Location: Whippany, NJ
Industry: Law firm
Tanya N. Helfand
President and Lawyer
When Tanya N. Helfand first founded Helfand and Associates, she practiced in a variety of areas, including real estate. Over the years, however, the business evolved to become mainly a family law practice. “My goal has always been to provide excellent assistance for clients through very difficult times, … to be efficient, to focus on their children, their families, their futures, and to be objective and not waste their money,” says Helfand.
Fun Fact: At least once a month, Helfand visits Cheshire Home, a home for disabled individuals, with her Rottweiler, who is trained to be a companion dog.
“This is a very challenging industry because we deal with clients who are very emotional, and we have to make them happy,” says Helfand. At the same time, she notes, it is important to give clients a realistic idea of their position under the law. “It’s a delicate balance, and I try and teach that to my incoming associates and the other folks here — to be kind and sympathetic, but at the same time to be truthful and pragmatic with our clients.”
Because the pressures of litigation can make for a stressful work environment, Helfand’s goal is to project a positive attitude at the firm. “I feel that I have to set the tone in the office,” she says. “We have to be positive, we have to always work for the client, we have to be professional.” At the same time, it’s important to Helfand to gather feedback from her employees. “I always consult with my staff about their input,” she says. “What are they getting on the front lines from the clients? How can we make it better? I think a good leader is somebody who leads positively, but also has an ear for what is going on around them.”