She didn’t even want the job. When Margot Elizabeth Glendenning arrived at the office of a prominent attorney in New Orleans back in 1972, she had convinced herself that she wasn’t going to take the position of a paralegal, even if it was offered. Margot Elizabeth (don’t ever just call her Margot) had just graduated from a business school in New Orleans and she was looking for a job that would pay her a fair wage and one that would also pique her interest. She had gone to a workforce program and a recruiter had approached her with an offer; one that, try as she might, she just couldn’t refuse.
“The workforce recruiter didn’t just call me with a job offer; she hounded me,” laughed Glendenning. “I don’t know what my issue was, but I just didn’t want the job. I guess part of me thought, ‘well, what’s so wrong with them that they would want to hire me this badly?’”
What Margot Elizabeth didn’t realize at the time was that there was nothing wrong with the law firm that wanted to hire her; there was just something really, really right about her.
“This poor woman kept calling me and finally said ‘they won’t stop asking me about you. Will you just go to the interview? Do it for me. You don’t even have to take the job, just go to the interview.’”
Margot Elizabeth did end up going to the interview and she instantly clicked with the hiring attorney.
“[The lawyer that I worked for] was very nice,” she remembered. “He was very pleasant, and it was almost like I was talking to a family member in a way. After we spoke, he just started to act like I would be coming into work the next day. And I told him that we hadn’t even discussed wages. So, he gave me a price and I said that I wouldn’t even pay my babysitter that. He said ‘Okay, then let’s double it.’”
Margot Elizabeth was astonished by the offer. “I asked him if he had to talk with his partners and he just said, ‘That’s my problem; not yours.’ And that’s something he continued to say for the entire time I worked for him. He once told me to take a month off to go on vacation to see my family. I said that I didn’t have enough paid time off to do that and, once again, he said ‘That’s my problem; not yours.’ He was one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve never forgotten what he said.’”
Margot Elizabeth said that working for that firm in New Orleans was like being a part of a family. This resonated with her, because she was always very close to her own family. Her parents instilled in her the importance of integrity, of knowledge and of kindness. She also knew, from a very young age, how important the legal system was. She grew up around Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington DC, so she was never too far away from a history lesson or a conversation about the Constitution. The law was always a part of her life, one might say, so it shouldn’t have been surprising that she would find a career in that field. It’s also not surprising that her life’s road would lead her to Wyoming and, eventually, to the law firm of Williams, Porter, Day and Neville.
“I felt so honored when I was accepted for a position at WPDN,” Margot Elizabeth beamed. “When I arrived in Casper, all I ever heard about was that ‘WPDN was Wyoming’s premier law firm.’ After being on ‘the inside’ now for a quarter of a century, I know that to be a fact. An important life path for me is to be involved with places and people of integrity; who are diligent, hardworking and willing to take the extra step – to go the extra mile in order to serve others. That’s exactly what WPDN does.”
Margot Elizabeth joined WPDN in 1994, almost 26 years ago. Throughout those years, she has seen, heard and said a lot of things involving the law. She is an Advanced Certified Paralegal, with an advanced specialty in Civil Litigation, which she obtained in 2002. She was at WPDN when a founding partner was still practicing law and she has remained a constant positive presence in the years since. She has put in countless hours of ‘Discovery’ for the lawyers she’s worked for (‘Discovery,’ in the legal world, is the act of obtaining evidence for a case, whether through interrogations, requests for the production of documents, requests for admissions, depositions or various other means designed to build a case). More than anything, she has watched WPDN grow into a firm that practices integrity, diversity and dedication to the clients they serve.
“It might be a secret,” she divulged, “but the people who really trust and appreciate our lawyers in the courtroom the most are the judges [who preside over our cases]. And these judges may not tell our lawyers that, but they tell me that and it’s a big deal. They appreciate our lawyers’ dignity and integrity, and the fact that they come to court prepared.”
She continued, saying that “Our attorneys work hard. They work hard to win for their clients and to satisfy their clients but winning isn’t the whole deal. It’s nice, but there’s a lot that surrounds a case and the most important aspect of a case is knowing that, win or lose, you were well prepared; that you paid attention to your client, that you involved your client and that you treated your client with respect. Before I worked here, I heard that’s what WPDN did and then I got to experience it first-hand. I continue to experience it day after day.”
She has been with WPDN since 1994. Nobody would stay at a job for that long unless they loved what they did and who they did it with. Margot Elizabeth is as much of a foundation at WPDN as any of the partners, and everyone is quick to remind her how much she is relied upon and appreciated.
“How fortunate I have been and how exciting it has been for me to be part of a firm with such legal acumen and integrity,” she beamed. “WPDN is packed with academic, intellectual brain power and profound expertise that never runs stagnate or gets lazy. It’s both satisfying and comforting to be part of such a rounding out of doing one’s best while engaged in a positive and trustworthy service. I’ve learned much at WPDN that will follow and serve me the rest of my life and I am humbled by the level of respect I receive here.”
Currently, Margot Elizabeth works as a paralegal for WPDN attorney Steve Emery but, she insists, everybody at WPDN works for everybody else. Everybody works together to work for their clients and that is why WPDN has remained a fixture in Wyoming for decades. WPDN is a team, a family. And Margot Elizabeth herself may just be the firm’s matriarch. Like any good mother, she is there to pick up the pieces, to fill in the blanks, to solve the problems. And when an attorney goes to Margot Elizabeth with an issue, no matter what that issue may be, they trust her when she assures them that, from that point forward “It’s my problem; not yours.”