This guest post was written by Heidi Kelsch, a Senior Paralegal at Zachar Law Firm.
November 3, 2012 is the 20th Anniversary of the day Chris Zachar was admitted to practice law in the State of Arizona. Now, I haven’t been around for all 20 of those years, but I have been fortunate enough to call him Boss for the last 15 years. After getting his feet wet and learning the ropes at another firm, Chris started his own firm in January, 1996. His goal was simple: To provide legal services to his clients with the same level of care and concern he would want an attorney to show him, if he had been injured by the negligence of another. Chris has endeavored to provide excellent service and caring representation to each and every one of his clients since that time.
When I started working for him in 1997, his son Tommy had just been born. Chris was over the moon about his son’s birth – but he was still in the office before anyone else. He worked through lunch most days, and while he always went home to have dinner with his wife and son, he often returned to the office afterwards or worked from home until late in the night. While I know Chris to be a highly driven, Type A personality, much of what drives him is his desire to provide the best service to his clients. He takes every phone call he can when he is in the office. He returns every call he misses. He responds to every one of the hundreds of emails he gets every day personally. Always in the back of his mind is the question: How can we get better at what we do, how can we do more, better, faster?
Over the past 15 years, Chris’s life has changed in many ways. He and his wife added two daughters to their family, and their oldest is now in high school. Chris has been incredibly active in his children’s lives, often coaching their sports teams, and rarely missing a game or a practice. If the time he spends with his family robs from his time at work, he sacrifices sleep to make it up. Most mornings I have multiple emails from him by 4:30 a.m. He’s in the office, working hard, by 5:30 a.m. He still works through lunch most days, and he still comes back to the office or works from home most evenings. Chris works just as hard now as he did when he first started.
I used to think that once he reached a certain level of success, his drive would lessen, and he would work maybe just a little less hard. (At least, I hoped so!) But so far, none of his success has changed him. He remains just as committed to providing the best legal services he can to his clients now as he was when he started his firm. He still gets fired up about new cases, celebrates the smallest settlements as much as the largest, takes on the battles that need to be fought, advocates for the victims who have nowhere else to turn, and when necessary, he sacrifices his fees in order to provide the best result to his clients. Other attorneys might show signs of wear and exhaustion and burnout after 20 years – but not Chris. He will be as anxious to get up and go to work tomorrow and the next day as he was today, and yesterday, and the day before. He will be in before any of his staff, and in the back of his mind, he will be pondering the eternal question: How can we get better at what we do?