December 2015 Bar Bulletin
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Profile / Jerry Hahn & Oseran Hahn, P.S.

Finding the Balance

By Anna McCurley


In August, a New York Times article brought the issue of work-life balance roaring to the front of the Puget Sound business world. It's not a new issue by any means. Businesses and individuals across all industries have struggled to strike the right balance for decades, but it has been more contentious in recent years.

The legal profession, full of ambitious and wickedly smart professionals who often accept their profession’s usually heavy skew toward the work side of that balance, might well be a posterchild for this issue. Within our industry, however, there are exceptions. Nestled in a small office in Bellevue is a law firm that has quietly forged a trail through that imbalance as it celebrates its 50-year anniversary.

Oseran Hahn is a mix between law firm and family. Many of the partners have been with the firm for decades. One of the key staff members, Alyce, has been there for more than 20 years. Ed Spring, who has been with the firm since 1974, can name close to 10 attorneys who stayed with the firm for decades -that’s saying something for a 14-lawyer firm.

Much of the way Oseran Hahn functions is influenced by its family-like atmosphere. Oseran Hahn goes to greater lengths than the average law firm to accommodate its members' personal and family obligations. Its people strive for, and usually achieve, consensus in their decision-making process. They make a point to encourage a healthy personal life.

Gerald ("Jerry") Hahn and Melville ("Mel") Oseran struck out on their own in 1965, when Hahn was still a young attorney. "I went to work in 1962 for Robbins Oseran & Robbins. And in 1965 Mel and I decided that we would leave the firm and become partners," recounts Hahn (Oseran passed away in 2001). "Morris Robbins was near retirement and we just felt that it was a good time in our careers to do that."

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