Ever wonder what life is like for our First Legal employees? We’re excited to bring you our first series of employee spotlights! The spotlights will showcase not only the different departments but also the individuals that make up the First Legal family. Read on to find out more about Nia Troup, out Vice President of Organizational Development!
You’re currently the Vice President of Organizational Development at First Legal. Can you tell us a little bit about this position and what your day-to-day routine looks like?
Every day is different because my work is largely research and project based. That being said, I do my best to have a strategic and consistent daily routine that allows me to successfully move each of my projects forward. On Monday, I set my goals for the week. Then I break those down into a daily task list that accommodates my scheduled face-to-face meetings. I work 1:1 with my direct reports to help them do the same. These weekly goals are based on quarterly and annual goals that are in alignment with our overall company strategic plan, and I make sure that I spend at least half my time focused on achieving these long-term strategic goals. It’s too easy to get caught up in simply responding to emails all day and miss the bigger picture.
My current projects are continuing to build out First Legal University; directing and overseeing the development of a high performance, highly skilled Client Care Department; and co-creating and driving our company culture initiatives such as the Core Values program, where each quarter we focus on activities, events, and recognition of performance that aligns with our core values (Family, Integrity, Resourcefulness, Self-sufficiency, and Trustworthiness). I rely heavily on Carla Nuque, Manager of Organizational Development, and Julianna Gregorian, Client Care Manager, as well as our Marketing and Human Resources departments, who are partners on the Culture & Communications Committee. All of these amazing, hardworking, and ambitious women work tirelessly to keep us in a constant state of continuous improvement and growth!
How would you define organizational development?
I like to say OD is about injecting structure. When businesses grow quickly, it’s very normal that people wear a lot of hats and the company relies on tribal knowledge. Organizational development helps articulate that knowledge into documented procedures, which can then be taught to others. Ultimately this allows more growth, flexibility, and adaptability for the organization and its founders.
To take a deeper dive, Organizational Development is about assessing the organization as a whole for enhancements in processes, procedures, training, and culture. I gather data via personal interviews, observation, reporting, and analytics. My research allows me to make educated recommendations, some of which I spearhead and others of which I hand off. I take into consideration the natural limitations of human, cultural, and financial resources, always seeking interventions that will result in maximum impact to both the worker experience and client satisfaction.
How does organizational development play into your role with Client Services?
When we took a holistic and broad look across First Legal, we identified the importance of client relationships as the long-term value of the company. Repeat clients drive business, leverage our investment in sales, and fulfill the mission to which we are each a critical part—to be the most dependable and trusted business partner for our clients by serving every aspect of the litigation workflow. It’s imperative that we offer the highest level of personalized customer service and not only in comparison to other players in the industry. Any company with a website, which should be every company, competes with every other company that has a website. Customers have basic expectations of being able to log into their accounts to view order history and find answers online. When they do take the time to pick up the phone, they want an answer quickly. First Legal is actively working on more and more ways to give our clients tools to drive the service experience they desire and expect with the company blog and other valuable digital content. In addition, we are promoting a highly skilled and experienced global Client Care team that understands and can access every account on every system to get the clients’ needs met as quickly and accurately as possible on the first call.
How did you first learn about First Legal and what initially drew you to the company?
I have known about and admired First Legal for a long time. In 2008 I started my own attorney services company, and many of the people that helped me get my company off the ground worked with First Legal! They were the most dependable and well-trained folks in the industry and helped me run my business for several years until I wanted to move into a larger organization, where I believed that I could have more impact. A client of mine called First Legal when I became available and recommended they talk to me right away! So I was very fortunate to have found First Legal and make it my home.
What do you like most about your job?
I have to say the most fulfilled and “in the zone” I feel in my work is when we are all paddling in the same direction towards progress and change. In those moments especially, I feel a strong level of confidence and belief in our people, and in the future of this company.
What has been your favorite project at First Legal?
I absolutely love to write, and I think in my first six months at First Legal, I wrote hundreds of pages as I analyzed our major accounts and wrote strategic plans that really analyzed our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and key relationships. That first major project was a game changer for me. It opened my eyes to the wealth of potential we have for truly becoming a national player. First Legal is very fortunate to have earned the respect of many of the world’s largest law firms. It’s my job to make every project count towards that vision of expanding our firm regional footprint into just as strong and secure a national anchor for litigation support.
What 3 words do you think best describe First Legal?
Only three? Family. Resourceful. Trustworthy. Yes, those are three of our core values!
Before working at First Legal, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
It was brief, but a couple decades ago I did deliver pizza for a summer in Boulder, Colorado. You can imagine the scenes I walked into when delivering pizza in a college town. I also served papers occasionally when I had my company; process serving is no easy gig. You get a lot of runaround. And sometimes you have to get very creative. One time I spent 45 minutes convincing a small developer that I was a poor single mother with a vision for a shipping box container home in the Hollywood Hills (he was taking deposits from young families and then disappearing with their money). I really needed to meet with him in person so I could design the plan with him . . . you get the idea. Anyway, he was not happy when I showed up with a summons instead of architectural genius.
What advice do you have for prospective First Legal candidates?
If you are smart and driven, apply. And if there isn’t an opening yet, keep calling until there is. We need smart people to help us move into the next phase of our development. My mentor told me many years ago—you can’t teach intelligence or drive, but you can teach everything else. Come prepared to make a difference.
Is there anything you think our clients or your coworkers might be surprised to know about your job?
We are all fortunate to have jobs in a company that really takes care of its people. Lots of people do not have that kind of supportive environment. The surprise is that most people here really get that, whereas in many companies I think people are not as grateful for their opportunities. It’s a rare company culture for the vast majority of the people to have that much trust and loyalty. It’s not 100%, but it is stronger here than in a lot of other places. So I get surprised by the level of commitment, given today’s environment. For all the volatility and constant change in the outside world, the people at First Legal maintain a determination, consistency, and commitment of which many employers only dream!
If you’d like to join the First Legal family, check out our Careers page for openings!