Farewell to a Long-Serving Friend
While not one of the firm’s public faces, long-time Linebarger employee Irma Imai has been very much a part of the firm’s growth for most of its existence. That’s why it is particularly tough to say goodbye to her now that she has decided to retire.
In 1983 when Irma Imai first entered the law firm as a 23-year-old runner in the El Paso office, Linebarger was just seven years old – and it wasn’t Linebarger yet – Michael Jackson made his first “moonwalk,” and “The Return of the Jedi” was the movie of the year.
Much has changed in the ensuing 33 years.
“Oh, my god it’s progressed so much in so many ways with the communication and technology,” Irma said. “The way we communicate with our clients and between the offices is just completely different. Thirty-three years ago it was all manual. Now we can look up so much online and efile documents.”
Irma announced her retirement this week after 33 years working in the El Paso office. Starting first as a runner, Irma progressed through many areas of El Paso office operations, from assistant to the bankruptcy department before it moved, personal property area manager, then real estate area manager, and finally landing as senior area manager where she trains new area managers.
“When I joined the firm 20 years ago, I quickly realized Irma was not only very knowledgeable about her job, but that she also had a great passion for what she did,” said Carmen Perez, El Paso office managing partner. Carmen noted Irma’s special talent for developing an ironclad case file that can withstand any challenge. “Her most unique quality is that of caring for people, her co-workers, and taxpayers,” Carmen added.
Irma is embracing this new stage in life while remaining grateful to the firm for offering her career challenges and opportunities. She also acknowledges the complex feelings involved after more than three decades with the law firm.
“I’m not lying it is going to be hard to leave,” Irma said. “I’ve worked all of my life. We’ve been through many changes together. This is my home. It’s so hard to detach after 33 years.”
After retirement, Irma and her husband Jim will take more time to travel and just be together. Irma is also looking forward to helping her parents as they enjoy their golden years. Jim and Irma have two adult children, Cassandra, 25, and Daniel, 23.
“It was not easy to accept Irma’s resignation. I will miss her, as will everyone in this office. She has been a great friend, mentor, and supporter of our firm,” Carmen said. “Please join me in thanking Irma for her 33 years of service to our firm and in wishing her the best of everything as she starts a new journey.”