Marianne Monagle was recognized for her "Excellence in Law Firm Administration" by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly during the 2021 Excellence in the Law Awards. Below is Marianne's profile as featured in the event's program book.
For almost 40 years, Marianne M. Monagle has made her mark on Goulston & Storrs. She joined the firm in 1982 as an assistant to the office manager. At that time, the firm had roughly 40 attorneys and a small support staff across three departments.
Over the years, her role changed dramatically as she rose through the ranks to her position today as senior director of human resources at a firm that has grown to 225 attorneys and over 300 support staff.
“People always ask me, ‘How can you stay in one place so long?’” she says. “But I’ve had a new job every five to eight years, whether through a promotion or adding a new office or new attorneys. I never had a chance to get bored!”
The exposure to so many separate business units has been a boon to her career, allowing her to gain a broader perspective of the firm and be involved in different areas. While she is responsible for professional staff recruitment, skills development and retention strategies, as well as directing the benefits programs, Monagle plays a key role in firm culture.
She helped launch Goulston’s Leadership Academy, a year-long program for managers that features workshops, personalized coaching and mentoring.
“It really sets people up for success,” she says.
When Monagle started at the firm, it had a legal administrative assistant ratio of one assistant per attorney. She was part of transforming the model to reach a ratio of six attorneys to one assistant, an effort that required “a lot of respect and trust.”
Two years ago, Monagle developed a program she dubbed Goulston Giving to provide an opportunity for firm members to work together in their communities. The Boston office works with Horizons for Homeless Children and always tries to go the extra mile.
For example, Monagle oversaw a sneaker drive for the children, with participants receiving the name, age and shoe size of a specific child for whom they purchased shoes and penned a personalized note. “Goulston Giving isn’t about fundraising,” she explains. “It is about a personalized experience of giving that allows for all members of the firm to work together to support the community.”
When COVID-19 hit last year, Monagle’s goal of bringing people together faced a tough challenge. Undaunted, she launched Goulston Connects, a new way for firm employees to get together socially —– and not for the omnipresent Zoom cocktail hour.
Instead, the program offered events such as virtual museum visits and walking tours of famous cities, a book club and a knitting club, as well as a monthly birthday party. It remains so popular that a calendar is necessary to inform employees about the three to five different happenings each week, either at lunch or in the evening.
“I don’t care if only five people show up,” Monagle says. “Those are five people who just connected and feel less isolated and alone.”