Denver Bar Association
September 2006
© 2006 The Docket and Denver Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.
All material from The Docket provided via this World Wide Web server is copyrighted by the Denver Bar Association. Before accessing any specific article, click here for disclaimer information.

DBA Placement Service Celebrates 20 Years

by Mindy Marks

Mev Parsons (left) and Barbara Allen review client resumes.

Kathy Dean, a legal administrator with Baker & Hostetler, has been using the DBA Placement Service for nearly 20 years.

"When we first used them, I was so impressed because they came over to our office to assess the atmosphere and find out what type of applicant we’d be interested in," said Dean. "I kept using them because they’re very familiar with the legal community and never give up. They always come through with a great applicant, even when it’s difficult to find someone to fulfill specific needs."

In 1986, Mev Parsons and Barbara Allen, then human resources employees at oil companies, saw a need for a legal placement service. They started the placement service for the Bar Association and are still working there 20 years later. The DBA Placement Service works with large, small and "picky" firms to place legal support staff. It’s the only legal staffing service exclusively sponsored and endorsed by the Denver and Colorado Bar Associations.

Parsons and Allen have seen changes in the way business is conducted because of the Internet, but according to Parsons, "people are still people."

"Even though there is increased competition and the Internet, we get a lot of repeat business due to our reputation and the fact that Barbara and I have been here so long — everyone knows us," said Parsons.

Cindy Pantelis, a legal secretary with Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, has used the DBA Placement Service’s assistance for almost 15 years.

"I think they’ve gotten me every legal job I’ve ever had," said Pantelis. "I was working for a law firm that closed after I had worked there for nine years. I was able to go back to the placement service and share stories with them. I think of them more as friends. When I was looking for temporary work, they sent me to nice places and then found me full-time work, as well. They were honest, upfront, well-informed and knew the legal community."

• Full-time and part-time placements

• Temporary and temp-to-hire placements

Qualified candidates are screened and tested

• All placements are guaranteed

• All requests are confidential

• Proceeds help other DBA programs

This strong reputation has helped the DBA Placement Service build solid relationships with clients throughout the years.

Ellen Husband, legal administrator for Davis & Ceriani, uses the placement service because of its staffing knowledge and guarantees.

"I’ve found that legal secretaries are a dying breed and get harder and harder to find," said Husband. "People coming out of school today want a career with more money, one that’s more professional or flashy — but the placement service always has people available. I’ve hired most of my legal secretaries from them because they have a history with most of their clients. They can give feedback on experience and work style, and assess whether we’re a good fit for each other. I’ve never had to use their guarantee."

Husband says the fees are very competitive and more palatable than other staffing services.

"One big draw to use our service is that the fees are significantly lower because we are a membership service," said Parsons.

Low fees aren’t the only factor influencing people’s decisions to use the placement service.

"I like that it supports the DBA and some of the proceeds go to DBA programs," said Dean. "It’s nice that regardless of how much you pay an applicant, the fee to use their services stays the same (unlike percentage-based fees)."

To contact the DBA Placement Service, call (303) 894-0014.

Member Benefits DBA Governance Committees Public Interest The Docket Metro Volunteer Lawyers DBA Young Lawyers Division Legal Resource Directory DBA Staff The Docket