of us – from the most junior staff to the most senior lawyers – to provide outstanding client service.”
The firm’s clients include Microchip Technology, the Navajo Nation, Taser International, Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Deloitte and Honeywell International, craigslist, Inc., Vitesse Semiconductor and Google, Inc.
Internationally, Perkins Coie has about 650 lawyers in 14 offices throughout the U.S. and China; 70 are with the Brown & Bain faction.