Miller Mayer, LLP was named one of CNY’s “Best Places to Work” in 2017 by The Business Journal News Network in Syracuse. Miller Mayer was ranked #3 in the category of businesses with 51 to 150 employees. The only other Ithaca-based business to be recognized was Holt Architects. Employers were ranked based on anonymous employee responses to a detailed survey conducted by the independent research firm RMS.
Like most of the businesses recognized in the awards ceremony Thursday evening, October 19 at the Drumlins Country Club, Miller Mayer received high scores for creating a positive culture and satisfying work environment based on clear vision and values, effective management, engagement, teamwork and camaraderie.
Miller Mayer was established in 1985 and, over the last three decades, has steadily grown to become Tompkins County’s largest law firm, with 22 lawyers and over 40 staff members. As a full service firm, the practice has been guiding local clients through all aspects of their legal needs, from starting a business through family law needs to real estate transactions, to name a few. Additionally, and this may come as a surprise for a firm based in a quiet town in upstate New York, Miller Mayer has developed a sizable, world-renowned immigration law practice, with immigration lawyers regularly speaking at industry events worldwide, authoring publications and leading advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C. As a result of the rapid growth of the immigration practice, the firm recently opened a new branch office in Shanghai, China, to better service its large client base throughout Asia.
Jim Miller, name partner and founding member of the firm, said about the award, “I feel truly blessed to be a part of an amazing firm that has worked hard for over 30 years to deliver exceptional legal services to clients not only locally, but also regionally and internationally. We are committed to being active in the local community and maintaining a strong presence in downtown Ithaca. Our success is due in large part to the dedication and loyalty of our staff and their recognition that we are all part of a team effort.”
Indeed, the firm’s offices have been right on the Commons since 1987, and when it was time to expand into a larger space following the extended Commons construction period, staying right here was still the natural choice. Miller Mayer moved into the second floor of the Rothschild Building, sharing the floor with the Finger Lakes School of Massage. The space was beautifully renovated by Tetra Tech and McPherson Builders and spans 14,665 sq. ft. to accommodate the growing practice. A major perk of the location is, of course, being able to grab a pie during Apple Harvest Festival right outside the office doors.
Miller Mayer is proud of the diversity built among attorneys and staff and the multicultural, LGBTQ+ friendly environment. The firm includes people who are originally from more than 10 different countries, from Jamaica to Denmark, and who are fluent in many different languages, including Chinese, Korean and Spanish. Eleven of Miller Mayer’s 22 attorneys and five out of the nine partners are women, a ratio not commonly found in law firms and a testament to the dedicated efforts to grow the business as an inclusive practice, fostering the strengths of every individual.
“A number of our attorneys started their professional careers working for major firms in large metropolitan cities around the world, and chose to move to the Ithaca area for the small-city lifestyle as well as the academic and cultural opportunities that our community provides. As a firm, we are committed to being part of the Ithaca community and enjoying its benefits, while at the same time providing high-quality legal services comparable to those associated with major firms in large cities,” said Rosanne Mayer, one of the partners who started the immigration practice at Miller Mayer over 25 years ago.
Carolyn Lee, managing partner of the renowned EB-5 investor immigration group within the practice, added, “Miller Mayer has experienced incredible growth in the last dozen years, in particular as leaders in the emergent EB-5 industry. We’re proud to stay ahead of the fast pace of a global EB-5 practice while being true to who we are: excellent lawyers who enjoy our work. With offices in Ithaca and Shanghai, we joke that we’re the only law firm in the world with those cities on the letterhead. Indeed, it captures perfectly our roots as well as our entrepreneurial spirit. I feel grateful for the confidence of the many clients in our care and am inspired to deliver more. And we will!”