Total Attorneys: An Outsider’s Point-of-View (Part 1)

A couple weeks ago, Fantasy Job Camp sent a “camper” to visit Total Attorneys and shadow our CEO, Ed Scanlan, for a day. The camper, Kerri Olsen, seemed to have a great experience in our office, so we asked her to write a quick post about her day at Total Attorneys. Kerri’s response turned out to be a great fly-on-the-wall view of our company culture and operations, and we are excited to share her visit with you in this three-part series.

Guest post by Kerri Olsen

In mid-July I read about a new experience, Fantasy Job Camp, spearheaded by Jen Healy of RedEye. Fantasy Job Camp (“Camp”) partners successful Chicago businessmen and women with aspiring Chicagoans who want to know the who, what, when, where, why and how of becoming said businessperson’s career. It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to get to know the businessperson by asking them all the questions they’ve been dying to know about that field or career path. Fantasy Job Camp’s first career pick was CEO/Entrepreneur and the opportunity was to meet with Edmund Scanlan, the founder of Total Attorneys.

I’ve been a corporate paralegal for the past six years and worked in various fields of law: real estate, banking and now financial services. I have always kept abreast of the latest technology and credit my father and brother for keeping me interested and excited about gadgets and advancements. Naturally, I was interested in meeting Ed because he’s taken the legal field and partnered it with innovative technology in order to deliver cloud resourcing services for small firms and solo practitioner attorneys. (If you’re reading this blog then I’m assuming you understand the popularity and importance of cloud computing.) The more I read about Ed and Total Attorneys, the more interested I became in learning about how he created a company with over 200 employees worldwide and had over $24MM in sales last year. As you can imagine, I was excited to meet firsthand the driving force behind a company that paired the two seemingly polar opposite fields together.

When I first arrived at the Total Attorneys office, I thought I was back in Austin, Texas. The receptionist was welcoming and genuinely chipper, the atmosphere was collaborative, and I expected the managing partner of my former Austin office to come around the corner in his soft-soled moccasins (as he normally did). Instead I was greeted by an equally inviting fresh-faced Ed Scanlan.

Ed started off our visit by giving me and Jen a tour of their office, first stopping by the “break room” which was supported by a foosball table and Wii gaming center in each corner. I felt like I was in a friend’s über-cool downtown loft kitchen/living room instead of a sterile corporate break room. I was confused; I was nervous; I was starting to feel overdressed and too formal.

As we made our way around the floor and to Ed’s office, I started picking up on the vibe: people were talking to their colleagues; no, collaborating. People were genuinely enjoying their co-workers’ company instead of looking for an out to end the conversation. There was a humming of background chatter but it was like white noise that some people try to reproduce with a tabletop water fountain from Target for $29.99. My nervousness turned to intrigue. Could all these people really be that happy to be at work on a Monday before lunch?

Kerri Olsen lives and works in downtown Chicago and has recently launched her website after participating in Fantasy Job Camp. You can read more about her professional background here. Look for the next part of this 3-part series on Wednesday, August 4.