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March 20, 2015 Best Places To Work In CT 2015

Hinckley Allen prioritizes teamwork

Hinckley Allen employees (above) volunteer together at Camp Courant, celebrate special occasions together (below), and let loose at office socials (left).

Hard work is rewarded at law firm Hinckley Allen. And for its 60 Hartford-based employees, the firm's focus on professional development provides a boost not only to staff, but clients as well.

“We put a lot of time and effort into the development and training of our people,” said Thomas S. Marrion, a partner at the law firm. “Within the last few years, we hired a director of professional development who was a partner at another law firm in Boston. He is devoted entirely to the professional development of our people here. It was a major commitment on our part to hire a full-time person in a firm of our size.”

Marrion said the role reflects the firm's dedication to having all staff properly trained so they can do the best work for their clients.

The Hartford office, which has been open since 2008, is also known for its positive, team-based culture.

“Everyone in every position at the firm is part of a team that is devoted to providing the best possible service to our clients,” Marrion said.

Rewarding good work is a priority at Hinckley Allen, which operates six offices and employs more than 300 people companywide. The firm looks for opportunities for people to take on greater responsibilities, and they get greater rewards, Marrion said.

“We always try to promote from within,” Marrion said. “It doesn't matter what your job is here; if you work hard and work well with others and you're productive, you will be recognized for that and you will succeed here.”

Megan McCormack, director of human resources, said being recognized as a good place to work helps lift office morale.

“It helps support the goals that we have in human resources to create a good culture and good environment for people to work in,” McCormack said. “It really is about creating a positive culture and one where people are supported. They're rewarded for hard and quality work. They support each other, they have respect for each other and they feel valued.”

As part of relationship development and team building, the firm organizes monthly wind downs or employee lunches, where staff can enjoy lunch and socialize with each other. The company hosts holiday parties and regular outside-of-work recreational outings.

“People continue to develop strong personal relationships,” McCormack said. “People are really proud of what they can accomplish. They prefer to work in teams; they're stronger collectively. It's just enjoyable to work with people that you genuinely like and respect.”

A formal committee of staff members organizes community service projects. Employees volunteer at a local soup kitchen, at Camp Courant to benefit underprivileged children, and at Connecticut Public Television.

“No question, it makes my job easier because all of those positive feelings people have about their work is just an extension of what we try to do,” McCormack said. “There are not nearly as many negative issues that you have to deal with.”

Legal secretary Jean McCarthy, who serves on the committee charged with organizing outside community service events, said the events help with bonding.

“It makes it like it's not just a workplace – you're more invested,” McCarthy said.

The firm also supports a work-life balance.

“They're pretty family-oriented, and I think that's kind of different from other large firms,” McCarthy said. “Just recently, I had to leave work to pick up my sick granddaughter, and they really are very supportive of that type of occurrence. They know things happen.”

There's nothing better than working with people who have a positive attitude, McCarthy added.

“I come to work and I like spending time with the people here,” she said.

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