The interpersonal relationships that make up Groom’s distinct collegial and collaborative nature are critical to developing and maintaining the firm’s legal expertise and technical knowledge. For over 45 years, Groom’s collective voices and diverse viewpoints have driven its enviable success in benefits, health and retirement law. On the In House Warrior podcast episode “Getting Law Firm Culture Right”, Principal Christine Keller details Groom’s path to defining the firm’s culture and the process of implementing its core values. In it, she shares why the process continues to be of great importance, some surprises that cropped up along the way, challenges that were necessary to overcome, creative ways that the firm incorporates its values into its day-to-day, the role of firm management, and much much more. Core Values Our culture is based on six values, each with a marked set of behaviors that illustrate how we strive to interact, complement and harmonize with one another and our clients. We are accountable to each other and our clients. We exceed expectations and “go the extra mile.” We take responsibility for all of our actions. Accountability We are friendly and welcoming. We listen mindfully and explain purposefully. We give and accept constructive feedback. Communication We understand our clients and "own" their problems. We collaborate with each other and our clients to get the best results. We prioritize our health and well being. Excellence We take intellectual risks and think outside the box. We look over the horizon for new opportunities. We appreciate that diverse viewpoints foster innovation and better problem solving. Innovation We encourage others to express their opinions and views. We act as leaders and role models. We confront disrespect. Respect We view challenges as opportunities for growth. We act in the best interest of the firm every day. We give our colleagues the autonomy to do their jobs in the ways they do it best. Trust Championing Our Culture A Fun Work Environment Whether it is to take a breather in the firm’s flexible workspace (fully outfitted with arcade games, a television, on-demand cold brew coffee, and a “give one, take one” book exchange library), indulge in the firm’s complimentary snack bar, or relax in casual wear each Friday and during summer and winter breaks, Groom is clear in its mission that all of its employees find enjoyment in the workplace. The firm’s Fun Committee delivers ‘outside-the-box’ entertainment for the entire firm, such as an annual in-office miniature golf tournament that coincides with the Masters Tournament, a luncheon in celebration of National Junk Food Day, a monthly celebration of birthdays featuring the activity of choice of an employee whose birthday is being celebrated, and much more. In the Heart of Washington, DC Located a stone’s throw from the White House, Groom is in the hub of Washington, DC. Views of the National Mall, the Washington monument, the U.S. Capitol and other prominent places serve as a backdrop to our firm. Ease of access to every corner of the city, as well as to the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia, is a major advantage of our location. We Give Back Each year Groom supports a number of organizations that have personal connections to and are meaningful to individuals within the firm. Groom team members (“Groomies”) participate internally in fundraisers and raffles and externally in events, such as the Lawyers Have Heart races, AARP Foundation’s Celebration of Service Meal Pack Challenge, and Gifts for the Homeless, Inc.’s Banding Together battle of the bands event, to name a few. When it comes to pro bono work, Groomies routinely partner together achieving unparalleled levels of engagement and crucial successes, which has earned Groom recognition by The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. Staff Appreciation At Groom, employees come first. Each year Groom’s staff members enjoy Staff Appreciation Week, a celebratory series of week long activities following a unique theme. Interactive exchanges have ranged from a group wine glass painting, karaoke, a modified game based on The Price is Right, massages and a movie. Associates Commend Groom Feedback from Groom associates earned the firm top ten prominence on Vault.com’s “Best Midsize Law Firms for Compensation” list. Groom was noted for providing “great colleagues, varied work for more junior associates, and significant responsibility early.” Work assignments were also described as “substantive,” “interesting” and “challenging.” Groom prioritizes supporting the upward mobility of its associates, with many of its partners having started their careers at the firm as junior associates, clerks and paralegals. Partnerships Outside of the Firm Collaboration is not exclusive to working together inside the office. Outside of the office, Groomies team up annually to form the Bowling Stones, a bowling team that competes against other professionals in the D.C. Metropolitan area. True friendships are formed and it is not uncommon to see Groomies together supporting the D.C. area’s professional sporting teams (home to MLB, NHL and WNBA champions!), taking in shows at the Kennedy Center, celebrating major life milestones (weddings, new babies, etc.), and more.