B&C: CAROL, THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US TODAY! TO BEGIN, LET’S START FROM THE BEGINNING. WHEN DID YOU START WORKING AT BROWN & CROUPPEN AND WHAT WAS YOUR ROLE?
Carol: I started at the firm quite young, back in 1987. My first role was receptionist. I then became a workers’ comp paralegal and eventually, Director of the department.
B&C: WOW! THAT’S AMAZING LONGEVITY. WHAT’S CHANGED OVER THE YEARS DURING YOUR TIME WITH THE FIRM?
Carol: What hasn’t changed! We grew from a staff of about 20 people to the biggest personal injury firm in Missouri. What hasn’t changed is more like it. The sense of family has always stayed the same. Even though we are a big firm now, we have always maintained that. It’s never felt like just going to a job.
B&C: ABSOLUTELY. AND HOW HAS WORKERS’ COMP AS A DEPARTMENT PROGRESSED OVER THE YEARS?
Carol: Well, from my experience as a workers’ compensation paralegal, I had a comprehensive view of what needed refined and streamlined when I became a director. From there, we’ve been able to recruit and retain top talent in attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants to provide the best work for our clients.
B&C: WHEN YOU STARTED AT THE FIRM, DID YOU THINK YOU WOULD HAVE COME SO FAR?
Carol: I was always very determined and dedicated. But back in the 80’s, there weren’t many female attorneys or women in management in the legal field in general. But the partners at Brown & Crouppen did the work to carve out career paths. It was consciously done and something we as a firm have always taken the lead on providing. And recognizing the benefits of women in leadership! We have an amazing and diverse team of female directors and managers.
B&C: PART OF BEING A WORKING WOMAN INVOLVES BALANCING CAREER AND FAMILY. YOU’RE A MOM- HOW DO YOU DO IT? ANY ADVICE?
Carol: I have five children and started young- I’ve had kids in school for nearly my entire career! Often, we as mothers are made to feel guilty for working. But my career has been great for my family and work-life balance has always been a priority. I never had to miss field trips and have always felt supported in my work.
B&C: OVER THE YEARS, ARE THERE ANY FORMER CLIENTS THAT STILL STAND OUT TO YOU?
Carol: So many- One that stands out for me is a client who had been badly injured and the insurance companies were just raking him over the coals. Every bad thing they could do, they tried with this man. But he remained so kind and gracious throughout it all. I will never forget the day I was able to call him with the good news of his settlement. It was the best! Years later, when he passed away, his wife called me to personally thank us for what we did for him and their family
B&C: THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT! CAROL, BEFORE WE WRAP UP, WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR PASSIONS OUTSIDE OF WORK AND FAMILY? WHAT’S ON THE BUCKET LIST?
Carol: I actually have a bucket list! And it mostly involves travel. I want to see all 50 states and go all over the world. I love architecture, art, and history. Just being creative. One of my favorite projects was rehabbing and decorating a friends’ cottage from 1850. I love updating and improving spaces through my creativity, it’s the best feeling.
For more information on workers’ compensation at Brown & Crouppen, visit the practice area page here.