June 8, 2021
Patricia Coles first interviewed with Rusk Haverfield, co-founder of Walter | Haverfield, in the spring of 1988. At the time, she had more than ten years of experience working in the credit department at W.T. Grants, a former department store, and another ten years of experience in bookkeeping, payroll and filing at the former law firm of Willis, Whitehead, Character, Adrine, Childs, Blackwall & Davidson.
Coles, now 84, first sought out the accounting position at Walter | Haverfield when a close friend tipped her off about the opportunity. She fondly remembers the moment that Haverfield, co-founder, offered her the position, and she eagerly accepted it. But little did she know that that decision would shape her professional life for the next 34 years.
“I was thrilled to take a new job that was located in Tower City, which would no longer require me to brave the freezing winter winds,” said Coles. “One of the first things I noticed about Rusk Haverfield within my first week on the job was that he greeted everybody with a smile. I’ve always done the same.”
Coles is a proud member of a small group of staff members who are still with Walter | Haverfield more than three decades later. Both Paul Walter and Rusk Haverfield died in 1992.
Not long after she started in the firm’s accounting department, an appealing position with more variety opened in the library, and she found herself assisting the firm’s law librarian in the transition from print to digital.
“In addition to what the firm has taught me professionally, it has also presented me with some of my most cherished, life-long friendships.”
Coles recalls the times when her co-workers embraced her while she grieved the loss of her husband and son.
“I can truly say I’ve enjoyed working at Walter | Haverfield,” added Coles. “Attorneys and staff are wonderful and a pleasure to work for and with. I so appreciate the privilege this firm has afforded me for 34 happy years.”
Today, Coles serves as both the library coordinator and the firm’s receptionist. She is often the first friendly face visitors and employees see in the lobby and the first friendly voice callers hear when they contact the firm.
“I truly enjoy interacting with people, whether it be over the phone or in person,” added Coles. “I take pride in what I do. I’m proud to be the greeter at a firm with such a long-standing reputation.”
Coles insinuates that she is close to retirement. When she leaves, she has a plan: spend more time with family, learn how to play the piano, and enroll in art and line dancing classes.
Since 1932, Walter | Haverfield attorneys have served as strategic counselors to private businesses, public entities and high-net-worth individuals, providing creative and customized solutions that deliver outstanding results at an exceptional value. Our track record has allowed us to sustain year-after-year growth. Walter | Haverfield has doubled its size in the past decade to become a top Ohio law firm. Today, our team of nearly 100 attorneys is focused primarily in the areas of business services, real estate, intellectual property, labor and employment, education, tax and wealth management, hospitality and liquor control, litigation and public law.