It didn’t take long for Stuart Schroeder to discover he had the desire to build his own firm. Five months into his first job as an attorney, the managing partner announced the firm’s doors would be closing.
Schroeder took a position with a larger firm, but after seeing how quickly things could turn around, he started to concentrate on building his own practice. He didn’t envision a typical large legal firm, however.
According to Schroeder, he wanted a more approachable, client-friendly setting with a strong sense of community among his employees.
His vision became a reality in 1998, with the formation of The Schroeder Group.
The company’s immediate key stray from the norm was the hiring of Sandy McGee, who is not an attorney, to manage the daily business operations of the law firm, in order to give the attorneys more time to practice law, he said.
From there, he moved forward with his goals to success, one of which was selective hiring.
“When Sandy and I first met, rule No. 1 one was to create the best environment that we possibly can so people can work their butts off,” Schroeder said. “No. 2 two was to try to avoid hiring people that will disrupt that environment.”
Part of the firm’s work environment is being active in the Waukesha community, with activities such as dress down days for charity or donating Thanksgiving turkeys to the food pantry.
Schroeder takes pride in the sense of community among his employees, and that is why the practice is called ‘The Schroeder Group,’ rather than a string of last names, he said.
“We started with the basic idea of being an alternative to the large law firms, and we’ve stayed true to that. It’s worked out well.”
Address: 20800 Swenson Drive, Waukesha
Web Site: www.tsjlaw.com
Industry: Law firm
Revenues: $2.5 million