Patti Groff: It's All in the Details by LawCrossing


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LEGAL STAFF PROFILE                                                                              1. 800.973.1177

                            Patti Groff: It’s All in the Details
                            [By Robin Salisian]
                            Wondering what advertising executives and lawyers have in common? According to Patti Groff, director of administration at
                            Butz, Dunn & DeSantis, “ad execs and lawyers are both highly dynamic professionals [who bring] super-charged energy and
                            creativity to the table in very different ways!”

Groff should know. She’s worked for both.            “moving from the advertising industry to         Currently Groff acts as the director of
                                                     legal was a fairly easy transition—on the        administration at Butz, Dunn & DeSantis,
“I had been working in the accounting                most basic level, both are professional          a complex litigation firm in downtown San
department of an advertising and public              service organizations and generate income        Diego, CA, as well as the president of the
relations firm when I was made aware of the          via billing for time worked.”                    Association of Legal Administrators (ALA),
accounting coordinator position at a law firm                                                         an international association with more than
                                                        Q. What do you do for fun?
in the same building in which I worked,” said                                                         0,000 members worldwide.
                                                        A. My husband and I try to go dancing
Groff. And because this go-getter pursues
                                                        at least once a week. I have two adult
and thrives on challenges, she jumped at the            daughters who I love to spend time with       “This is proving to be an extremely rewarding
opportunity.                                            (along with the rest of my family). Travel.   and memorable experience,” said Groff of
                                                                                                      her presidency.
“The legal management profession is ever-               Q. What CD is in your CD player right now?
changing and certainly keeps me focused and             A. Blues-Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot            But Groff’s accomplishments do not end
challenged,” said Groff, whose challenge-               Skillet Lickers.                              there. Her persistence to succeed in the
friendly attitude has lingered with her a long                                                        legal field rewarded her with a certified
                                                        Q. What is the last magazine you read?
time. She is in her 2th year as director of            A. It was either ALA’s Legal Management       legal manager designation in 2002, a
administration for Butz.                                or Fast Company, both of which I read last    certification from the ALA that “offers
                                                        weekend.                                      legal administrators the opportunity
Before the lawyers and the law firm, Groff                                                            to demonstrate mastery of the body of
graduated from Kelsey-Jenney Business                   Q. What is your favorite TV show?             knowledge necessary for successful
College in San Diego and immediately                    A. News shows are probably what I most        performance in managing a law firm or
                                                        often watch, but I really enjoy the Food
went to work as a bookkeeper for a small                                                              office.”
                                                        Network and some of the CSI series of TV
management company. There, she met her
first mentor and learned a valuable lesson:                                                           A master of detail Groff has become. Having
pay attention to details.                               Q. Who is your role model?                    traveled from her first job as a bookkeeper
                                                        A. Hmmm…good question. I have a               to her 2th year at a law firm, Groff now lives
“He wouldn’t settle for less than perfection—           number of role models, depending on           and breathes her mentor’s mantra: “Pay
down to the last penny on a set of books,”              what role I am playing at the time! In my     attention to details.” Because of this, she
said Groff. “His attention to detail has                professional role-as legal administrator      aims to imbue others with an eye for detail
followed me to this day.”                               and ALA president-it is Patti Lane, CLM.      as well.
                                                        My two daughters, now adults, have had
                                                        a tremendous influence on my life and in
Next, she moved to the accounting                                                                     “We work for and with highly detailed
                                                        many ways serve as role models as they
department at an advertising agency and                                                               individuals who think quickly on their feet,”
                                                        now grow in their own careers and lives.
then to her first law firm as accounting                From my mother, sister, colleagues, and       said Groff. “You need to pay attention and
coordinator. The change, some might argue,              friends, I am blessed to have amazing         offer well-thought-out responses and
seems like it would be tough. But “from an              role models to look to for advice and         solutions.”
accounting perspective,” explained Groff,               counseling.

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LEGAL STAFF PROFILE                                                                    1. 800.973.1177

“Be confident,” she added. “You must            future for new and innovative solutions to    Butz, Dunn & DeSantis
possess the confidence to sometimes             both the business and the practice of law.”
challenge the process and manage the
business of law, allowing the lawyers to        On The neT                                    Kelsey-Jenney Business College
practice law, which is what they do best.                                           
Know the business and have vision—nurture       Association of Legal Administrators           jsp?scid=500073
your strategic outlook, always looking to the


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