Janet Haefemeyer was on the verge of moving to Eau Claire when she learned of an opening in Quarles & Brady’s Milwaukee office.
After some initial hesitancy to hire someone who might be picking up stakes, officials at the firm brought her on. It wasn’t long after that, impressed with her performance, they made her digital access, budget and operations specialist.
Having eventually decided not to move to Eau Claire, Haefemeyer now finds herself doing everything from dealing with the vendors that sell Quarles subscriptions to research and legal news services like Westlaw and Bloomberg; to overseeing utility bills for the phone lines running to the firm’s data center; to helping newly hired lawyers learn to make the most of the many resources that are on offer.
Haefemeyer said she never could have found a way to take on so many disparate duties if her employers hadn’t given her leeway to try out different practices and make adjustments when needed.
“They trusted me,” she said. “And it’s that trust that gave me the opportunity to say: I’m changing this, and I’m changing this. And here’s why I’m changing it. And this is how it’s going to benefit us.”
Nicole Scheinkoenig, Quarles manager of IT and budget operations, credited Haefemeyer for always being willing to take on new projects.
“In large part thanks to her, the firm is simultaneously able to provide attorneys with all the resources necessary to achieve success for clients while adhering to budget expectations,” Scheinkoenig said.
Haefemeyer recently helped Quarles begin using a news-aggregator service called Manzama. She has also worked to bring in new budget processes and helped streamline existing ones.
Haefemeyer said that although her job is never easy, the people she works with make it all worthwhile.
“They give 100 percent of themselves every day,” she said. “When you are working as hard as I do for other people, it’s nice to know they are working just as hard as you are.”