The Bridge - September 2013 - (Page 13)

Member Profile: Kim Quackenbush (1) Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your personal history, your family, hobbies, pets, etc. I have been an administrator for 24 years, beginning my career in Los Angeles and making my way north to the Bay Area, where I have been for the past 11 years. I am married with one 17 year old son and two step sons who are 10 and 8 years old. They keep me almost too busy for hobbies. When I do I have time I like to camp, cross country ski, ice skate and watch documentaries. (2) How did you end up in law firm management? I started out as a temp with a firm in Los Angeles doing billing--fresh from Ohio, where I was reared. In those days we were called “Kelly Girls” (I worked for Kelly Services) and we wore a sash with our timesheet in it! Oh my! How the world has changed. Having a financial background from growing up in an entrepreneurial household, receiving a broad-based education and having a family full of lawyers made me like and become adept at managing lawyers’ money. In 1989 I landed my first administrative position as a result of my time in the LA Firm and varied HR training I received through the firm and through ALA. (3) What do you enjoy most about your current position? I enjoy the people at my position more than any task I perform, although I find the tasks very satisfying as well. Being in the industry for so long, there hasn’t been a lot I haven’t seen or done in the realm of business administration. I can’t say I have always worked with the “nicest” people. In some firms I got lucky, in others… not so much. At my current firm, I work with the most stellar individuals one could hope to be associated with and I count myself very, very lucky! (4) What combination of personal qualities and occupational experience do you think make for a great legal administrator? Wow… good question… personal qualities to help work for lawyers are… have a “thick skin.” Also, the ability to think in a logical manner and to keep your points to the facts when communicating. With lawyers and law firms, documentation is key and helpful for organization, so always follow up verbal meetings in writing and copy yourself. Keep copies of everything (USE your Outlook). Be able to think in a linear manner and articulate yourself extraordinarily well in verbal and written communication. Understand how the firm makes money and pay close attention to the billing department. Sometimes a client’s only interaction with a firm is via the bill. It has to be understandable to them and never a surprise. Understand that sometimes lawyers have to “go to war” for their clients and don’t always put their swords down when they come back to the office. Be patient with them and remind them you’re on their side if they seem combative. Combine those skills with empathy for the people who depend on your firm and the work you all do, and you’ll go far. (5) Of the ALA events you have attended, which one is your favorite so far? I love all the mixers! (6) Who do you admire most (in the world, in business, in world history, etc.), and why? Too many people to list… my parents come to mind first and all the great thinkers, writers and poets who have set down a philosophical and spiritual pathway to living well in this very human race. (7) What legacy (either personal or professional) do you wish to leave for those who come along after you? I hope that people remember me as being a kind person and if I have taught anything along the way, I hope it is to emulate kindness and to be great writers! (8) What does your “dream retirement” look like? Belize! (in a word!) 13 Golden Gate Chapter September 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Bridge - September 2013

The Bridge - September 2013
Editor’s Corner
President’s Message
The New Normal: Alternative Fee Arrangements & Project Management for Lawyers
Business Partner Profile: Matt Workman, Planet Depos, LLC
Business Partner Appreciation Event
New Member Profile: Garry Pallister
Attorney Development: Is There an App for That?
Member Profile: Kim Quackenbush
Salary Survey Order Form
Test Yourself
Job Bank
Member Anniversaries
2013 Business Partners
Golden Gate Chapter Leadership
October 2013 Calendar

The Bridge - September 2013