A lot has happened since 2009 when Baton Rouge attorneys and colleagues Edward Walters, Darrel Papillion, Abboud Thomas and J. Cullens broke from their employer with the goal of forming a boutique law firm with a family-like environment.
The winner in the 2021 Best Places to Work small companies category, Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens LLC, has been nose to the grindstone ever since, growing to include 11 attorneys and 14 staff members focusing on commercial litigation, personal injury, and professional malpractice among other areas. The firm boasts more than $500 million in settlements for clients, about 75% of whom are in Greater Baton Rouge.
But over the firm’s 12-year tenure, neither the volume of cases nor the pursuit of profits has defined its culture, says founding partner Abboud Thomas.
“It’s interesting,” Thomas says. “I think we are less motivated by money and more motivated by doing the right thing and doing the best we can. If you do that, other things will follow.”
Growth has been steady, but the firm’s manageable size has fostered a tight-knit, team atmosphere that Thomas likens to everyone being in the same boat, rowing together. Cases are often high stakes and demanding, but the office vibe is supportive, encouraging and flexible.
“Our theory is that you treat people who work with you fairly, that includes economically, and in terms of workplace culture,” Thomas says.
Read the full feature on this year’s Best Places to Work winner from the latest edition of Business report.