Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court gave us this definition of professionalism:
“To me, the essence of professionalism is a commitment to develop one’s skills to the fullest and to apply that responsibility to the problems at hand. Professionalism requires adherence to the highest ethical standards of conduct and a willingness to subordinate narrow self-interest in pursuit of the more fundamental goal of public service. Because of the tremendous power they wield in our system, lawyers must never forget that their duty to serve their clients fairly and skillfully takes priority over the personal accumulation of wealth. At the same time, lawyers must temper bold advocacy for their clients with a sense of responsibility to the larger legal system which strives, however imperfectly, to provide justice for all.”
Our philosophy is that all attorneys can and should be deeply interested in the operations of the firm. Due to this philosophy, Fredrikson is managed by a board, whose members have been determined through an election involving all shareholders. The firm also distributes financial information to all attorneys on a monthly basis. At Fredrikson, we believe the future of our firm is inexorably intertwined with each attorney and therefore, our attorneys should have the insight and knowledge of how the firm is performing and navigating in today’s market.
The firm is designed to be a platform that allows each attorney to develop an expertise and an individual practice. We support personal success in a culture of teamwork and encourage you to take your career in the direction you see the most gain. With an entrepreneurial foundation and colleagues to rely on, we want to help you achieve your career goals.
While many firms rely on just a few principal “rainmakers” for most of their work, the vast majority of shareholders at Fredrikson have practices that could be considered “independent,” that is, large enough that the lawyer is a net exporter of work. The fact that so many lawyers have thriving practices keeps the firm stable.
When a few shareholders are responsible for most of the firms’ work, those shareholders generally hold the power in the firm. At Fredrikson, the breadth of lawyers with practices strengthens the democratic culture of the firm. If one sector of the economy struggles, or some clients fall upon hard times, the breadth of the client base helps minimize the financial impact on the firm.
Finally, our lawyers place a big emphasis on life outside of work. Our attorneys have passions in addition to the law. Whether it is spending time with family, storm chasing, playing in a band, playing with the firm’s basketball team, softball league, touch football games or hockey teams, volunteering, lawn bowling, serving on a school board, or traveling around the world, you can find a lawyer at Fredrikson who has done it while practicing at the firm. We believe that these activities make us more effective lawyers, but realistically, we do them to have fun. There is no doubt that working as a lawyer is a substantial time commitment, but we make it a priority to have a well-balanced life.
Collegial, democratic, entrepreneurial, stable and balanced. We at Fredrikson & Byron may take our work seriously, but we certainly do not take ourselves too seriously.
John Stout poses with his "twin" pumpkin head
We have lawyers and staff with varied interests at Fredrikson & Byron. A few years ago, a group of lawyers and staff got together and started the F&B Band. The band, Noisy Withdrawal, has since performed at various firm functions.