Q&A with Timila Rother
Crowe & Dunlevy law firm is concluding 110th year in business
Q: Crowe & Dunlevy is closing its 110th year. Do you have any plans to mark the milestone?
A: Yes. We're making donations to several community groups throughout this month. The firm and its more than 130 attorneys contribute both time and funds to a multitude of cultural, artistic, educational and beneficent groups and organizations throughout Oklahoma.
Q: What are some of the firm's historical highlights?
A: Crowe & Dunlevy began when Charles Edward Johnson opened the first law office in the Oklahoma Territory at 1311/2 W Grand (now Sheridan Avenue). The firm went through several changes both in name and location before becoming Crowe & Dunlevy in 1981 and moved to its current location at 20 N Broadway. Our firm opened an office in Tulsa in 1989 and in Norman in 1991. Crowe & Dunlevy is the founder of the Oklahoma Law Alliance, established in 2007, which is a statewide group of Oklahoma law firms to provide networking and other benefits among member firms. In 2011, the firm announced a merge with Day, Edwards, Propester & Christensen to enhance services for local, national and international clients.
Q: How has the legal profession evolved?
A: The evolution of technology has us filing papers electronically and communicating with our clients and counsel by email rather than the letters and phone calls of past decades. The evolution of business management has clients more focused on legal costs resulting in requests for alternative fee arrangements, demands for attorneys with industry-specific experience, reliance on in-house counsel and hard decisions about resolving matters based on cost rather than merit. Changes in science and technology have us grappling with the impact of social media, electronic discovery and securing the privacy of client information in this environment. But the legal profession remains anchored to the same standards that have sustained us for 110 years; providing the highest quality legal help to our clients on legal matters important to their personal and professional lives, while maintaining our high ethical obligations to the legal system as a whole.
Q: What are the firm's plans for the future?
A: As clients continue to seek out attorneys with industry or topic specific experience, we are increasing the management of ourselves internally in practice groups that permits us to quickly address the multiple needs of clients. We also are growing our assistance to clients with needs outside of Oklahoma as a national and international law firm. We feel like we have done a lot in 110 years but know that we can do a lot more in the next 110.
PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER