Whew. I am putting fingers to keyboard for the first time in what feels like forever. It was at least a pandemic, a new liver (for the Sports Dude), and an insurrection ago. I don’t even remember when (although I could easily look it up).

Are you still there, dear readers? How are you? How is your family? Are you thriving, surviving, or just hanging on?

Did 2020 make you stronger? Find a new you? Make changes for the better?
Did it overwhelm you? Knock you off balance? Kick your ass? Or a combination of it all?

Was there a right way or a wrong way to do 2020?

It’s Not Always About Me

Eric S. Geller – Before (r) and After (l) Liver Transplant

I feel as if I am coming out of a haze. Just prior to the pandemic’s beginning the Sports Dude’s health took a bad turn. As you may or may not know, he suffers from acute ulcerative colitis and had to have his colon removed about 15 years ago. There was a chance that he would develop primary sclerosing cholangitis, which he did, and that it could go acute, which it did, necessitating a liver transplant, which he had on October 10, 2020.

As we met with the Liver Transplant team at Oschner Medical Center and spoke with his liver doctor back in Los Angeles, we discovered we were in the right place.
Continue Reading Are you there blog? It’s me, Heather

It’s Wednesday, which looks a lot like Tuesday and Friday and Sunday around here.

I’ll head to work in a few minutes (down the hall from the couch in the living room where I current sit) and never realize I did not step outside once all day. I’ll be on Zoom after Zoom, call after

Dear General Counsel,

You are not imagining it. Every single law firm you have ever given a dollar to is sending you a Coronavirus client alert, most likely daily. Every single law firm has also set up a COVID-19 Resource Center (<<< that one links to my firm’s).

I agree, I’m seeing a lot of undifferentiated, repetitive, lacking in value, general content. Basically, there’s a lot of crap out there.

Problem is, you need some of that information, and no single law firm is going to give you all that you need for the simple truth that one size fits one, and marketing is about the one to many.

I need your help here. You are going to have to decide which law firms (might not be yours) are providing relevant content and figure out what is the most meaningful way for that content to be delivered to you.

Separate the wheat from the chaff

As a legal marketing professional, I’m going to give you a few tips to manage the information coming your way so you can find what you need and ignore or unsubscribe from the rest:
Continue Reading Tips for General Counsels to Manage Coronavirus Client Alerts

Wow. How the hell did we wake up to this reality? Coronavirus? COVID-19? You can call it what you want, but I’m sitting here vacillating between “I should have taken the blue pill” and putting on my Sheriff Rick Grimes hat and getting ready to kick some ass.

We finally know what happened to Rick on Walking Dead

So how are you doing? Personally, I feel like I’m just snapping into my new reality.

For the past two weeks I’ve been so focused on moving my office home and pivoting everything we were doing to meet the needs of our attorneys and firm clients; stocking up on what we needed to stock up on; getting one kid home from her study abroad program in Paris (where she had been to Milan the week before the crisis broke out there), and bringing the other kid in from California (because when shit like this happens, don’t we all want our moms?); helping my siblings as we make sure our parents are set up and stop going out (guess where I get the stubborn from??), that I haven’t really internalized what was happening.

My new reality is sinking in, finally


Continue Reading How are you? Is there anything I can do to help?

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 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

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?