I often post articles on LinkedIn with a lead in: “If you only have time to read one thing today, this is it.” I started to post this article, “How knitters got knotted in a purity spiral: A process of moral outbidding is corroding small communities from within” this morning, but realize I have more to say on this topic.

The article was posted by one of my most trusted friends, and former bridesmaids, on her private Facebook feed, along with her concerns and fears. She has her own company, which is growing and exposing her to bigger and bigger communities. Sharing, liking the wrong thing could, in an instant, destroy her and all she has worked for in her life, not to mention the people who have invested their money in her company and her employees.

This post is about the current “purity spiral” that has taken hold not just in the U.S., but around the world.

So take a deep breath and come along with me. You’re going to have to connect the dots between a knitting community and the legal industry. But look around you, we’re seeing this purity test phenomenon, along with the inability to dissent, all around us.

Continue Reading Can you pass a purity test?

I know, I know, I know. It’s January 2020 and I blogged exactly seven (that’s 7) times last year. WTH??

It boils down to two things:

1. I’ve been really busy. 

I started a new job which required a move from Los Angeles to New Orleans. It was my first move in more than 20 years, and wow, that threw me. I’m really good at transitions and multi-task organization, but this one really got me and I actually started to doubt myself, but I knew better than to listen to “that” voice and I pushed through it. That first month I really wondered if it would all settle down or if this would be my new normal. It took a couple months, but it finally did settle down, just in time to buy a house, pack up all the stuff we had unpacked (Sports Dude says he got a head start by not unpacking a dozen or so boxes that just sat around our rental for the 8 months we were there), and move to our new home.

One of the reasons we moved was to get out of the crazy of LA. The congestion. The pace of life. The “culture.” We bought this house to literally stop and enjoy the views. To recharge. To let go and be in the moment. We have yet to be disappointed. Photos above and below are from our back porch of a sunrise and sunset this week.

Image may contain: sky, tree, outdoor, nature and water
Davey House, 2020.#NoFilter. Photo credit: Eric S. Geller

2. I really didn’t have much to say. 

It kinda struck me this year more than other years, but we’re still talking about the same crap we were talking about 20+ years ago: Industry groups. Diversity. Attorneys not wanting to do business development. What to do about the service partners when their rainmakers retire. Succession planning. Client service. Billing rates. CRM.

Sure we’ve had some disruptions: generational shifts, AFAs, AI. But they all come back to the same themes. I keep thinking, “Ah, this is going to really change things,” but it rarely does. We just keep operating in a very small bubble because, well, lawyers.

This avoidance of changes (innovation) in our industry comes from the risk aversion of lawyers; decision are based on precedence, not looking forward. It’s amazing that all these years (decades) later the basic tenants of Dr. Larry Richards article Herding Cats: The Lawyer Personality Revealed still hold true: Lawyers remain more skeptical, less resilient, and more autonomous than the general population. Great for writing a legal brief, not so great when it comes to business innovations and practices.

While I have seen glimmers of change with the entrance of the Millennials into the law firm, on the whole, there has not been too much change, because how we cultivate and educate lawyers hasn’t changed much. Oh, wait, what’s that I’m reading and hearing? Law schools discussing getting rid of the LSAT? Law firms starting to change hiring practices and looking at non-traditional (tier 1) law schools? Oooh, is that the rise of the millennial leader (video) I’m seeing?? Hmmmm.

So what to do?

Continue Reading Seriously? 2020 already?

I know. It’s been a while since I have blogged. For those not paying close attention, I not only changed firms, but I have changed states. The Sports Dude and I have gone from LA to NOLA. We have traded earthquakes for tropical depressions.

But that’s not the only reason I’ve been radio silent. I had a situation happen where my trust was breached, and I was hurt. Nothing “bad” happened, but I was left feeling vulnerable and retreated, and that kicked in some writers block that I haven’t experienced since college.

I tried writing, and it stalled. I just couldn’t go “there” and be free in my thoughts, and open to what it was I wanted to convey. If I can’t be authentic, I just can’t write. For me, writing is cathartic, free-flowing, and insightful. It is as much for me–allowing me to clarify my thoughts and positions–as it is for the reader.

And then I stumbled upon Brené Brown. Or, better yet, every other post in my Facebook feed seemed to be about her.

Apparently she’s been around for a while, but I had never seen the TED Talk, the Oprah Postcasts (parts 1 and 2), or read her books. But she quickly had me with “daring greatly,” and so here I am. Writing.  Continue Reading Can a quote change your life?

I am of the mindset that if I am complain about something I’d better be the first to raise my hand to volunteer. And while I have not complained about access to justice, I do complain about how the business of law just isn’t getting it right, especially where legal professionals are concerned.

