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2012 100 Best Companies best practices

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Articles - March 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012
Above: Partners Brent Bullock and Doug Pahl party with colleagues Josh Lute and Dana Krawczuk on the firm's rooftop.
Below: The Perkins Coie team celebrates their Fortune ranking.
// Photos by Matthew D'Annunzio

Perkins Coie LLP

The biggest factor making Perkins Coie LLP, a 100-year-old corporate law firm with 19 offices around the country, a great place to work is not its paid maternity and paternity leave, its $5,000 reimbursement for adoptions or its on-site gym. It is, according to Portland office managing partner Rob Aldisert, the firm’s clients.

“We have great clients,” says Aldisert, “and serving those clients as best we can is what we do.”

The 65 lawyers who work in the Portland office specialize in various markets, including corporate finance, bankruptcy, real estate, land use and environmental law. Aldisert says the firm cultivates a “collegial and collaborative” atmosphere among its attorneys that enables them to offer their clients the best service possible.

That commitment to collaboration and service has helped shape the actual culture of the company over the years.

“Everything that we do is focused on serving our clients well,” Aldisert says. “That culture is then reflected on everything that we do internally.”

Additionally, PC’s focus on diversity, from an office diversity committee to an annual minority law scholarship, adds to its workplace luster.

“The more you can incorporate diversity, the more complete — and better — you’ll be,” Aldisert says.

Above: Left to right: Bill Barnes, Art Bush, Rob Norton, John Chapman and Chris Hutchison work on the MAC Club project in Portland.
Below: Dave Gusnul and Kelly Pyrch take a Ping Pong break.
// Photos by Matthew D'Annunzio

R&H Construction

John Bradley’s got a pretty simple standard for prospective employees of R&H Construction.

“You gotta be smarter than me,” says the CEO, who joined the commercial construction company in 1979. “That’s usually pretty clear in the first five minutes.”

Those who make the grade at R&H — there are almost 170 employees now — find themselves working for a company that takes care of them with more than solid benefits and summertime barbecues.

“We have a genuine respect for the time and talent of our people,” Bradley says, “which is in my mind the opposite of the ‘you’re lucky to have a job’ mentality.”

R&H, whose projects include all 10 New Seasons Markets, empowers its employees with a fair measure of responsibility and authority and expects them to adhere to the company’s code of ethics. The result, according to Bradley, is that employees feel valued and, in return, provide top-notch results.

“We just hope that everybody looks forward to coming to work,” Bradley says, “and that they look forward to leaving on time to go home.”



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