Brown & Crouppen
Brown & Crouppen prides itself on its many wins on behalf of its plaintiff-clients and on the accolades that accompany those wins.
Still, Andy Crouppen realizes there are other measures of success. He especially likes to see his organization included in compilations of the best places in town to work.
“We realized it was very important for us to be on those lists because what that meant was that we were treating our people right,” he said. “The best way to make sure that people treated our clients well was for us to treat our people well and they pay it forward.”
A native St. Louisan, Crouppen didn’t come instantly to the firm bearing the family name. A graduate of New York University, he spent time in the Empire State working at a record company and an internet enterprise, among other jobs. But eventually, he returned home, and for a decade and a half he has been at Brown & Crouppen. For the past few years, he’s been co-managing partner with Ed Herman.
“I’ve been around [law] my whole life,” he said, noting his father’s career as an attorney and his grandfather’s time as a bail bondsman. “It has always been a part of our family.”
It also has been a part of Crouppen’s value system.
“I’ve always been the kind of person who believes in justice and believes in people being treated fairly and getting what is right and not letting people be taken advantage of,” he said. “Entering the law was consistent with my beliefs and my personality.”
Now, as a law firm leader, he works to provide victories for clients and a great place for employees to work.
“I think about the responsibility I have to almost 250 people to provide a place to come that is a safe and welcoming environment,” he said. “People sometimes spend more time at the office than they do with their families, so I want to make sure there is an environment where you wake up and you want to come to work. It is a place that makes you feel wanted. You are not just a cog in the wheel.”
The same philosophy goes with his clients, who to him aren’t just numbers on a page.
“We’re dealing with our clients often at the hardest times they have,” he said. “They are in a lot of pain. They are missing out on work, missing out on paychecks and getting behind in bills and rent. As a firm, we try to do everything we can to understand what they are going through.”
That’s not just empathy.
“Being empathetic only goes so far,” he said. “We try to turn that into action in terms of things we do.”
Crouppen also has boosted the firm’s community involvement and helped expand the firm’s digital-education initiatives, such as its YouTube channel, “BCTV.”
He’s also worked to improve the firm’s structure. He and Herman have brought on a team of directors to manage the processes of individual departments.
“[That’s] so that we have time to work on the business to make sure that we’re always innovating and doing everything we can to stay relevant, change with the times and make sure we’re growing instead of just being a business that’s on top and then watches itself slowly erode away into obscurity,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re always evolving.”
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