Laura Keeler joined the LCL | Mass LOMAP team as our new law practice advisor on June 8, 2020. To introduce her, we have a quick Q&A to include along with her bio.
Laura will be working with lawyers in Massachusetts on all areas of law practice management, including technology, operations, marketing, finance, and more. Laura writes and speaks on topics relevant to practice management.
Before joining Mass LOMAP, Laura served as the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Member Services and Law Practice Management Coordinator. Prior to her work at the NHBA, Laura worked as an honors program paralegal specialist at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC in the Antitrust Division, as a paralegal at private firms, and interned as a Teaching Assistant for Law & Government at the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program. Laura has worked with lawyers across a range of areas, from litigation with two-week trials to a broad range of transactional work, from civil to criminal matters, and from cases run by a solo practitioner to cases that have thirty personnel plus outside experts to coordinate. She also has experience facilitating outreach for newer lawyers.
Laura first gained experience with member services while working on the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. Laura graduated from Middlebury College with her Bachelor’s in Political Science. She furthered her legal education in NHTI’s ABA-Certified Paralegal Studies program, earning a Certificate of Scholarship from the Paralegal Association of NH, and her Certified Paralegal designation from the National Association of Legal Assistants. She serves on the Board of Directors for her paralegal association. Laura studied European politics abroad in Denmark, taking educational trips to The Hague and the EU Headquarters.
Laura is an avid reader, loves learning, and enjoys exploring new places.
Question 1: Among all the beautiful places you’ve been privileged to experience, what is the one place you’d wish to return most frequently?
Many places I’ve visited and lived hold a special place in my heart. The one I return to most frequently is the Middlebury Bread Loaf Campus in Vermont. It’s an idyllic setting that looks like a New England postcard come to life, with antique wooden structures and Adirondack chairs filled with people reading, writing, sketching and discussing. I try to return each year for Middlebury Alumni College. Bread Loaf is also located next door to the Robert Frost Cabin and Interpretative Trail, where I’ve met fellow travelers who come from all across the world. This year’s summer session is cancelled, like so much in the world, so I look forward to visiting again hopefully next year.
Question 2: As a seasoned New Englander, what is your favorite time of year?
My favorite time of year has evolved over time. While I still adore seeing the crocuses and daffodils peak through with the promise of spring, or the splendor of autumnal foliage, my favorite season is late summer, after the black flies have gone and the warm breezes linger with the long days. I say that even as a person who loves downhill and cross-country skiing in winter.
Question 3: What is your favorite way to relax and reenergize?
Finding ways to relax and reenergize has become more difficult, but also more important over the last few months as the days stretch on. I’ve had to shift as most of the activities I used to enjoy involve being outside and being with other people. Like many, I’ve been pivoting and trying new things. I enjoy relaxing with audiobooks (especially helpful while preparing meals), and I find rejuvenation in being in the sunshine and petting my kitty.
Question 4: As an avid reader, what is currently on your reading list? (Also, from a white women to another, may I please suggest Antagonists, Advocates, and Allies: The Wake Up Call Guide for White Women Who Want to Become Allies with Black Women by Catrice Jackson.)
Much of what I’ve read recently are articles about ways different areas are evolving through the pandemic. Reading about that in off-hours isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I find educational articles relaxing and thought-stimulating. I started my habit of reading the Harvard Business Review in college when I wanted to tap into fresh perspectives.
On a lighter note, I recently listened to Parks & Rec comedian Amy Poehler’s audio memoir book “Yes Please.” She has a great set of voices help narrate through the book, including Seth Myers and Kathleen Turner.
Thank you for the book recommendation; I always like adding materials to my ever-growing to-read list.
I highly recommend using the Libby App by Overdrive as a great resource for connecting with local libraries for free access to a wide variety of ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines.
Question 5: What are you looking forward to most about joining LCL | Mass LOMAP?
When I shared that I would be moving to Mass LOMAP, an industry friend summed it up well: LOMAP has a storied tradition. I feel honored to be joining this remarkable team and all of the people who have pioneered and developed these excellent law practice management resources.
Moreover, LCL helps lawyers see themselves holistically, as more than just their job role. It can be hard to ask for guidance, particularly for legal professionals who tend toward perfectionism and independence, but we can all benefit from trustworthy sounding boards. I’m grateful to be part of a team of professionals at LCL and LOMAP that draw on a variety of rich backgrounds. We share the common goal of helping legal professionals continue to develop and grow as the practice of law continually evolves in response to modern demands and challenges.
Question 6: Given your experience in member services and law practice management, what is the best piece of advice – personal, professional, or both – you can think of to share with lawyers who manage their own firms?
Since every attorney has their own circumstances and pain points, I like to speak with the professional and find the piece of advice that best speaks to their current challenge.
In general, a common trap to fall into is putting off returning a client’s call because the attorney doesn’t have good news to share with the client. However, delaying those hard client conversations only exacerbates any potential problems. It’s better to address the undesired communication head on, with a balance of straightforwardness and empathy. If you receive calls and can’t respond in full that day, let the client know that you received their message and your response will be forthcoming. Maintaining reasonably timely communications, even when it’s not the news the client hoped for, benefits all in the long run.
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