Robert Hartigan, Kate Masson, and Courtney Carleo talk about why they enjoy working at the law firm of Mazow McCullough, including the family atmosphere and the focus on clients.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Robert Hartigan, junior partner, Kate Masson, associate attorney and Courtney Carleo, paralegal at the law office of Mazow McCullough. And today we’re talking about why working at Mazow McCullough is awesome. Welcome, everybody.
All: Thank you.
Why Mazow McCullough Has a Great Work Environment
John: So, when did you first join the Mazow McCullough team, Robert?
Robert Hartigan: February of 2018.
John: Okay. And what is it that you feel makes working at Mazow McCullough such a great experience for you?
Robert: So, since I’ve been here for so long, like five years, it’s really like a family. I see these people every day and it’s really a great environment. We all help each other out and everybody’s always encouraging as far as trying to improve and be better. It’s definitely the best work environment I’ve ever had.
John: Great. Courtney, you’ve been here for quite a while. When did you join the firm?
Courtney: It seems like I’ve been here forever, but I’ve actually only been here about a month longer than Attorney Hartigan.
Courtney: I started in January 2018. I started as the administrative assistant and slowly learned casework and became a paralegal and just fell in love with doing that side of the paralegal work in the law firm.
John: Okay. And then Kate, I think you’re the newest member of the firm. When did you join?
Kate Masson: I guess it’s seven months now I’ve been here, which went by really quick, those first seven months. But yeah, I think I started in April of this year.
John: Okay. Working at Mazow McCullough, what has the experience been like? Why is it great for you?
Kate: Yeah, so initially when I saw the job posting for this position, one of the things they mentioned was this opportunity for mentorship. And as a new attorney, I think that’s huge, especially if you want to have longevity in your career. Especially in the interviews with everyone on the team, you could tell that there’s a good bond. And I think that also plays a part where you don’t want to be in an environment where you’re not supported. I think this team is just incredibly supportive of each other and it shows with how they handle the work.
John: Right. Now, did you work for another firm at all before this or is this the first firm that you worked for?
Kate: When I was a paralegal, I did personal injury. And then I was in insurance subrogation for a while, so on the other side of things. Making the switch to this office was probably one of the best decisions I made.
The Firm’s Attitude Toward Clients
John: Great. Nice. I’ll just kind of throw this out to everybody and whoever wants to answer it is great. Do your clients and the firm’s attitude toward your clients really help to make this a great work environment?
Courtney: Sure, so I can answer a little bit about that, just talking a little bit about our mission statement, in which the first two sentences are, “Our mission is to deliver compassionate and unwavering representation. We accomplish this by treating our clients like family.” When clients walk through the door, we all treat them as if it’s our brother, our sister, our mom, our grandmother, children.
That’s something across the board. Every single team member who works here, we care about our clients. I’ve been invited to clients’ lobster parties or concerts. We build these relationships far after their case is closed here, and I think every single person in the office has that relationship with their clients.
John: Right. Robert, what do you think? Is that generally the way that you approach your clients? And what kind of experiences have you had in terms of working with your clients?
Robert: Yeah, so we do a lot of catastrophic injury, wrongful death cases, and you’re dealing with people who’ve suffered a tremendous loss in their lives. It’s probably the most difficult situation they’ve ever dealt with, so you really have to handle them with care. That’s a big responsibility for us and we take that very seriously. That’s why we do treat them like family, because that’s something we’re passionate about, again, helping these people during a very difficult time. And I think we do an excellent job with that.
John: Kate, do you have anything to add to that?
Kate: The catastrophic injury ones, I think too, especially because if it’s a long case, you get very dedicated to it. But I think a lot of people don’t realize even a small accident is altering even if for a little bit of time. When they’re in that moment of having to deal with the case and they realize just the process of it and how much [work] it can be to deal with the insurance company, you see the relief that they have, having someone else helping them through this. And I think that’s incredibly motivational.
John: Right. I would imagine that it would be easy for you, given that you probably work with multiple clients at once, maybe many of them, it might be easy to fall back on that the client is just another number or something like that. But to that family or to that person, you’re a very, very important part of their life at that moment. Do you feel that as you work with them?
