If you’ve ever called our Marler Law Partners office, you have most likely heard the voice of the lovely Dawn Yates. She is the first point of contact for most Marler Law Partner clients.

In this month’s Q&A blog, we start focusing on the team behind the scenes of MLP so you can get to know more of the friendly faces/voices that greet you when you work with us.

Dawn shares her experience working with MLP as a client and team member, as well as a few of her favorite things to do with her daughter around the Farmington and St. Louis area.

How did you first get connected with MLP? How long have you worked there?

I started working with Marler Law Partners in June 2019. I found out about the job through Sara Marler when meeting with her about my case. I was actually a client of Sara’s several years ago and came in to update some paperwork pertaining to my case. At the end of our meeting she mentioned the opportunity to work at the firm and handle client intake.

I love Sara and loved working with her as a client, so I was thrilled at the opportunity to work with her again.

What was it like being a client for Marler Law Partners? How did you come to choose them as a firm?

I have been family friends with Brenda, Sara’s paralegal, for almost my whole life. So, when I had to get a child custody agreement in place, Brenda was the first person I called.

Although she didn’t work for Sara yet, she highly recommended Sara, who she said is one of the best family law attorneys in the area. After my first meeting with Sara, I knew I wanted to hire her. She had great energy, and she gave me confidence that she could resolve my matter.

I was completely clueless how to find a lawyer and had never dealt with legal issues before, so I was glad that I had a friend with a recommendation!

What made you choose a career in the legal industry?

I have always been interested in law, crime and justice. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a cop or a detective or a lawyer, but I knew it was a path I was super interested in.

I’ve tossed around the idea of law school, but after having my daughter, it made it difficult to go away to law school.

I didn’t realize how many things you could do in the legal profession without being a lawyer until I got this job at the firm.

What does your job entail?

I am the person who answers the phones, so I’m often the first point of contact when clients call our office. Many times, I obtain information about their situation to determine if our office is able to handle their matter.

I’ll find out which county their case is in, gather any useful information, and take notes for the attorney, but most importantly I try to really listen to people, so they feel heard. People usually call an attorney’s office in times of need; I try to be the first one at the firm to assure them they have called the right place and we are here to help.

If it’s a case we can help them with, I schedule them for a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, answer any other general questions they may have, and send them electronic forms to complete prior to their meeting. This way potential clients can spend their meeting time speaking with the attorney and not filling out forms.

What surprised you about working at a law firm?

I expected that working at a law firm would be fast paced, which it is. However, the firm itself is more laid back than I thought a law firm would be, which makes everyone here very approachable.

I learned a LOT on the job. I only knew the legal background of my own case and had no knowledge of the other service areas Marler Law Partners provides.

What is your favorite thing about working for Marler Law Partners?

My favorite part is being able to learn about how a law firm works and learn so much about the law, despite having not gone to law school. I like it when I hear back from clients that I helped do intake for once they are midway through their case or towards the end.

They might say “Hey Dawn! Things are going great! We love it here!” It’s really rewarding when I get to hear from clients again after they’ve been helped by our attorneys.

When you aren’t at MLP, what are your hobbies or things that keep you busy?

My daughter and I like to go explore and stay out of the house. Some of our favorite places are the Science Center, Sky Zone or going to events like the Garden Glow at the Botanical Gardens.

My daughter likes the City Museum the best. It’s the best playground for kids and adults!

What is your favorite movie / TV show / podcast / book?

My go to TV show is “Supernatural.” I’ve watched it several times through. I’m currently watching “Empire” and the music is really great!

When my daughter is home though, we always watch “Boss Baby” (the TV Show).

Where is your favorite restaurant?

My daughter loves chicken strips, so we either go to Colton’s or to White Castle for their chicken rings!

How do you “help good people through hard times” in your own life, outside of MLP?

I try to live that out by being nice to people. You never know what people are going through in their day to day lives.

It could be as little as helping them pick something up or paying it forward by paying for the coffee of the person behind you.

I always try to pay compliments to other people. I think it’s important for women to support other women instead of tearing each other down; it’s nice to pay each other an easy compliment. It can make someone’s day.

If Marler Law Partners was competing in an Olympic sport, what sport would it be?

I think we’d be a volleyball team. Jessy on our team would be the server. Ramona would be the one hitting the ball over the net. And Cayla would be our coach.

I would be in the back row passing the ball to the other team members.

What advice has been most useful to you during your professional career?

The best thing that I’ve been told at Marler Law Partners is to not freak out when I have been given an unfamiliar task and that there are no such thing as stupid questions. The firm is very supportive of the employees and strive to create an environment where it is okay to ask questions or ask for help.

That pairs with how much I’ve been able to learn while on the job here. If I didn’t feel comfortable asking a million questions a day, I would’ve never learned as much as I did!

Have any more questions for Dawn or other staff members at Marler Law Partners? Leave a comment below!