The only person who has been with Fry & Elder longer than Robert G “Hap” Fry Jr. is Joyce Caldwell. Not surprisingly, Caldwell is both revered and feared down the hallowed legal halls of Fry & Elder. She began working for C. Lawrence Elder in 1968 and has been closely aligned with the firm ever since, operating today as the acclaimed firm’s financial paralegal. Judy Willits’ tenure at Fry & Elder also expands over 40 years, having worked as Fry’s personal paralegal for a number of years.
While Caldwell and Willits are the most established members of the firm’s talented and efficient legal support staff, they are far from being the only notable members on a staff that also includes project coordinator Allison Smith and paralegals Deborah Lauderdale and Kathy Keener. In honor of National Administrative Professional Day, the group was celebrated Wednesday at the Robert G Fry Jr. Center for Trial Studies with gifts and cake.
“We have a very talented staff here and they are at the very core of it,” Fry said. “They just all do such a fantastic job. I’m not sure where I would really be, or the firm for the matter without Joyce and Judy. They know everything. I mean everything.”
Though Fry & Elder’s decorated trial lawyers garner much of the spotlight, the firm’s talented legal support staff have unquestionably helped the Oklahoma law firm reach new heights. Fry & Elder Oklahoma City opened late last year, and the firm has been named to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report’s Best Law Firm’s list from 2014-2017. The firm also features five attorneys who have been recognized by Super Lawyers®, four attorneys who are AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and three of the past four Oklahoma Bar Association Family Law Section Chairs.
“Any success we have as attorneys is directly related to them; that I can promise you,” Henry said. “We are one big team here at Fry & Elder, and they are a very intricate part of that team.”