Why We Like Working Here

Park-like campus setting of Tulare County Counsel office
Park-like campus setting of Tulare County Counsel Office

See also: Living Here
 

The Tulare County Counsel's office staff enjoy flexible work schedules, with four nine-hour days and all Friday afternoons off. Unless we have a court appearance or other meeting, we enjoy "casual dress Fridays" so we can take off at noon and enjoy our weekend!  And we don't have the miserable freeway traffic jams common to most of California's cities! Moreover, our office is located in a park-like campus setting, with a beautiful oak-tree lined creek running by a paved pathway which many staff members enjoy for a quick stretch away from our desks.

Here, in their own words, are some of the statements by current and recently retired County Counsel staff about why we like working here:

"Most days I can't believe I get paid to do this job. We have the opportunity to work in areas of the law that are not only legally interesting but may have a profound impact on people's lives." - Kathleen Bales Lange, County Counsel

"I had worked for another county counsel's office for a number of years and was laid off. It has been an eye-opening experience to see what a difference the management style can make even where the work is the same. The team-based orientation of this office makes it a pleasure to work here." - Barbara Booth Grunwald, Attorney, Resource Team

"What I like most about my job is: The diversity of the work. Every day is a new challenge and I continue to develop professionally as a result. What I like most about working at the County Counsel's Office is the great people and the flexibility that the County Counsel allows her staff.  She recognizes that as important as our work is, our families are more important.  The flexibility provides a means to balance work with family life." - Cher Castellini, Paralegal, Litigation Team

"The attorneys in this office make me feel like my job is important. Our Department Head is always fair and professional when dealing with issues at work. Although she is very busy, she always makes time to meet with her staff. I'm able to balance my personal life with my work schedule." - Lilly Santillan, Office Manager.

"I live out of county and appreciate my flex work schedule. I work in juvenile dependency and conservatorship" - George Graham, Paralegal, Protective Services Team

" Working with this office, I get exposed to a diversity of issues that are novel from my perspective. I have come to appreciate the talent, professionalism, and ethical demeanor of my co-workers. The most important thing I have observed is that we strive to do the "right thing." Although the "right thing" is not always clear, our office always seems to be guided by two primary guideposts: (1) Our desire to be professional and (2) our ethical duties to the client and the community as a whole. " - Abel Martinez, Attorney, Protective Services Team, one-time Paralegal, Resource Team.

"Before coming to County Counsel I had 20 years of private law experience, working on several complex litigation cases. Making the decision to work for Tulare County Counsel has proven to be the smartest business decision I've made in my career. The work is diverse, challenging, and rewarding. The work environment is pleasant, and I truly look forward to coming to work each day." - Nancy L. Woods, Paralegal, Litigation Team

"I worked mostly in private sectors in S. Korea, and then a relatively large County agency before coming to work here. What a difference! First of all, I never have to worry about moral dilemmas. The staff strives to do the right thing even at times when it isn’t clear. Whenever I bring up accounting standards and policies, I get such enthusiastic responses from the staff. People are open, welcoming, and genuine. The management team members are very understanding of family issues. With two young kids, I can balance my profession and my personal life. Before coming here, I would switch jobs every two to three years. This agency has a lot to offer and I’ve been here for close to nine years. We have lots of employees with double digit service years at our agency."  – Rainbow Moore, Admin Services Officer

 

Recent Retirees and Office Alumni

" I was attracted to living in Tulare County because its housing market is so much better than the rest of the State - being able to purchase a home is important to me and my family! I also like that we are safer and less populated than Southern California. What I enjoy about working for the County Counsel especially are: flexibility of schedules, helpful co-workers, and senior staff who are supportive in my growth on the job." - Dulce Aguilar, Account Clerk.

"My family and I moved to Tulare County fairly recently.  I have enjoyed meeting new friends, and I enjoy learning something new every day at my job. As a newer attorney, it was important for me to work in an environment that offered great experience and mentorship. The Tulare County Counsel’s Office offers plenty in both these aspects. I love the variety of my work assignments, and the opportunities I have encountered are helping me to develop professionally. I have enough experience at this point to say that the people I work with are highly respected. They answer questions, they don’t skip corners, and they take the time teach you what is required to effectively represent our clients." - Kevin Chicas, Attorney, Labor and Employment Team

"Most of my colleagues will say they love most the people they work with every day, both clients and colleagues, and I feel the same. Our strong team-based management approach allows for insuring quality legal work within and between our various "teams" in the office as we mutually support each other. But even when I am just concentrating on doing legal research and writing opinions or advising clients, I revel in the variety and challenge of the work I am doing, which is so much more interesting than typical routine private practice. What I treasure most is that I learn something new every day - my job is never boring! I used to be in private practice, but I find this kind of governmental work - for the public good - is so much more rewarding - even after 30 years working here!" - Harold Wood, retired after 30 years, Attorney, School Team

"I enjoy coming to work every day because of the work I get to do and the great people in our office. I moved here from San Diego and didn’t know anyone in town. From the day I started, everyone in the office was welcoming and helped me get acquainted with both work and the area. I have been with the office for over five years and I still love my job because the office is open to new ideas, ever growing, professional, and truly cares about its employees. Working for Tulare County Counsel is rewarding and satisfying." - Desiree Serrano, Attorney, School Team

