Volunteer Spotlight: Minnesota’s Mercedes Smith

Meet Minnesota Local Steering Committee member and Vice-Chair, Mercedes Smith!

Tell us a bit about yourself – where do you work and what do you do?

I am the Marketing Technology Manager at Fish & Richardson. I have worked in legal for about 6 years now and love everything digital. I am a loving pup mom to two dogs Opal (2.5 yr old lab/terrier mix) + Olive (4.5 yr old dachshund), and love my plant background for my work at home set-up.

What’s your current and/or former volunteer role in LMA?

I was the LMA-MN communications director until recently. I will now be filling the Vice-Chair role for the remainder of the 2022 year.

What do you enjoy about volunteering for LMA?

I love getting to learn more about roles and specialities that are not my own. Legal is such an interesting and ever changing industry and I love the added challenge it brings and LMA members are there to always help get through those challenges.

What hobbies do you have?

I tend to do a lot of reading (think 200+ books a year). I love my kindle + Kindle Unlimited subscription so if you have any book recommendations feel free to share! I also love indoor/houseplants. I have quite a collection at my house – mostly out in my porch/office space. They make working from home very serene!

What’s the best place you’ve traveled internationally, and why?

I think my favorite international trip would have to have been my study abroad program in Italy. It was my second international trip so I was a bit more comfortable doing what I wanted and I was there for 6 weeks so I got to see and do SO many things. I fell in love with Florence and a small mom-pop pizza shop that we would run for a quick lunch in between classes most days we were there. I also LOVED the art and museums. The vast amount of knowledge and history I was able to consume was just amazing!

Are you a dog or cat (or other!) person?

I am a dog person – I have two pups, Opal + Olive. They are spoiled and run the household. My family are very much dog people with almost every household having two dogs (including another 2 dachshunds)!

Tell us about your best career highlight so far.

I think one of the most memorable moments of my career would be re-launching robinskaplan.com after a website redesign and having it go about as smoothly as possible. I had previously been a part of large and small scale website projects and always there was something that was missed or forgotten that you quick had to fix (typically nothing major). But the launch went well, well enough that I was worried people had noticed something and had not told the marketing department (who could help fix issues) and that it would all come out later.

What project, personal or professional, did you take on while quarantining?

One project that I took up at the beginning of quarantine was needlepoint. I initially did quite a few projects and have wanted to get back into it recently.

Be honest, how many days do you work with your pajama pants on?

I have made it a rule, even if I am wearing sweatpants, I will change out of what I wore to bed. It helps get me moving in the morning and make the mental change to work (sometimes though I change into pajamas for that night haha)

How often does your dog/cat visit you each day now that you’re at home?

Both of my pups take the morning to snooze in my bedroom and living room. The second I start a meeting or it’s the afternoon they come join me out in my office space/porch. My dachshund will jump onto her sister’s kennel (this is about 4x as tall as her) and watch out the windows.

Author

  • Lauren McNee is the 2022 Chair of LMA-MN and serves on the Strategies & Voices editorial committee. She helps attorneys advocate for the rights of injured people at Pritzker Hageman, P.A., a personal injury law firm with a niche focus on foodborne illness and burn injury cases.