In today’s rapidly changing legal profession, Joseph Tierney keeps one principle in mind.
“The most important thing for a viable, long-term practice for any lawyer is maintaining good relationships with their clients,” said Tierney.
The Davis & Kuelthau president and shareholder has been in the field for more than 20 years, working primarily in tax and real-estate mergers and acquisitions.
“We make a special effort to attempt to understand the business of our customers and attempt to make a legal frame of reference to reflect the changes that are coming in their business,” he said.
“We’re trying to build this firm around the idea that we’re the law in your communities”.
“His client-centered approach is second to none,” said Mike Van Someren, an associate attorney at Davis & Kuelthau. “He takes a very practical view of the law and interprets it and uses it to accomplish the clients’ goals. If it can’t be done, he searches for options rather than roadblocks.”
Van Someren said Tierney shows the same personal attentiveness toward colleagues.
“He has this energy and openness and a desire to truly know how people are doing,” Van Someren said, explaining Tierney’s tendency to walk through the firm’s two floors just to check in with other lawyers and staff workers.
And it’s “not just how work’s going, but how people are doing on a personal level,” Van Someren said.
Known for his progressive thinking and innovative mind, the trailblazer has helped spearhead a shift within the company.
“It’s a collaborative culture, we’re trying to build client service teams … so clients are receiving proper service for a proper value. We work hand-in-hand with clients to keep them aware of what our thinking is,” Tierney said. “It’s a combination of internal sharing of responsibility and resources, and external knowledge and goals.”
Tierney also takes these opportunities to lead by example and teach young lawyers and associates using one-on-one discussions. To these ends, he brings associates into client meetings sooner, works with them to develop their goals and marketing strategies and moves them into project leadership roles as soon as possible.
“From a young attorney’s standpoint, he’s trusting and when he feels you’re ready, he’s willing to delegate and give responsibility, which is a great way to grow,” Van Someren said.
And Tierney’s guiding idea is simple: “We’re side by side with you, we’re going to help you achieve your goals and we’re right down the street from you,” he said.