Local lawyer Quinn Ross of The Ross Firm in Goderich was nominated for the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyer award.
Sponsored by the leading legal trade publication in Canada, this award is determined by both peers and the community.
“I have always worked to serve my clients and my profession, but I could never have imagine being tapped for this kind of distinction,” Ross admitted.
“In reality though, this nomination is about more than me. It’s about the work our team has done leading the charge in changing the way law is practiced.”
The Top 25 Most Influential is not a lifetime achievement award but recognition of lawyers who played a significant role in the legal profession in the last 18 months.
This year the Canadian Lawyer’s 13th annual Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers will pick the top five lawyers and judges in the following five categories: Human Rights, Advocacy and Criminal; Businesses; In-house; Change makers; and Government/non-profits/associations.
There are nearly 100,000 lawyers in the country and to be deemed worth of the title of Top 25 Most Influential is an extraordinary honour for Ross.
According to the nomination letter, in order to truly understand the impact Ross’ innovation and leadership had on the legal profession over the last 18 months, one must return to March 13, 2020.
It was that date that Ross sent everyone home and took his paperless firm online.
Within three days, four offices and 21 lawyers and staff were remotely operating without interruption.
Reacting to the changes of the pandemic, Ross initiated a policy where staff could work when and how often they could, without docking pay or questioning commitment.
This was the first step Ross took towards making changes at The Ross Firm.
According to Ross, The Ross Firm is the first law firm in Canada, and even perhaps North America, to institute a four-day workweek, where people work four eight-hour days, and get paid for five.
“By allowing people to rest, to work hours that worked for them, to pay them well, to give them job and retirement security, we had people better able to do their jobs at the highest level in a far more efficient manner than those working the traditional 9-5, Monday to Friday model,” Ross said.
“Add to that our paperless office, remote and virtual practice, we were simply able to reach farther, serve more and attract more people of like-minds to work with us than ever before. It’s been incredible.”
The Ross Firm also instituted a transparent pay grid, a defined benefit pension plan and a completely hybrid work model at the same time.
Ross decreased his firm’s available billable hours by 20 per cent on the belief that time was wasted with fatigue, burn out and systems that didn’t value passions and strengths of the professionals he worked with.
According to the nomination letter The Ross Firm hasn’t had any attrition from these operational changes. Sick days have evaporated, billable targets are being met and revenue is up over 30 per cent.
These changes were so profitable that The Ross Firm opened two new offices and double to 40 lawyers and staff in April 2021.
The Ross Firm now approaches the work place as a place of abundance, not scarcity. The Ross Firm takes every opportunity they get to see what more they can do for the team at the firm and their clients.
“We know that when we approach people as humans instead of resources, we create a dynamic of trust and shared experience,” Ross added.
“In short, we said goodbye to the old way of employment where the employer maximizes profit on the backs of the employees and the employees have to respond by putting up rigid boundaries and ensuring they are never doing more than the minimum required. You don’t have to fight over the pie, you just work together to make the pie bigger.”
Now The Ross Firm is subject to study, as business schools are using the model of abundance and sustainability as a case study.
Currently The Ross Firm has six offices, 70 healthy and fulfilled lawyers and staff committed to the truth that one can be successful without forfeiting home life, passions and every waking hour.
Ross admitted he would be overjoyed to be announced at one of the Top 25 Most Influential in the legal trade.
“It would be a recognition of the hard work and innovation our firm has shown during a time of incredible uncertainty,” he added.
To vote for Ross visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MLXQVKS and head to the category of Change makers.
Voting closes on May 13 and results will be published in September.