Career Planning

I’m a little busy.

Most of our clients know my name from receiving invoices, but with 20 years of banking experience, I do a lot of complementary financial activity behind the scenes as well. I document passthrough expenses, reconcile our financial activity internally to make it easier for our accountants, and ensure that the attorney’s time entries are proofread so they appear in an organized, consistent format for the clients on their invoices. I also handle the accounts receivable,
Continue Reading I’m Juggling More Tasks than a Circus Clown on a Unicycle!

Ever heard of imposter syndrome? In this episode of the Bottom Up podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, co-host Emil Ovbiagele and guest host Joe Forward interview Samantha Huddleston Baker, a partner at OVB Law and Consulting S.C. in Milwaukee. They discuss impostor syndrome and carving out paths in the early years of a legal career.

Samantha shares her background and journey to law school, as well as her experience joining the law firm and overcoming impostor
Continue Reading Bottom Up Episode 17: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome with Samantha Huddleston Baker

I feel gratitude commemorating two enriching years at Ogden Glazer + Schafer (“OG+S”) as a Paralegal in the Intellectual Property practice. As I reflect on this milestone, I am struck by the journey, the career shift and finding myself in an environment that fosters growth, champions values of DEI, continual learning, and collaboration. Influential author Brené Brown reminds us, “vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change” and this change left me feeling unsure yet eager to delve
Continue Reading Celebrating Two Years as an IP Paralegal: A Journey of Change and Growth

The immeasurable benefits of a healthy work-life balance are well known. Engaging with outside organizations, taking time for personal interests and hobbies, spending time with family and friends, exercising, gardening, caring for pets, traveling – all of these are ways in which we can help our bodies, minds, and souls stay fresh for our law practices and our clients. Additionally, we can learn a lot from our out-of-office activities that help us as attorneys.

In my working life, I
Continue Reading March Madness: How Basketball Can Help You Be a Better Attorney

In the vast landscape of legal practice, solo and small law firms stand out as models of accessibility and personalized service.

Smaller firms often provide a level of attention and care that larger firms may struggle to match. However, operating on a smaller scale also presents unique challenges, particularly when it comes to generating a consistent flow of clients.

In this dynamic environment, referral sources emerge as invaluable assets, playing a pivotal role in sustaining and expanding the reach
Continue Reading Nurturing Growth: The Crucial Role of Referral Sources for Lawyers in Solo and Small Firms

Watching the lawyers involved in numerous high-profile trials, from the various Trump cases to the Michigan mother of the school shooter, causes me to wonder: just how much do these lawyers actually believe what they’re advocating?

The practice of law can be highly disingenuous. As a friend of mine once put it: “Sometimes I feel like a prostitute where I’m assuming a position in exchange for a fee.”

Being a lawyer brings innumerable variations on this theme, some more
Continue Reading Law as a Career

This is a personal rant. I’ll admit it right off. This is Erin Ogden’s opinion, and I am oddly overly vehement about it. The topic? Flow state.

What?! Yeah. Flow state. Read or listen to any productivity how-to and it will tell you about the magical state of “flow.” You must reach it. It is a wondrous place where every light is green, every library book is available for check out, and every size is in stock. If you
Continue Reading Fight Against The Flow

Simply defined, human trafficking is the exploitation of human beings for someone else’s gain, according to Erika Petty, executive director at Milwaukee-based Lotus Legal Clinic, a nonprofit that provides free legal services exclusively to victims of human trafficking.

As you’ll discover in Episode 16 of the Bottom Up podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, while human trafficking can be simply defined, the complexity of the issue spans the nation and the globe, and hits home right here
Continue Reading Bottom Up Episode 16: Helping Victims of Human Trafficking, a Hidden Crime, with Erika Petty

Emma Lou Hawley, Justis Hagberg, Laura Niesen, and Jonathon Bennett Young (from left) were among the 17 attorneys admitted to the State Bar on Jan. 23, 2024. For more photos of the event, visit the photo album on the State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook page. Photos: Jeff M. Brown.

Emma Lou Hawley, Justis Hagberg, Laura Niesen, and Jonathon Bennett Young (from left) were among the 17 attorneys admitted to the State Bar on Jan. 23,
Continue Reading State Bar Welcomes 17 New Attorneys Through Diploma Privilege

In 1963, Frank Gimbel was just three years out of law school when he became an assistant U.S. attorney, serving five years before switching to defense counsel. Gimbel’s career as a trial lawyer, spanning six decades, has been chronicled extensively, with many awards to his name.

But the early days were no walk in the park. Gimbel worked as a tax return preparer, a clothes salesman, and held other side jobs to keep food on the table. These experiences
Continue Reading Bottom Up Episode 15: Hustle, Humility, and 63 years in Law Practice with Litigator Frank Gimbel

As younger lawyers enter the profession, how do they collaborate and communicate effectively with older generations, who may collaborate differently? What are the current trends, challenges, and opportunities for solo and small firms in the practice management and technology space?  These are some of the questions that co-host Emil Ovbiagele and Joe Forward (guest host) explore with guests Erin Ogden and Brent Hoeft. This is the second episode in a two-parter focused on solo and small firms, recorded from
Continue Reading Episode 14 (Part 2): Solo & Small Firms – Generational Differences and Technology and Practice Management

First, read my article about goals published by the State Bar of Wisconsin. Back already? Great! I’ve convinced you that goals matter. They help guide priorities. They provide freedom, catalysts, and momentum. So, let’s get started.

What makes a good goal? I’m sure you’ve heard of SMART goals, but I encourage you to take SMARTIES.

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Actionable
R – Relevant
T – Time Bound
I – Intrinsic
E – Extra
S –
Continue Reading Go Goals, Go! 

In this episode, recorded at the 2023 Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference (WSSFC), co-host Emil Obviagele and guest host Joe Forward speak with Jessica Kramer, a small firm owner based in Madison, and Aiden Tharp, a solo practitioner in Hudson.

Kramer was a co-chair of the conference’s substantive law track, and Tharp was a co-chair of the work-life balance/ethics track. The conference theme? Working across different generations of clients, lawyers, and judges. The guests discuss this theme and
Continue Reading Episode 14 (Part 1): Solo & Small Firm Practice in Wisconsin

Perhaps you’ve seen the meme that tells us that we all have the same number of hours in our day as Beyonce, and look at all that she has accomplished so get going. Clever, but the meme doesn’t include that she doesn’t wake up in the morning and say, “Hmm, what am I going to do today?” And she doesn’t do it alone. What does she have? Plans and people. Guess what? So can you.

We all have stories
Continue Reading The Lies We Tell Ourselves

In Episode 13 of the Bottom Up Podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, co-hosts Emil Ovbiagele and Kristen Hardy talk with Karina O’Brien, an attorney at Kostner, Koslo & Brovold LLC in Arcadia, Wisconsin. The topic? Rural practice in Wisconsin. The challenges. The opportunities. The shortage of attorneys in rural Wisconsin.
A 2014 U.W. Law School graduate, Karina grew up in Arcadia, located 45 miles south of Eau Claire. She didn’t think she would return to her
Continue Reading Episode 13: Rural Law Practice with Karina O’Brien

Milwaukee-based attorney Christa Wittenberg, a 2012 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, never thought she would ever work for a law firm. But plans change.
Now after 9 years with O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, Dejong & Laing S.C., Wittenberg was recently elected to serve on the firm’s 3-person Board of Directors. In the firm’s 50-year history, she is the first woman to serve in that role. In addition to her commercial litigation practice, Wittenberg will help the firm
Continue Reading Episode 12: Navigating New Opportunities with Confidence: Christa Wittenberg