As a member of the California State Bar’s Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services, we have been tasked to see how (alternative) legal service providers (technology companies) can ethically operate and provide services in California.

The task, in and of itself, is challenging Rules 5.4 (fee sharing) and 5.5 (unlicensed practice of law) of the code of professional conduct, which will not only impact the delivery of legal services through technology companies, but will impact law firms by opening up fee sharing, and perhaps in time, the actual ability for legal professionals to take an ownership stake in law firms.

You see, no matter how much we legal professionals try, there is only so much we can do without that ownership stake. Our seats at the table are warm, but when push comes to shove, we don’t have the vote. And that is what keeps most law firms from innovating.  Continue Reading I complained. I volunteered. I’m not disappointed.

My apologies for being radio silent on the blog for the past month or so. For those who follow me on LinkedIn or are Facebook friends, you know I’ve had a recent job change, which includes moving from Los Angeles to New Orleans in a very short frame of time.

Say Hello

Earlier this month I joined McGlinchey Stafford as their Chief Business Development Officer. It was one of those things that came together in a way that you have to admit, “This was meant to be.”

It’s a great little story, actually. The opportunity kept presenting itself to me in different ways, and from different people. It wasn’t until the fourth time that I took my own advice (via Kat Cole) and coached myself to “Just Say Yes!”

From the moment I said yes, everything fell into place quickly. And while it all happened faster than I had anticipated, the Sports Dude and I have found an incredible place to live; our condo is in escrow with a full-aspiration, off-market offer; my older child is looking at summer school classes at Loyola, which is walking distance from our new home; and, the firm has an Irvine office that I can work out of when I come out to visit my son and take in a school play.

Wave Goodbye

What’s that song say again? Something about every new beginning starts with some other beginnings end? And that’s really what has happened. For me to say hello to the new opportunities in my life I have to say goodbye to other ones.

Greenberg Glusker was a great opportunity for me, and we did some incredible things in my years there. What I’m most proud of is my team and the ability to leave knowing that they are fully capable of handling things without me.

I’ll stay till the wind changes,” Mary Poppins

As a marketer, it’s important for me to know when it’s time for me to leave, and time for someone else to take over. It’s also important to me in my tenure at any firm that I get my department in a position where it can operate seamlessly in my absence.

I’m sure there will be bumps along the way, but nothing my team can’t handle. Most importantly, the firm itself will benefit from the ideas, energy, and spirit a new CMO will bring. They are ready for someone else’s “hello.”

Sometimes You Get What You Need

My job, boiled down, is about creativity. I need to be able to see the challenges and the opportunities clearly, so that I can prepare the game plan and execute it.

Living in Los Angeles, I wasn’t thinking clearly. Read about all the reasons people are leaving LA, and add me to the list. I was stuck. I couldn’t upgrade, nor could I downgrade our home. The traffic left me feeling claustrophobic and stuck on the Westside. No doubt, I was in a rut.

I cannot convey to you the smile and energy that hit my face as I turned onto St. Charles Street and made my way to our new home just spitting distance from Audubon Park.

“Won’t you miss you LA?” is a common response I’ve been getting from people when I broke the news of our move. To which I quickly reply, “I’ll miss the LA of 20 years ago.”

“But what about the Rams?” I’ve been asked. Well, turns out they’re playing the NFC South this year, so we’ll be road-tripping to Atlanta and Charlotte, amongst other cities, and, yes, coming back to LA for the Saints game.

“Well, you know it’s hot in New Orleans. And humid,” people keep reminding us. Yes. We know that. But living coastal my whole life, it’s pretty darn cold (“May gray” and “June gloom” ring any bells?), and I love hot summer nights. Oh, and there is this new invention they have in the South: central air conditioning. You should try it. I have it in my car, my office, and my house.

“But, but … the Sports Dude???” Yes, the Sports Dude. Turns out, they actually play sports in Louisiana, and he has some leads on some sports dude jobs, so fingers crossed that his “just say yes” comes together as quickly as mine.

“It is a different ‘culture,’ you know.” Hmmmm. Not sure what they mean by that, but if they’re talking about people who are polite, say hello while walking down the street, offer to help when my hands are full, and enjoy eating incredible food while listening to great music, I’m all in.

For the past few decades my mantra has been: “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find, you get what you need.” It’s held me in good stead, and kept me in a place of acceptance of my moment in time.

It hit me last weekend as I pulled up to a meeting of my spiritual fellowship in The Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans: My worlds have finally aligned and I’m not only getting what I want, but I’m getting what I need.

Another day and another great article highlighting the issues of law firms and diversity, There’s A Diversity Problem At Law Firms – What Can Be Done?

