Interviewed by the Journal Record, Thomas G. Wolfe, president and managing partner, gave his take on the firm’s strength, commenting on the recent hires that include 10 new attorneys, a new IT Director, and 10 paralegals. Bucking the national trend, Wolfe explains that Phillips McFall is seeing growth where other firms may be seeing a decrease in workforce. He also states that Phillips McFall expects to see even more growth over the next five years.
June 18, 2008
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City law firms don’t seem to be sharing in the downturn experienced by those in some states, particularly large national firms that have recently announced layoffs.
A check with local firms Tuesday reveals legal business is on the rise, with some firms reporting several hires over the past year.
National labor statistics indicate a loss of more than 9,500 legal-sector jobs over the past year, more than 4,000 over the last six months or so.
Data for Oklahoma show a drop of a few hundred legal-related jobs over the past year, from 12,900 last June to about 12,500 in April of this year.
Tom Wolfe, president and managing partner at Phillips McFall, said his firm has added 10 attorneys, a new IT director and 10 paralegals over the past year.
“We’re on more of a growth pattern than anything else,” he said.
Wolfe said the firm has also not changed pay scales or related costs for economic reasons.
“In connection with our IT department and our marketing department, we’ve actually added capital to that, because that’s kind of what the market does and that’s what we needed to do,” he said.
Wolfe said Phillips McFall has concrete plans to grow over the next five years.
“We’ve been very fortunate,” he said. “But we’ve got good clients and have had good work and good attorneys.”
Wolfe said Oklahoma is somewhat insulated from the current downturn due to its healthy oil and gas industry.
“I think the influx of capital investment opportunities in Oklahoma make Oklahoma somewhat immune to some of the problems other states are facing,” he said. “I think law firms are benefiting from that, particularly on the business side.”