Kate: Oh yeah, and I hear it. When I hear Courtney and the other paralegals just talking with the clients on the phone, it’s not “robot”, it’s very, very personal. “How’s your family? How was your weekend? What did you do?” From what I’ve seen, being here so far, is it helps build their trust in us, which gives you the confidence and also the motivation to make sure you’re doing your best for them.
Community and Charitable Work
John: Right. You guys do a lot of work in the community as well and a lot of charitable work. Courtney, do you want to talk a little bit about that?
Courtney: Yeah, absolutely. So, a big part of my outside life from Mazow McCullough is doing a lot of working with other people. I sit on the board of a nonprofit and I recently co-founded a nonprofit with a couple of my friends. And so, to work somewhere where that’s just as important, to do things for the community, was very important to me.
Some of the community outreach that we do as an office, we’ve started going to a Lifebridge shelter, which is a shelter around the corner. We go in once a month and we cook the lunch for the people that live there. And that’s been pretty eye-opening in seeing the woman who works there, all she does for these people in putting together donated food for the homeless community. She’s a really great chef and she takes a little bit and makes a big bit.
Some of the other things that I know Attorney Mazow and McCullough have done are passing out helmets and bicycles throughout the community for kids because safety is so important to us. Just across the board, we’re always looking into different ways to support the community, especially in Salem and the North Shore.
John: Right. Robert, have you been involved with some of those community outreach projects as well?
Robert: Yeah, so every year during October we have a program where we go outside during the parade and hand out these flashers to the children. So that’s really neat because we actually, face-to-face, get to meet members of the community. We’re always looking to do more, as Courtney mentioned. Yeah, it’s a big part of it, to give back.
John: Right. Kate, have you been involved with some of the outreach as well?
Kate: A little bit. One of the things I thought was pretty cool is that if something just randomly pops up as an opportunity, the office is very quick to jump in and help out. Even if it’s just filling some backpacks with school supplies — they’re due that day, it gets done. And that’s just, I think, how everyone here functions, is if there’s something we can do, we try to do it.
John: So, you’re always looking for some need that comes up in the community, and you want to put yourself into that?
Kate: Yeah, absolutely, right.
John: What are some other reasons why it’s really awesome to work at Mazow McCullough? Do you do things together as a team, little team-building things or things like that to…you know, you said that you’re like a family, not just to your clients but to each other. How do you grow that family and share that bond with each other?
Courtney: Sure. We try to do different activities outside of the office. We go to Attorney McCullough’s house throughout the summer. We have a nice pool party on Friday. With the phones on in case clients call, we are answering the phones. We usually hold Christmas parties for the staff. We’ve gone on trips together. The first year I was working here, one of the other paralegals was getting married in Thailand. She invited us all and we decided to go. And it was a really amazing bonding experience, so much so that I think it made us want to continue that every year.
Again, if we feel like each other are family, it’s a lot easier to treat other people like family when clients come in. If I’m not here and my client calls, I know they’re going to be treated the same way if Kate answers the phone, or Stephanie, or another paralegal. And doing stuff outside of work really helps that, I think. It builds our trust in each other.
John: Right. Did you feel that way, Kate, when you first started? Did you feel that bonding?
Kate: Yeah, when I came in to interview, I interviewed with Attorney McCullough. And then just all the paralegals came in and sat down. I think I was asking you guys questions. I don’t even think you guys asked me questions. And we just kind of chatted for a half hour. You’ll catch times where we’re all kind of just chatting about anything random, TV shows. But it’s just, I think, more building that bond together so you’re comfortable. And I think that helps because if you’re comfortable with your teammates, you’re not afraid to go ask for help on something or get assistance. It just helps, I think, all around to make a better team, for sure.
John: Right. And it’s not a competition between you and the other attorneys or anything like that. You all work together.
Kate: No, no. Robert has been…as a new attorney, I’m sure I bug him sometimes with all my questions.
Kate: But I think it’s just when you have that resource there, you’re like, “All right, I’m going to utilize this or not.” I’ve been trying to utilize it a lot.
John: Right. All right, well that’s really great to talk about this. And I’m glad that working at Mazow McCullough is such a great experience for all of you. Kate, Courtney, and Robert, thanks again for speaking with me today.
Kate: Thank you.
Courtney: Thank you.
Robert: Thank you.
John: And for more information, you can visit the website at helpinginjured.com or call 978-744-8000.