Tonkon Torp Colleagues Together Through the Long Haul
Anna Sortun, Kimberlee Stafford, and James Hein have shared many journeys since starting their law careers together at Tonkon Torp as first-year attorneys in a class of three. Since that September in 2005 they have gained significant legal experience and found their stride in their respective practice areas. They were all made partners on the same day in January 2014, and today, the attorneys remain close and often collaborate on client work. They have also developed a two-wheeled tradition to nurture their bond outside of the office.
In 2009, Kimberlee was in the midst of preparing for Cycle Oregon, and thought a bike ride to the firm's mid-May annual retreat at Skamania Lodge would be a great training opportunity. James joined her in the 58-mile commute along the Old Columbia Gorge highway, and a tradition was born. This last Friday, May 17, Anna joined the ride for the first time.
“I think of this as my favorite bike commute day of the year, and a super fun opportunity to hang out with my friends and colleagues,” shared Kimberlee. “Plus, the Old Columbia Gorge Highway is beautiful and one of my favorite roads to ride on – especially on a weekday without crowds.”
Speaking about the collegial nature of the firm, Anna, a litigator, shared, “I appreciate that I can seek out James if I need a business lawyer perspective on one of my cases or Kimberlee if I'm dealing with a real estate issue. The shared history and long relationships among lawyers here is a competitive advantage for our firm. It really is what keeps me here. We have become good friends along the way and also good lawyers – in part, by helping each other.”
James agrees that the firm’s reputation for long tenures is an all-around benefit. “Since we work with people we enjoy spending time with, we are much more likely to stay put and not seek greener pastures,” he shared. “Our clients in turn appreciate our long-term stability, and the insights into their businesses that come with it. I do work today for clients that Moe Tonkon and Fred Torp represented at the start of the firm over 40 years ago!”