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2021 Unsung Legal Heroes: Debra J. Holland

Firm Administration: Legal Administrator, Eckenrode-Maupin

debra-hollandDebra Holland has provided critical support to Eckenrode-Maupin and its predecessor firms for more than 20 years. “In a small organization you are involved in almost everything, and every day is different so there are no opportunities to be bored,” she said.

Her day-to-day duties run the gamut: human resources, benefits, recruiting, office operations, IT, social media and special projects. Her nominator described her as “the epitome of a ‘behind the scenes’ manager who keeps the ship afloat.”

Holland holds certifications both as a Certified Legal Manager and in Professional Human Resources. She is a member of the St. Louis chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators and served as its president in 2006.

What have been your key accomplishments in this role?

The most recent major accomplishment was to rapidly pivot the work environment to a successful remote work situation during the 2020 pandemic. There are a lot of moving systems within a law firm organization, and it took a lot of fast work and thoughtful consideration to design something workable in such a short period of time. We managed to successfully continue working productively without any interruptions.

What led you to choose a career in the legal field?

I did not choose the legal field, the legal field chose me! There were an assortment of events that landed me in my current position, and it has been an exciting ride.

What is the best part of your job?

There are so many “best parts” of my job. In situations where I can feel as though I made a contribution, it is the most rewarding. I have to say that special projects are my secret pleasure. The opportunity to learn, dig out information, design and engage in problem-solving toward a positive result is on my list of favorites.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

You do not have to know all the answers, but you do need to be able to find all the answers.

What is something that would surprise people about you?

I started my career as a registered nurse.

Unsung Legal Heroes 2021