MacElree Harvey Commemorates Women’s History Month in an Interview Series Q&A with Robyn Rykard


MacElree Harvey Office Assistant and Receptionist Robyn Rykard.
Image via MacElree Harvey.
MacElree Harvey honored Women's History Month with Q&A interviews featuring the firm's Office Assistant and Receptionist Robyn Rykard.
MacElree Harvey Logo.

MacElree Harvey has celebrated March — Women’s History Month — with a series of Q&A interviews, including the firm’s Office Assistant and Receptionist Robyn Rykard.

Describe your current and past roles at MacElree Harvey. 

I started with MacElree Harvey in 2018 as an office assistant. Generally speaking, an office assistant’s responsibilities include ordering toner and placing service calls for the various copiers, replenishing supplies, and delivering mail and filings to the courthouse.

Since joining the firm, I have added more client-facing duties to my responsibilities. I cover the reception desk often and have started witnessing signings for the firm. This past year I managed the North Star gift drive for the firm, which made me proud to support our community and make a difference in the lives of others.

How do you believe your unique perspective as a woman contributes to MacElree Harvey’s overall success and diversity?

Each day, I cover the reception desk while the receptionist is at lunch. Every now and then, I have a conversation with either a client or a client’s loved one. 

One particular occasion, a spouse waited in the waiting room while her significant other finalized his will. He did not have much longer to live. She was strong, but you could feel the sadness in her. We spoke about past employers (she was once a receptionist) and keeping in touch with “old” friends (she was having lunch with some “old” friends later in the week).  

Women by nature are nurturers and want to comfort. We listen, show empathy, and also offer sympathy. Clients come to MacElree Harvey knowing that we care. It’s not just lip service. When I answer the phone and a client or potential client mentions a loved one has passed away, I always offer my condolences. People remember the little things and how you made them feel, especially during difficult times.

Having experienced some of the same circumstances that bring clients to our firm, I can relate to how clients feel. In those situations, I knew what would have helped me, so I always try to treat people the way I want to be treated.

Growing up, was there someone in your life who inspired you to become who you are today?

Growing up, my mother was my biggest inspiration. I grew up with both a mother and a father, but while my father’s job was always a nine-to-five position, my mother took advantage of the different work shifts available in her place of employment. She would change shifts as we grew older so that she could at least spend time with her three children before going to work. By the time we were teenagers, my mother was working the first shift and did so until she retired. She and my dad had goals in life and knew hard work and a strong work ethic would achieve those goals. 

What progress on gender equality have you seen in your life and work?

The practice of law is predominantly a male-dominated occupation, but more and more women are enrolling in law schools and passing the bar. Here at MacElreeHarvey, I take pleasure in seeing the senior female attorneys mentoring female associates and the female paralegals who are studying to be attorneys while raising families. You know someone else’s journey if you have already made the same walk.

What is one thing others can do to empower the women in their lives?

Empowering the women in our lives means lifting them up. Listen. Offer advice. Offer to watch children. Tell the woman in question, “I have your back. What else can I do to lighten your load?”

My eldest daughter is going to resume her goal of earning a nursing degree while working and raising a child. I have encouraged her to continue to live at home so that we can help her.

Learn more about the team members of MacElree Harvey and how they work to assist individuals and businesses with family, personal, and corporate law matters.

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