In that respect, they are the “whole
package,” she says.
They want to be the whole parental
package, too, as well as have a life outside
the law. Hostetter is cofounder of the
Storybook Project, in which members go
to the state prison in Maryland once a
month to tape inmate mothers reading
to their children; the books and the
recordings are then mailed to the kids.
Strent loves to travel and lose herself in
yoga, and she chairs a book group run by
the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.
They try to inspire their associates—two
full time, two part time, all women—to live
the same way. There is no sneaking out.
“We don’t care if you are at your child’s
Halloween parade,” Hostetter says. “We
hire adults. You know what needs to be
done. And we expect you to do it.”
On average, target or minimum billable
hours for law firms typically range between
1,700 and 2,300 per year, according to a
Yale Law School analysis. To reach that
goal, young lawyers would have to work
8 a.m. until 6: 20 p.m. and bill more than
seven hours per day. (The analysis assumes
two 15-minute coffee breaks, an hour lunch
and time for meetings.)
Hostetter and Strent require full-time
associates to bill 1,600 hours per year—
which is about 32 billable hours per week
spread over 50 weeks.
“What also makes us unique is that
we really care about training and
mentoring our associates. It’s not just
lip service,” Strent says. “We emphasize
giving personalized attention to our
clients, and we extend this philosophy
to our associates. We focus on what
really counts—great client service. If that
means working during carpool, fine. We
do what we have to to get the work done,
and done well.”
Adds Hostetter, “We have a succession
plan for [our associates] to get the firm
when we retire, and we mean it. We
are not making or training associates
to be the same exact billing machines.
We encourage our employees to work
in their areas of strength so we get the
best of everyone—some are good at
financial investigation, others at client
While the duo might be the “whole
package,” there are no flawless days.
At night, after the children are asleep,
Hostetter juggles work tasks, answering
emails. In law school, she was a
perfectionist. She still is. She sometimes
goes to bed thinking she should have
answered five more emails.
But that’s what the team is for.
“We’re all in it together,” Hostetter
says. “We really like our associates as
people—they are four amazing women—
and we want them to be happy at work
and at home. And we try to model what
we preach. Too often elsewhere [in the
industry], it’s do as I say, not as I do.”
Turnbull, Nicholson & Sanders, P.A. has provided comprehensive,
innovative and cost-effective solutions in the dynamic landscape of Family Law
for three decades. The firm is recognized for its skill and empathy as advocates
for individuals undergoing the difficult personal and financial transitions
associated with separation and divorce, as well as pre- and post-nuptial
agreements, guardianship, adoption, alternative reproductive technology
and modifications of existing orders for alimony, child custody, support and
visitation. The firm has a reputation for negotiated settlements, as well as
litigation, including appeals to Maryland’s appellate courts.
29 W. Susquehanna Ave.
Towson, MD 21204
& SANDERS, P.A.
SEATED (L to R): Mary Roby Sanders* Top 100 & Top 50 Women,
Christopher W. Nicholson* Top 100, Carolyn H. Thaler, Rebecca A. Fleming*;
STANDING (L TO R): Alaina L. Storie**, Ann M. Turnbull, Dempsey D. Nash,
William F. Alcarese Jr.**
*CHOSEN TO 2016 SUPER LAWYERS **CHOSEN TO 2016 RISING STARS
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