M(erger) – Minus 16 Days

16Ack. Two weeks and two days to go. It’s busy, so you better have something important — to me – to say to interrupt my day.

On a side note, and to make the Sports Dude happy, I have to say, one nice thing about large office buildings is that I got my oil changed while I worked. Paid through the nose, but it is done.

Here we go:

  • Practice areas for the website. Need to create a spreadsheet for when loading the bios.
  • Another new project. How do we plan an event post-merger?
  • Need to review merger marketing plan.
  • Skipping yoga and lunch to work on my homework for my Leadership Institute class later this week. Almost done.
  • Staff meeting on the merger. Lots of questions answered. I thought it went great.
  • Need to confirm attorneys practice group assignments
  • Emails with lots of questions that need to be answered. How many emails do we send out? Where are our contacts? Those types of details.

Tip: Updating bios is tough. We all know that. This is your chance to make sure everyone reviews and updates their bios. However, get as much done prior to uploading into the new system. I don’t know what October 1 is going to look like, but I don’t want to stop my day to update service areas on attorney bios.

M(erger) – Minus 19: I have peeps!

It’s Friday. Yeah!! I love Fridays. But considering my work/personal life has become just one long continuum, not sure what Fridays get me, other then getting to wear jeans to work. And, yes, I did confirm that the new firm wears jeans on Fridays.

One of the reasons I started this blog, and became very involved in social media, is that I moved from an AmLaw 50 firm to a small boutique. I went from a marketing department of about 50 to a marketing department of 1.25. The trade off of losing a team was worth it. I’ve been working 9-5 most nights and able to be a full and active participant in my kids’ lives, be active in their Girl Scouts (yeah, I’ll be selling stuff soon), LMA leadership, and so much more.

But after a couple phone calls today, I have to say what I am most excited about in the move is that I will be part of a marketing and business development team again.

So what’s on tap today? I’m fighting a cold and I cannot afford to get sick, so I’m working from home.

  • Great chat with the content marketer. Nice to have peeps out there who get my passion for this.
  • Walked through how the diversity statistics are formed, and the programs within the firm.
  • We’re starting to integrate the bios. Need to figure out the procedure on how to update and make changes moving forward.

Tip: Ask questions about process and procedure. Don’t assume a thing, as that will create confusion, and, in worst case scenarios, ill feelings.

Tip: Get off the email and call.

M(erger) – minus 20 days: I’m reflecting

It’s 9/11 and I am reflecting.

Yes. I remember where I was, and what I was doing.

But where I was and what I was doing is not something I need to remember or share.

I choose to remember those who ran into the towers to give aid and comfort that day and never came out.

I choose to remember Father Mychal who died giving last rites.

I choose to remember those who chose to leap to their deaths even though they don’t like to show those pictures on TV.

I choose to remember those who fought and died in the war since, and the war to come against ISIS/L.

I choose not to forget those things and those people today.

So what’s on my plate today? Nothing compared to what those who have been personally touched by 9/11.

I will simply live today for today, and by the wisdom of Father Mychal:

Take me where You want me to go;
Let me meet who You want me to meet;
Tell me what You want me to say,
and keep me out of Your way.

Tip: It is too easy to lose ourselves in the tasks at hand, or the next email. No matter what is going on in your day, don’t forget to take the blinders off to see what others in your life and in your firm are going through. Find the time to be compassionate, and a member of the whole.

M(erger) – Minus 21 Days: My mind is racing

I feel like I am being hit from all directions: the merger integration; regular work that still needs to get done; Girl Scouts; HOA; my family. Kid #2’s cell phone just died … perfect timing with the new iPhones coming out this week. It’s like it knew ….

My head was just racing last night when I got home from work. I am not overwhelmed; I’m just on all the time. The yoga mat seems to be the only place where I can catch a break. It got so bad last night that I even caught up with the Kardashians to try and kill some brain cells. I ended up staying awake well past my bedtime, which allowed me to enjoy the Baker Hostetler skit on The Tonight Show live. I still think Jay’s Mofo attorney skit was better.

I think today I will shut my office door. Get done what I can get done. And go fill up spiritually after work.

So, what’s on tap today?

  • Got my homework assignment for the leadership class in by COB, Chicago time.
  • Sending attorney stats to Chicago. Time to start updating the numbers.
  • A splint and several hours later and we’re home. Time to log in via my iPad. I really need a new laptop.
  • Need to get up to SFO to meet the partners up there. Where to find the time?
  • Kid #1 just twisted her ankle at school. I can’t make this sh** up. Off to the ER we go.
  • Need to find out: do we pay this 2015 conference sponsorship invoice now, or wait until after the merger? What is the policy on approvals? Guess budget time is coming up ASAP.
  • Need to meet with Bob to review his ideas for the new collateral piece.
  • Got Marty’s edits back. We’re off to the races.

