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The most valuable asset we have at Ward and Smith, P.A., is our strong and unique firm culture. It runs through everything we do. Our culture is centered around a belief that if we work the "Ward and Smith Way," we can provide the best possible service for our clients. It's a belief that we want to be part of a team, enjoy a respectful and trusting environment, help each other, and treat each other like family. "Clients First" is more than a mission statement for us. Our clients are at the very center of our organizational chart, and every role here functions in support of that center. We value trust; we value family; we value equality; we believe in superior service; and we value teamwork.
The firm operates in five growing areas in North Carolina. We enjoy a professional, collegial office environment, where training, support, and technology are ever-present features in our workplace. Additionally, the firm enjoys a day-to-day business casual dress code, in keeping with our "work anywhere" and "work anytime" ethic.
We care about the well-being of our employees. We have an extensive benefits program to recruit and retain top talent, and to provide our employees with the means for regular access to health care. Additionally, we feel that an employee's financial health is vital, and health care options are provided so that employees are protected from suffering a complete financial loss in the unfortunate event of a serious health condition. Our benefit offerings include competitive compensation, full medical coverage, life insurance, paid holidays and vacation, and profit sharing. Additionally, voluntary plans are available through payroll deduction for dental, disability, cancer, accident, and long-term care coverage. All employees are encouraged to utilize the Firm's employee assistance and wellness programs.
We use the latest in Microsoft Office applications together with many state-of-the-art legal programs. Our document management system is cloud based and our client management, records, accounting and docketing systems are integrated throughout all our offices. Our IT staff provides both application and engineering support to our users and a full-time trainer educates our new users and offers ongoing education for application upgrades. We employ an applications development staff that provides customized workflow solutions to all our offices and maintains a firm Internet and intranet site. Our technology staff attends the International Legal Technology Association education conference and the LegalTech show, in addition to other conferences throughout the year, to stay abreast of the latest legal technology trends and products.
All new employees at Ward and Smith, P.A. participate in a comprehensive training program designed to jump-start the employee's long-term career with the Firm. In addition to providing new employee training, the Firm offers its employees access to an in-house team of experienced professionals in all practice areas and departments within the firm. We rely heavily on our in-house training resources, such as a training facility and video conferencing capabilities. Once employees have completed the hands-on training, they are encouraged to use the broad range of instructional documents and videos conveniently located on the firm's intranet.
In addition to in-house training programs, each paralegal is provided an annual seminar allowance to assist in funding external seminars and training opportunities. All staff members are invited to lunch seminars conducted in-house by qualified professionals.
Ward and Smith employees are supporters of and contributors to various service, charity, and community organizations. In efforts to help raise funding or gain added support and awareness, we are active in such groups by volunteering our time, expertise, or labor. Whether we are collecting coats for a local elementary school, building homes, or running marathons, we are devoted to our charities and organizations.
We are committed to fostering growth and longevity in our employees. Lasting relationships have always been, and will continue to be, a priority for the firm. Through the years, many employees have been honored for reaching their 10-, 15-, 20-, and 25-year anniversary milestones. During the firm picnic each November, we publicly recognize employees for their years of service and dedication.
It is the commitment and dedication of employees that have sustained our ability to provide top-notch client service and continued growth throughout the years.