“Our culture is unique in the legal world,” said Heather Rooney McBride, managing member of Rooney Mcbride & Smith, LLC, one of the few female managed law firms in Springfield. According to Rooney McBride, large legal firm cultures tend to be impersonal. Having come from that culture before starting Rooney Mcbride & Smith with partner Scott Smith, Rooney McBride decided the experience helped her learn what not to do.
“We all genuinely really like each other,” said Rooney McBride. She says although Rooney McBride & Smith is technically a mid- to large-sized firm, there’s a much more familial atmosphere than in most large firms.
“It’s also incredibly important to me to foster and mentor younger attorneys in their career development,” said Rooney McBride. She mentioned that law firms are typically hierarchical and developing up and comers isn’t always a priority for established attorneys. In fact, she said typically, younger attorneys mostly exist to help further the practices of senior attorneys. Not so at Rooney McBride & Smith.
“In our office I want every young and mid-career attorney to succeed in developing their own practice and getting that experience. Our young attorneys get experiences they wouldn’t get elsewhere, and our senior attorneys spend a lot of time teaching and mentoring them.”
But as important as the attorneys at Rooney McBride & Smith take their jobs and lifting one another up in the profession, there is also an appreciation for the fact that everyone has a life outside of work. Work itself takes place in sharply designed offices that have a modern aesthetic that still feels welcoming and includes amenities like a fitness room. “When we’re at work, we work hard but we also know it’s important to leave work at work.
Since its 1999 debut, the awards program has honored individuals under the age of 40 for their professional and civic work.