"When I was looking for a legal position, I knew that I wanted to work in the public sector because it is both challenging and inspiring.  But I had no idea how much I would truly enjoy the work.  The Tulare County Counsel's office is a collegial work environment that fosters and trains its new attorneys to take on more challenging assignments with the eventual hope that they move into more senior level positions.  The office has been completely supportive of my professional and personal endeavors.  It is rare to find a position where I can genuinely say that I look forward to coming to work each day." -  Elizabeth Klotz,  Attorney, Resource Team

"For over four years at County Counsel, I've worked with friendly coworkers and great mentors. This job entails public service, interesting assignments of public interest, and an office that is both family-oriented and professional. I appreciate the comfortable learning environment as a new attorney. The living environment is great as well, plenty of restaurants and Sequoia National Park right down the road." - Nina Dong, Attorney, Resource Team

"County government serves the public and exists to solve problems.  It affects the lives of residents on a daily basis.  The decisions made by the Board of Supervisors and County agencies contribute to the health, safety, and opportunities available to individual constituents.  My work at the County Counsel helps County agencies perform these vital functions and to do so within the boundaries of the law.  Yet what inspires me the most is to know that I am giving back to my hometown, a rural region that sees many of its educated young people move away to urban areas." - Becca Dames, 2012 Summer Law Clerk and  2012 Grantee from USF Public Interest Law Foundation.

"As a younger attorney, I have found all the senior attorneys to be extraordinary mentors. And, I really appreciate the flexibility in the work schedule - ie. within core hours, we can set our own start and leave times, and we all have Friday afternoons off." - Moses Diaz, Attorney, Resource Team

"I moved to a ranch in the mountains after wrestling with LA traffic for well over a dozen years. I made the change to a home on the range and now I can enjoy my cows -dogs -goats and wild life at home while being able to handle major legal issues with state wide impact working with great people here in Visalia. And while there are great things to do locally, our central location means we can - and do - pop in to San Francisco or Los Angeles whenever we feel like it. California's state motto is "eureka" - well, 'eureka'." - Ron Rezac, Attorney, retired after 21 years, Labor and Employment Team

"Before relocating to Southern California in June of 2013, I worked for Tulare County Counsel for eight years. I worked alongside some excellent colleagues, and was given many opportunities to grow and develop in my legal career. I entered the office in 2004, as a receptionist, and was encouraged to enroll in the paralegal program.  I was promoted to Office Manager of our Child Welfare Team, in 2005 after beginning the paralegal program at COS that Fall. In 2010, I was offered a paralegal position with the School Team, and discovered the job I really fit into and love being a part of. I will truly miss Tulare County Counsel staff who became more like friends and family than just co-workers to me over the years." - Erica Boatman, Paralegal, School Team

"Working at Tulare County Counsel's Office has truly been a rewarding experience. The Admin staff, paralegals, and attorneys have all been so helpful with any questions that I had. I wish to express my deepest gratitude for sharing your knowledge, time, and patience in training me. Kathleen Bales-Lange made this a great place to work and a place where I may return in the future. I will mis the comaraderie and friendly faces." - Gail Holiman, Extra Help Paralegal, School Team. 

"I'm never bored. And always challenged. Both professional and personal growth are encouraged. The importance of a life outside the office is recognized and respected. I came to the practice of law with significant prior work history. The leadership in this office surpasses any prior experience I have had. It is my intent to work for County Counsel until I retire. However, I enjoy the work and the people so much, I can't say when that would be.... Where else can I work as a single mom, live in a custom home on 5 acres, and own a cabin in the mountains?" - Julia Langley, Attorney, Litigation Team (moved in 2015 to join leadership in a more rural County Counsel office.)

"What can I add to what's already been said above? By now you are probably thinking we are pretty good sales people at Tulare County Counsel, and maybe there is a bit of exaggeration going on. I've made a career of working in this office, now in my 29th year. I've served under four county counsels. I also practiced law for 6 years before coming here, first with a private law firm and then in a Legal Aid office. No, our office is not perfect and we have our share of problems and difficult issues. However, there is one overriding characteristic about this office that I believe makes the difference. That is that the management team, all of them long-time senior people, are honest, hard-working people who have tried very hard over the years to do the right thing. I mean by the right thing that this office is run on core principles of excellent service to clients, and fairness, integrity and decency with people particularly each other. No we don't all get along perfectly all of the time. But, we work at it, and especially when problems arise, and most of the time we succeed quite well. Two other important points and I will sit down. First, one of the reasons many of us ended up at Tulare County Counsel is that our personal lives are as important to us as our professional lives. We've personally raised two sons, and are helping to raise 3 grandsons, and this job has always accommodated our personal and family life. Last, but not least, the tone for an office begins at the top. You will not have the opportunity to work for a better County Counsel then Kathleen Bales-Lange. She has made it clear over the years how important her staff is to her, and this is one person who walks the talk. We get to do important government work, and we have some of the best country living around. What more could you want?" - Gary de Malignon, Attorney, retired after 28 years,  School Team.