The issues of diversity and INCLUSION at law firms is not as complex as we want to make it. We’ve been talking and writing about this forever, but talking and writing isn’t action.

We have a pipeline problem that goes back to high school, and probably middle school, yeah, elementary school as well. What are YOU doing about that? What is your FIRM doing about that?

We have a pedigree bias problem. What are you and your firm doing about that?

We have an implicit bias problem. Have you taken the test? Do you understand YOUR implicit bias?

We have an interview process and procedure problem. Has your firm revamped and retrained HOW you interview?

We have an inclusion problem. Look around your firm. Who isn’t getting invited to (fill in the blank). What clusters are clustering together and why?

I’m reading Becoming by Michelle Obama. Throughout the book she talks about her experiences growing up and her education, about getting to Princeton and Harvard Law, and then to an AmLaw 100. And she talks about what it felt like there, in the ivory tower, when she’d go home each night to her home on the south side. Continue Reading Are we over complicating the diversity issues in law firms?

Technology changes the way we do things, and sometimes it’s really hard to let go of the way things have always been done. Add lawyers to the conversation–who have been trained that precedent is pretty much everything–and we have the next best thing since oil met water.

I want to introduce you to a term that you most likely have heard of, have an idea of what it is, and are most likely wrong. I know I was.

Access to Justice.

What pops into my mind are state appointed criminal defense attorneys. What I have discovered is that my concept of “access to justice” was really limited to the narrow definition.

I like this definition:

Access to Justice means different things to different people. In its narrowest sense, it represents only the formal ability to appear in court. Broadly speaking, it engages the wider social context of our court system, and the systemic barriers faced by different members of the community.

The barriers to the legal system are immense. It can impact access to immigration assistance, landlord tenant disputes, divorces, child custody, wills and trusts, adoptions, elder care, transgender services, and a multitude of other civil matters, not to mention criminal defense.

And this is where things are getting interesting because “Justice is about just resolution, not legal services”: Continue Reading Will the future of law need lawyers?

WARNING to my Saints friends: This post will include references to the Los Angeles Rams. Please feel free to substitute Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, or the team of your choice when I reference the team.


My husband, the Sports Dude, is a Rams “super fan.” I didn’t dub him that, our local news channel did in a story that ran earlier this week. Being a sports fan led him to becoming a sports reporter. Eric a fan of the the Dodgers, Lakers, Kings, and Clippers, but the Rams, they have his heart.

How does a kid born in Paris, who emigrated here with his parents and brother speaking no English, become an American sports fanatic?

Simply put, it was the team: from the owner to the coaches to the players. They taught him the game, and he learned how to love it and them in return.

The clothes made the fan

Original 1970s sketch by Henri Geller for Carroll Rosenbloomy father-in-law, 

My father-in-law, Henri Geller, was a men’s clothing designer back in the day, and he designed clothes for the Rams’ owner Carroll Rosenbloom and many of the coaches and players. My husband tells vivid stories of the players and Mr. Rosenbloom in his father’s design studio. They gave my husband his first tickets to an NFL game, which he still has in his memorabilia collection, and a fan was born, so to speak.

The Rams don’t know it, but they just created a Super Fan in Josh Garcia, the son of the team’s custodian. Watch for great things to happen for that boy.

Can law firms create Super Fans?

Continue Reading Creating a Super Fan

Happy New Year!

Let me be the first to burst your bubble: Your resolutions are going to fail.

Why? Because resolutions almost always fail because they are based on fixing something or achieving a specific outcome that is most likely unachievable otherwise you’d already have done it.

Yes, it’s time for my annual “set intentions, not resolutions” post:

You get the idea.

Too often we set ourselves up for failure, not success, which is why I coach not to set resolutions, but intentions, and I am not alone in this practice.

From the Daily Calm meditation this morning:

With intentions we are not focused on what we need to fix, but what we want to create.

Or this from Russell Brand:

How did he become such a spiritual guru? I know … he set an intention to do just that.

My Intentions for 2019

I have two intentions for 2019: 1) Clean my life and 2) have more fun.  Continue Reading New Year. New You. No Way.

I had an interesting conversation with an industry colleague yesterday. He made reference to my “super power”: The ability to shake things up. Others refer to it as being a PITA (pain in the a$$). Or bossy. Or, how’s this: a strategic thought leader unafraid of taking risks to achieve results.

I used to be afraid of my super power. I used to shy away from it, down play it, sit on the sides of the conference room table rather than in the center to not over-power a room.

If I’m going to “lean in” to anything, it’s going to be being change-agent. Continue Reading Time to Shake Things Up