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

The holidays are officially upon us and the stress of gifting as well. Black Friday, Cyber Monday be damned.

But we’ve all been there. We go out of our way to purchase the “perfect gift,” only to see the recipient nod a little “thanks” in our direction. Or we give a little something, only to see the person’s face light up and joy fills the room.

So before you start sending out gift baskets galore, take a moment to read this post.

Gratitude is a science, and we can measure it

Gift wrapped in measuring tapeWhen it comes to gifting, it turns out there is a science behind it.

Gratitude–which is what gifting is about–actually relieves stress, and can be measured.

Who knew?

Well, apparently Glenn R. Fox, a USC professor who spoke at our firm recently. While Dr. Fox’s talk was on gratitude as a whole, it turns out that they measure gratitude through gift giving. Which, ironically, was perfect timing as my department was getting ready to embark on the our annual “Holiday Gifts” program.
Continue Reading The science behind good gifting

Throughout the 1970s there was a cigarette slogan, “You’ve come a long way baby.” And, according to a recent survey conducted by ALM Intelligence and Calibrate Legal Inc., we’ve got a long, long way to go.

First of all, trying to get a good compensation survey for the legal marketing and business development functions and roles in a law firm have not been easy, nor have they been consistent. The actual tool that comes with this survey allows you the ability to slice and dice a comparison of roles, regions, and titles. With more than 800 respondents, it is a good pool of data, and I look forward to the updates as more people participate.

I actually had a lot of fun comparing my role and salary to other regions, and the tool provided me with a trove of information supporting how I would like my team compensated.

Men v. Women

This survey is the most comprehensive one I have found. And while there is good news in there (download survey summary), one of the most disturbing ones has to do with pay disparity between men and women, especially at the AmLaw 100 and 200 levels.  Continue Reading Survey says: We’ve still got a long way to go, baby

Here I am in Boston to attend the College of Law Practice Management‘s Futures Conference; set to be inducted as a Fellow this evening. Being welcomed as a Fellow in this organization is a reflection of my career, my contributions to the legal industry, and an incredible honor. I look around the room, and read about my fellow Fellows, and I am humbled. I also wonder: “Do they know who they just confirmed?”

Is My Impostor Syndrome Showing?

Cabo 2018
Family posing on vacation – Cabo 2018

It’s not a secret that I am a recovering alcoholic. I’ve been sober for more than 30 years (ugh … that’s a long time).

I’m also married to my high school sweetheart.

I have two great kids.

We take great vacations and have stuff.

From the outside looking in, for all intents and purposes, I have a sweet life. And I do.

And yet, I still compare my insides to your outsides and struggle with insecurities.

I have friends on Facebook who live lives I wish I lived:

  • They are stay-at-home moms who have had the privilege of raising their children (I had a nanny)
  • They have beautiful homes (I am stuck in my condo, FOREVER, because I am priced out of both upgrading and down-sizing in the crazy LA market)
  • They are celebrating 25+ years of marriage (let’s just say I have trust issues that have impacted my relationships through the years)
  • They take the most exotic vacations (we go where the time-share will take us)
  • They have impressive college and post-baccalaureate credentials (If I knew how great my college was I’d never have applied …. and with that GPA, there was no way I was getting into a Tier-1 law school)
  • Their careers seem to be spectacular (legal marketing … how’d that happen??)

Continue Reading My Insides vs. Your Outsides

Summer is over, and that means a rash of conferences will be taking place between now and the week before Thanksgiving. Calls for speakers and sponsors are starting to go out for 2019. And my budget and calendar are busted.

Needless to say, I have attended, participated, and planned numerous conferences over the course of my career, and there’s just no excuse for crap programming.

I’m spending time (days out of the office, away from my family, plus travel), money (usually my firm’s, but for my service provider colleagues, it’s their money). And for my clients (the attorneys in my firm for me, but the paying clients for my firm’s attorneys), they are losing access to their trusted adviser/service provider/attorney for those hours or days.

It’s 2018 and there’s just no excuse for bad programming. So why are you still not taking speaking or moderating at a conference seriously? You said yes for a reason.  Continue Reading An Open Letter to Conference Organizers, Panel Moderators, and Speakers