Top Workplaces: Law firm is No. 1 small workplace - Albuquerque Journal

Top Workplaces: Law firm is No. 1 small workplace

Bert Parnall and the Parnall staff stand in front of Parnall Law Firm at 2025 San Pedro NE in Albuquerque in 2019. (Courtesy of Parnall Law)

Parnall Law’s staff members value their workplace relationships and the sense that they’re helping those who need them.

The personal injury law firm represents victims of accidents and violence seeking compensation for their losses. This is the second year Parnall Law has participated in Top Workplaces and its first year as the No. 1 small company.

“I feel motivated to work to my full potential by a collaborative team atmosphere and fair compensation,” one staff member wrote.

“I enjoy helping everyday people who are injured,” another employee wrote. “This field does not require me to compromise my personal values. I feel fulfilled and accomplished when I am able to help a client. At the end of the day I feel like I’ve done good things and made a small positive difference in the world. This is the first job I’ve had in years that can consume my full attention and I love that. I love being wholly focused on an intellectual task. That’s rare for me both in my personal and professional life.”

Bert Parnall

Owner Bert Parnall told the Journal that adjusting to the pandemic meant working to fully outfit employees to work from home, going out of the way to help staff maintain those personal connections, and adjusting to a remote judicial system.

How did your organization respond and adapt to the pandemic?

“Like everyone (we responded) with surprise and shock and some degree of discomfort, but we were in the fortunate position of having already made all of our files digital. We had pretty good technology. We weren’t in the habit of doing remote work so that was new, but we had good connectivity and good internet so we just sent everybody home. I think that we did it somewhat proactively. I remember some employees saying that they were glad that we were listening to the science and taking steps to proactively make sure people were safe. So we sent people home, we got them set up with, not just whatever they needed to connect but what we wanted them to connect with, meaning … I heard some people were doing it by laptop and I thought, ‘Well, they have two monitors at their desk, we’re going to make sure everyone has as much speed and monitor visuals as they would at work, so they can work as productively at home as at work.’ … We were also in the fortunate position of having organized our team into separate departments and so we had these team leads or department leads that would meet. We established a meeting rhythm structure where they would check in as a team, department, every day in the morning and then also in the afternoon so people didn’t stay isolated and alone all day and it kept communication going pretty well. … The one in the afternoon we actually wanted to make (it) about personal stuff and not business, so that they could interact with each other like they probably would here during lunch.”

What is the biggest challenge you faced during the pandemic?

“You know it was probably … people feeling disconnected and isolated, and clients too … (and) trying to take proactive measures to reach out instead of just respond. … In terms of business, traffic was so light that, for a while, we had fewer cases coming in, but we had enough work to keep going, and I also advertised to people who had injuries from before COVID, so people were caught up on making sure they were represented. And figuring out the new way of working as well. The courts closed so we had all of our depositions and mediations and meetings and conferences were all remote so we had to get used to that.”

What makes your organization a good place to work?

“Clear expectations and positive communication, good meeting rhythms and well people like to be here. They like to be here, they like to work with each other, and we are all really fulfilled in the service and work and the results we get for our clients.”

What is important for people to know about your law firm?

“We’re local, all our attorneys and 90% of our team are here. …We’re here because we want to communicate clearly and understand how our clients were hurt and how we can do the best job at representing them.”

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