It might be more accurate to describe Wayne Risoli as a coach rather than as a lawyer.
By day, Risoli is managing shareholder of law firm Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams and Martin LLP. By night, he is the assistant coach of each of his sons’ baseball teams. In both roles, Risoli believes that everyone plays an equally important role on the team.
At work, he encourages the people in his law office to be actively involved in the success of the firm. When he took over as managing shareholder in 2004, he faced the difficult task of enforcing performance benchmarks. The firm’s profits and revenue were rapidly decreasing, which seemed to be connected to decreased performance. Risoli decided to apply the team-building skills he had learned from being a sports fan and assistant coach to his role as the firm’s leader. He hoped those standards would keep the firm afloat during difficult economic times. Weak players who were not displaying sportsmanlike conduct were let go. Risoli didn’t relish the task of releasing employees, but he knew that he had the best interest of his team to consider. The efforts resulted in a strong team of lawyers whose revenue increased 78 percent between 2003 and 2009. Attorneys also reaped the benefits of their hard work, with a 58 percent increase in individual revenue from 2007 to 2009.
Risoli continues his team spirit into the volunteer efforts the firm makes each year. Employees choose where to best devote their attention, and projects have covered causes from homelessness to youth mentoring and human rights. The firm has worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Human Rights campaign, March of Dimes and The Houston Food Bank.
When Risoli is not coaching attorneys or baseball players, he enjoys golfing in amateur competitions. The future looks bright for Risoli and his team as they continue to work together to build relationships with clients and give back to the community.
How to reach: Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams and Martin LLP, www.chamberlainlaw.com or (713) 658-1818