Thanks to everyone who asked about kid #1. Bad sprain, but it’s in her growth plate area, which is starting to fuse, so we need the pediatric orthopedic to check it out. Of course they are at a conference this week, and fully booked next week. But I’m sure I’ll persuade someone to see her ASAP. I just never take no for an answer when I know there has to be a work-around.

And perhaps that’s the tip for the day. Don’t take “no” or silence as an answer when you know there is a “yes” or a response that can be made.

M(erger) – Minus 22 Days: Can’t a girl catch a break around here?

I went to bed last night so confused. It felt like Wednesday, but, no, it was only Monday night. Something tells me this is going to be a long week. Not only do we have to integrate the two firms, but I have homework for my leadership class (assignment due tomorrow), and I found out last night that my Girl Scout neighborhood treasury job just doubled my work load.Yeah to being a volunteer.

Seriously. Can’t a girl catch a break around here? Oh, and it’s Babe Ruth Bobble-head night at Dodger Stadium. I really want to go, but it’s a school night. The Sports Dude will be working the game. It feels like I haven’t seen him awake in a week  … thank goodness the team hits the road for about 10 days starting tomorrow. We’re actually going to catch them at Wrigley Stadium next week. Go Blue!

So here we go. Twenty-two more days until the merger. What’s on tap today?

  • Yikes. Can’t believe it’s been that long since I updated that brochure. Well, nothing like merging to get you to update some of your older collateral pieces.
  • Homework assignment (write my eulogy) done.
  • Need to figure out how travel and expenses will work as of October 1.
  • Booking flights for my October travel.
  • Yoga. From the cramped muscles I have right now, I need more yoga, not less.
  • Where is Marty? I need him to sign off on his project.
  • Wonder what my new title is going to be?
  • Time to put the new tagline to bed and get the new collateral and business cards to print.
  • Need to integrate the two employment law blogs. Time to bring some more teams together.
  • Need to pull our diversity stats for the overall firm report. Luckily, I do have that … just need to update.
  • Met with my counterpart from the other firm on new materials for joint client visits. Need to get him our collateral on the group so we can create a new piece.

Tip: Before merging documents clean them up. Now’s the time to update the numbers, information, representative cases, etc. It’s also a great time to clean out your files. Dump the old and stale.

M(erger) – Minus 23 Days: Time to start integrating

I seriously need a 3-day weekend every weekend. But, here it is, a rainy, hot, humid day in L.A. Who in L.A. has a work wardrobe for this? Oh, well, quality problems.

It’s Monday, and we have three weeks and two days until the merger goes live. So here’s what things look like here. (oh, if I didn’t say so, the bullets are in reverse order. The bottom bullet was the first thing I did today.)

  • OMG. I think I finished Marty’s project.
  • Another new project — BD this time — time to prep some materials and go out and meet the clients.
  • Need to update logos for conferences we’re sponsoring next year.
  • Nothing like a new project. Figured out a mailing we can send to Marty’s mailing list for October 1. Staying top of mind!
  • Just got our next assignments from LexisNexis for the California Insurance Law & Practice chapters. Great project to coordinate with attorneys from both firms.
  • Yeah, still not finished with Marty’s project. But getting there.

Look at that. 4:58 and I think I am done for the day, which is good as I have to head off to the Girl Scout Leader’s meeting. Yeah. We’ll be selling stuff soon. Can I interest you in some dark chocolate, salted caramel candies?

Tip: Look for projects that you normally do and rather then team attorneys up down the hall, team attorneys up from the two merging firms. Great way to spread the work, and build new relationships.


The best business advice I ever got, I got from Joan Rivers

Farewell Joan, from this "Joan Ranger"

Farewell Joan, from this “Joan Ranger”

I was so sad yesterday at the passing of Joan Rivers. I remember listening to her comedy albums (yeah, I’m that old) in high school and laughing at jokes that I could relate to — “slide down please” — because they were directed at me, a girl.

I’ve written before about the worst advice I ever got — “Do a good job, Heather, and they will notice you” — which resulted in me being overlooked for a promotion. Needless to say, this lead me to becoming very proactive marketing me in my career.

I read this essay by Ms. Rivers today, Joan Rivers: Why Johnny Carson “Never Ever Spoke to Me Again,” and I got it: Continue reading


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