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Daniels on front line in helping firm expand

Daniels on front line in helping firm expand

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She has never tried a case and her name isn’t on the shingle, but Jeanne Daniels still has been instrumental in growing Hupy and Abraham.

When she joined the Milwaukee firm in 2010 as human resources director, Hupy and Abraham had about 100 employees and five offices in two states. It now has about 200 employees and 11 offices in three states, including Iowa and Illinois.

As the firm was expanding, Daniels was on the front lines, handling recruiting, hiring, on-boarding, benefits, payroll and employee relations. Her job description also used to include managing office openings and relocations. She opened six and moved four.

She had been in HR for 17 years before joining Hupy and Abraham, mostly with manufacturing companies. She had never worked for a law firm, but the transition was relatively simple, she said, because HR is a universal field.

Handling office openings and moves, though, was completely new to her.

“It was kind of fun once you get used to it,” she said.

The firm’s growth also prompted Daniels to hire Samantha Carpenter, the only other person in the HR department. Carpenter, a human resources coordinator who joined the firm in 2013 as a recent college graduate, said her first experience with Daniels was during an in-person interview for the job.

“My first impression of her,” Carpenter said, “was that she is very professional and very knowledgeable about human resources.”

Carpenter said she was impressed with Daniels then and remains so now after four years spent learning from her.

“She is fantastic to work for,” Carpenter said. “She is a great manager and a great mentor.”

Daniels shared similar sentiments about her co-workers. She said she has stayed with the firm because of the people.

“I like the variety of work,” she said, “and also working with the employees and managers.”

That doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges. Recruiting, Daniels said, can be a struggle, particularly when she’s searching for candidates in what she described as a low unemployment field.

On top of that, the firm, which specializes in personal injury, has specific positions that often are hard to describe in an ad, she said.

“That poses a challenge,” Daniels said, “because some of our positions are unique.”

The challenges, though, just add to the daily variety. She said as an HR generalist, she’s been lucky in her career to try just about everything in the field. That now includes helping a law firm grow, even if she did it from behind the scenes.

“I do my job, and I know I do my job well,” Daniels said. “And that’s where I kind of get my satisfaction.”

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