Changing the Expectations for Young Law Professionals

Jul 28, 2022 | Business, Smith + Malek

Author:  Brenda Bookholtz

At Smith + Malek, we prioritize our mission to make tomorrow better for our clients, employees, and community in all aspects of our business, including our hiring process. When it comes to finding forward-thinking individuals whose values align with those of Smith + Malek, we make sure that our new hires fit into our unique team culture. 

Creating a balanced work-life environment in law firms, and many other industries has been seen as inefficient and a waste of company resources. But by making this a focus of our team culture, our new hires see and feel how a collaborative team-based environment creates healthy expectations that allow our team members to show up to work feeling energized rather than burnt out. A healthy work-life balance helps us serve our clients to the fullest of our abilities.

Many of our new hires are young individuals starting or continuing their careers at Smith + Malek. Our team culture shows them it is possible to create a healthy balance between work and life, as both are important. We hope that the culture at Smith + Malek sets them up with healthy expectations so that they can advocate for themselves and their colleagues for healthier law firm practices throughout their careers. One generation at a time, we’re working on changing the negative expectations within the law industry. 

With offices in Boise, Coeur d’Alene, and Spokane we’re always looking for talented attorneys and support staff to join our team. Smith + Malek has hired three attorneys since 2021 and six legal assistants\paralegals this year. In addition, we’ve brought in four summer interns from surrounding colleges. Meet some of our newest hires. 

Carissa Montgomery is a litigation legal assistant based out of our Spokane office. She joined our team shortly after graduating from Gonzaga University with her BA in History and Spanish. As a litigation legal assistant, Carissa serves her community by supporting Smith + Malek attorneys’ ability to spend more one-on-one time with clients. 

A rising star in the Boise area, Kimberly Van Maren is our newest litigation legal assistant. With a degree in Political Science from Boise State University, Kimberly brings vast experience in task management, coordination, and research in multiple industries including higher education and politics. 

Ebelia Rea is a business paralegal focused on supporting our Boise attorneys and clients in business and estate planning. With a passion for helping others, she chose a career in the legal field after noticing that people often need help navigating the complexities of the law. Ebelia joined the Smith + Malek team because she wanted an opportunity to grow and feels like she can do so with the support of her team.  

Lexi Beumeler is an executive assistant based in our Boise office. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in Criminology and Sociology.  Soon after graduating, Lexi recalls her first job experience not being a good fit for her due to an unsupportive work environment. Even though Lexi has only been with us a short time, she is excited to grow her knowledge and appreciates the Smith + Malek team’s willingness to encourage and support one another. 

A recent graduate from Boise State University, Allison Montgomery is a legal assistant based in Boise. Allison’s goal is to make a positive impact in the law system and in people’s lives. She is fascinated by how the criminal justice system works and hopes to become a lawyer in the future. 

Based in our Boise office, Grace Gabby is a receptionist. Grace decided to join the Smith + Malek team because she wants to work with people who care for people. One of Grace’s biggest career accomplishments is learning to value the time at work and the time at home, a sentiment that Smith + Malek firmly stands behind. 

Kaylee Olsen is a transactional legal assistant in our Boise office. Kaylee chose to work in the law field because she wants to help those in need and feels like this can be done by working together with the Smith+ Malek mission of making tomorrow better. Kaylee believes that making a difference in the lives of those around us, no matter how big or small, is the ultimate reward. 

We are so excited to have these new team members join the Smith + Malek team. From working with our team to working with our clients, our mission is to bring positive change to the world around us. We hope to change the landscape of the law industry for the better, one day at a time.

Brenda Bookholtz is Smith + Malek’s Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer based in Coeur d’Alene. She is a graduate of Metropolitan State University and the University of Minnesota. Brenda brings extensive corporate financial management experience to her role.