Reflecting on an incredible experience

It has been almost 3 weeks since I returned to Michigan from Adelaide, Australia. I have spent a lot of time thinking about the experience that came and went so quickly. I had spent months counting down the days to the arriving in Australia and it is hard to believe that is has come and gone.  I took many lessons away from my time with Kain Lawyers.

First, culture is everything in the workplace.

During my nerve-racking second interview with John “Jonty” Kain and Tim “Socks” Callcott, I asked them one question, “Can you describe the culture of Kain Lawyers in one word?” I instantly got a chuckle from Jonty who then looked at Socks and said, “Can we have one sentence?” Of course, I had to agree since I was talking to my two future bosses.

Jonty replied “We take our work at Kain Lawyers very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.” I found myself wondering if this could be true at a law firm and was excited to see if this was really the case. This statement was proven to be true every single day that I walked into Kain Lawyers and because of my fellow colleagues, I was excited to start each and every day.

Second, perhaps I was wrong with my first lesson.  Culture is not everything – the clients are.

Believe it or not, the greatest lesson that I walked out of Kain Lawyers with is that nothing else matters if the client is not happy. I spent many, many hours piecing together my final project before showing Jonty and Socks what I planned to present to the rest of the firm. Jonty explained to me that everything I showed him was great, but that it was not about the internal structure as much as it was about the client experience. I then began to think about how I needed to refocus my efforts and ask myself how each step of my process benefited the client and not the lawyer.

Third, community and giving back fuels the work that Kain Lawyers do.

I was completely aware that when I arrived at Kain Lawyers I would be part of helping to give back to the community. I had done community work in the past, but not quite like the community involvement I experienced at Kain’s.  It is hard to explain the immense joy I felt when helping high school students with their resume’s, watching the Watoto Children’s Choir perform, and stopping by at a school to play games and eat breakfast with the kids.

After presenting my final project and findings about Project Management at Kain Lawyers, I was asked questions and given feedback about my work. I heard Socks say many times, “We do not innovate for the sake of innovation, we innovate to ensure a better client experience.”

Kain is a place that is constantly striving to be better for their clients and for themselves, and it is this focus that makes Kain Lawyers one of a kind.

These are just a few of the lessons I learned while working at Kain Lawyers. I have been forever changed by the people I had the pleasure of working with. I will never be able to demonstrate my true gratitude for how fortunate I have been to experience such an adventure.

All I can say is thank you for such a wonderful experience.

Written by Sarah “Smack” McCormick