The Ettinger Law Firm Way

From the very beginning, we set out to be different from other law firms. Different in how we treat our clients, different in how we work with each other, and different in the results that we achieve. These differences are best captured in the 30 “Fundamentals” that are the foundation of our unique culture. We call it, The Ettinger Law Firm Way

  1. DO WHAT’S BEST FOR THE CLIENT. In all situations, do what’s best for the client, even if it’s to our own short-term detriment. Put their needs ahead of our own. There’s no greater way to build a reputation than to steadfastly do what’s right for others. Every day. 
  2. SHARE INFORMATION. With appropriate respect for confidentiality, share information freely throughout our organization. The more people know, the better we can collaborate. Learn to ask yourself, “Who else needs to know this?” 
  3. FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS. It’s easy to point out problems. It’s better to identify solutions; but it makes a true difference when you step up and become a part of the solution. 
  4. FIND A WAY. Take personal responsibility for making things happen. Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. Be resourceful and show initiative. Don’t make excuses or wait for others to solve the problem. See issues through to their completion. 
  5. BE POSITIVE. You have the power to choose your attitude. Choose to be joyful, optimistic, and enthusiastic. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Your attitude is contagious. Spread optimism and positive energy. 
  6. COLLABORATE. Work together. Be open to new ideas and different approaches. Collaboration generates better ideas and solutions than does working alone. Be inclusive. 
  7. LOOK AHEAD AND ANTICIPATE. Solve problems before they happen by anticipating future issues, planning for contigencies, and addressing them in advance. Work with appropriate lead times. Preventing issues is always better than fixing them. 
  8. “BRING IT” EVERY DAY. Have a passion for what we do and be fully engaged. Make the most of each day by approaching every task with energy, focus, purpose, and enthusiasm. Work with a sense of urgency to get things done. 
  9. WORK SMART. Be organized and plan your work for maximum efficiency. Have all the tools and resources necessary before starting your work. Be thoughtful about your schedule, and have a game plan for your calls, your tasks, and your workday. Know the priorities and work on them first.
  10. WORK ON YOURSELF. Be a lifelong learner. Seek out and take advantage of every opportunity to gain more knowledge, to increase your skills, and to become an expert. Be resourceful about learning and sharing best practices. 
  11. BE A MENTOR. The best way to influence others is through your own example. Walk the talk. Take responsibility, both formally and informally, to coach, guide, teach, and mentor others. Be the change you want to see. 
  12. LISTEN GENEROUSLY. Listening is more than simply “not speaking” Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Minimize the distractions and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Suspend your judgment and be curious to know more, rather than jumping to conclusions. Above all, listen to understand. 
  13. 1 THINK TEAM FIRST. It’s not about you. Don’t let your own ego or personal agenda get in the way of doing what’s best for the team. Be there for each other and be willing to step into another role or help a co-worker when that’s what’s required for success. Help each other to succeed. 
  14. MAKE QUALITY PERSONAL. Demonstrate a passion for excellence and take pride in the quality of everything you touch and everything you do. Have a healthy disdain for mediocrity. Good is not good enough. Always ask yourself, “Is this my best work?”
  15. SPEAK STRAIGHT. Speak honestly in a way that helps to make progress. Say what you mean, and be willing to ask questions, share ideas, or raise issues that may cause conflict when it’s necessary for team success. Be transparent and courageous enough to say what needs to be said. Address issues directly with those who are involved or affected. 
  16. HONOR COMMITMENTS. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. This includes being on time for all phone calls, appointments, meetings, and promises. If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, notify others early and agree on a new deliverable to be honored. 
  17. GET CLEAR ON EXPECTATIONS . Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. Set expectations for others and ask when you’re not clear on what they expect of you. End all meetings with clarity about action items, responsibilities, and due dates. 
  18. SHOW MEANINGFUL APPRECIATION. Recognizing people doing things right is more effective than pointing out when they do things wrong. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgement and appreciation – in all directions throughout our organization. 
  19. DELIVER AN EFFORTLESS EXPERIENCE. Find ways to make working with you/us easier. Provide simple and complete instructions. When in doubt, do more rather than pushing the work back to others in the firm or the client. Streamline our processes. Simplify everything. Be unusually helpful. 
  20. WALK IN YOUR CLIENTS’ SHOES. Understand your clients’ world and perspective. Know their challenges and frustrations. The better you understand them, the more effectively you can anticipate and meet their needs. 
  21. CREATE A GREAT IMPRESSION. Every conversation, phone call, e-mail, letter, and even voice-mail, sets a tone and creates an impression. Pay attention to every interaction and be sure you’re setting a tone that’s friendly, warm, and helpful. 
  22. TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR APPEARANCE. Your personal appearance makes a strong statement about the pride you take in your performance. Dress neatly and professionally. The appearance of our office takes a similar statement about the quality of our work. Take responsibility to see that our office environment is clean, neat, and professional. 
  23. MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES. Take care of yourself at home and at the office. Eat well, exercise, and get adequate sleep. Support each other in making healthy choices. The healthier you are, the more you’ll thrive personally and professionally. 
  24. COMMUNICATE TO BE UNDERSTOOD. Know your audience. Write and speak in a way that they can understand. Avoid using internal lingo, acronyms, and legal jargon. Use the simplest possible explanations. 
  25. PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS. Missing just one detail can have an enormous impact on a client. Be a fanatic about accuracy and precision. The goal is to get things right, not simply to get them done. Double-check your work. Get the details right the first time. 
  26. EMBRACE CHANGE AND GROWTH. What got us here is not the same as what will get us to the next level. Get outside your comfort zone, rather than stubbornly hanging on to old ways of doing things. Embrace change and the possibilities that change and growth bring. Be flexible. 
  27. BE RELENTLESS ABOUT IMPROVEMENT. Regularly reevaluate every aspect of your job to find ways to improve. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. “Because I was taught that way” is not a reason. Guard against complacency. Find ways to get things done better, faster, and more efficiently. 
  28. TREASURE, PROTECT, AND PROMOTE OUR REPUTATION. We’re all responsible for, and benefit from, the Ettinger Law Firm image and reputation. Consider how your actions affect our collective reputation, and be a proud ambassador for the firm. 
  29. GO THE EXTRA MILE. Be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the job ... plus a little bit more. Whether it’s starting early, staying late, or doing something that’s not in your job description, it’s the extra mile that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. 
  30. KEEP THINGS FUN. While our passion for excellence is real, remember that the world has bigger problems than the daily challenges that make up our work. Stuff happens. Keep perspective. Don’t take things personally or take yourself too seriously. 

Client Reviews

This is the best choice for elder care and estate planning! Well established and transparent in services and quality of staff is suberb. K. D.
Outstanding professionals at every level within their organization. Interpersonal communications outstanding. F. O.
Very happy with the firm and so pleased we have them helping us. C. D.
Mr Ettinger has worked with my family for over a decade and has provided excellent advice on numerous issues relating to trust and elder law. B. A.