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WE’RE FOCUSED ON HOWWE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
In the midst of all the uncertainty and upheaval caused by COVID-19, our conversations at BLF have focused on how we can pull together for one another and for our community to make a difference. Instead of allowing the state of the world to overwhelm us into feeling powerless, we started with banding together, and it’s been inspiring to see where this conversation has led us. In talking, we realized if those of us who are able-bodied, healthy, and still getting to work are feeling impacted, we couldn’t imagine what people who’ve lost their jobs or are immunocompromised must be going through. We decided then and there that whatever it takes to help people, we’re doing it. We’re going to keep working hard because our community needs us right now. This is our chance to step up as a business and be there for people. We started by calling people — clients, previous clients, family members, friends, people in our community — to ask what we could do. Whether that meant mailing something they needed or dropping off meals for those who couldn’t leave their house, we wanted to know how we could help. Ashley was already taking up this charge. She had volunteered with Meals on Wheels, working for several hours in a warehouse without air conditioning, packing meals for those who don’t have them. She’d been feeling powerless in the midst of the virus, but rather than letting that feeling take over, she took action to help others (you’ll get to read more about her inspiring volunteer work inside the newsletter). As our business has made the change to working remotely, we’ve gotten creative with how we connect as a team. When we’re around each other at the office every day, we say hello and ask how our coworkers’ weekends went, and that connection happens effortlessly. So Ashley and I started brainstorming ways to create these organic connections in a remote setting. We decided to do random check- ins — we hop on a video chat together as a team just to say hello and talk about things other than work — to help facilitate some of the conversations that happen naturally when we’re all together.
On one of our first calls, I asked our team to talk about something motivational they’ve
seen, read, or heard. We started talking about the books we’re all reading and inspiring documentaries we’ve been watching. The quick check-in that I thought might last five minutes took 30 minutes. It was awesome. It was so great to see us bonding even when we’re not in the same room. Throughout everything, I’ve been reemphasizing to my team that we will get through this by stepping up and spending time on things that will strengthen our business now and in the future. Getting through tough times is something I’ve seen my parents do as business owners. When the recession hit back in ‘08, many businesses started cutting pay and laying people off, but my parents had a different response. They told their employees, “We’re going to take this challenge on and come out stronger. We’re going to refine everything, refine policies and procedures, and get even better at what we do.” They made it their objective not to lay anyone off or cut anyone’s pay. Things were tight, and they took on projects that they may not have otherwise, but it enabled them to keep every one of their people employed. When we came out of the recession, they were leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Their approach paid off, and they had the best run they’ve ever had. I thought about this when I sat down with my team to talk about our response to COVID-19. I told them I would do everything in my power to make sure everyone keeps their jobs. We will do the best we can for as long as we can. If we do that, we’ll get through this. My parents’ model has helped me handle this as a young leader.
Here’s something we can all take away from this: Rather than letting this thing divide us, let’s come out of it more united and stronger in response.
ADAM BRINGS POSITIVITY AND DRIVE TO BLF TEAM MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
It felt serendipitous when we heard that Adam, someone Russell was acquainted with through his dad’s construction business, was looking to join the legal field just as we were looking to bring on a new team member. Russell says that from his first conversation with Adam, he got a positive feeling. “We were talking, and I got this gut feeling of, ‘ Man, I like this guy ,’” Russell says. “I liked his mentality and approach to life. I could tell he had the drive to be a really good fit with us.” By the end of their call, Russell had invited Adam to meet the BLF team and sit in on one of their meetings. “He sat in on the meeting, and we saw the big thing that Ashley and I always talk about: passion.” The team talked it over and all agreed Adam would be a great fit. Since then, Adam has proved that Russell’s gut instinct was spot on. Ashley echoes the qualities that Russell saw early on in Adam. “Adam is incredibly positive. He has a really great attitude about everything, and that makes him stand out. No matter the task or
obstacle, he’s happy to help out and find a way to do it,” Ashley says. “I really appreciate how detail-oriented he is. He’s really excited and passionate about learning, and he hit the ground running. He’s definitely been a great fit all around.” For Adam, it was also an instinctive feeling that told him this was the right place. “It was all about the feeling,” he says, “It was very easy to talk to Russell, and I felt we had a similar understanding of things.” Adam appreciates what a positive, cohesive environment Russell and the team have created at The Button Law Firm. “It’s a much more tightknit team here,” Adam says. “I’ve worked at big firms before where I was one person on a massive project. It’s not like that here — we all work together.” Adam also appreciates how many opportunities he’s already been given to learn and grow, and he’s excited to grow into his role here and see what it becomes.
Outside of work, you’ll likely find Adam either on the road or on a mountain. He’s an avid cyclist
and climber, and he and his wife, Ashleigh, take every opportunity to get outside and enjoy these activities.
THIS SOON-TO-BE DOCTOR IS ALREADY MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
We could probably all use a reminder that there are still good things happening in the world, giving us reasons to feel hopeful and inspired. That’s how we felt when we heard our good friend and soon-to-be doctor Mauricio’s exciting news about his residency placement. Mauricio went to college with our attorney Ashley, and the two have remained good friends over the years. (Mauricio even served as the man of honor at Ashley’s wedding.) In March, Mauricio got the amazing news that he had been matched with Montefiore Medical Center in New York, where he will be completing his residency in child neurology. For a medical student, Match Day is a momentous occasion. Years of hard work culminate in finding out your placement. “Getting the email saying I was matched was huge,” Mauricio shares. “I would have been happy at any of the sites I interviewed with, but I’m very excited to go to New York.” Montefiore serves underserved communities in the Bronx neighborhood, and this is exactly the group of folks Mauricio wants to work with. During his first job after college, Mauricio realized
this was his calling. Working in applied behavioral therapy with kids on the autism spectrum, Mauricio saw how many barriers they faced to accessing care. “One kid’s parent lost their job, and without insurance, they would have had to terminate services. I felt that was unacceptable,” Mauricio says. He continued providing therapy to the family for free, and the experience informed his decision to become a doctor. “I wanted to do more for that population and be able to be more of an advocate. I felt like I could do that best as a physician,” Mauricio shares. “My long-term goal is to work with kids with autism and open up multidisciplinary facilities around the United States that allow more individuals to have access to quality care.” Mauricio has built his life around helping others and seeking creative solutions to situations. Just before starting medical school, with the lease up on his apartment, Mauricio decided to pursue another dream of his. After doing some research, the minimalist and environmentally conscious med student purchased a van, built
it out with solar panels and all, and has lived in it for the duration of medical school. “I did it so I could travel and also because it is super eco-friendly,” Mauricio explains. He’s seen 48 states in the van and says it’s been an awesome experience. You can see more of Mauricio’s adventures on the road on his Instagram feed under @Aspiring.Polymath. Looking to the next chapter, Mauricio is excited for his future. He credits his fellow medical students with keeping him optimistic. “All of my classmates at the University of Illinois are so inspirational. It gives me a lot of hope for the future of medicine,” Mauricio says. Speaking of inspiration, Mauricio started a YouTube channel to make applied behavior analysis more accessible to people. “I noticed when I was learning ABA therapy that there were no online resources for it, and I wanted to open up a platform for parents and others to have access,” Mauricio says. You can access Mauricio’s informative videos at YouTube.com/user/ ABAmadeeasy.
WHY SAFE DAYCARES MATTER MORE THAN EVER
Amid the disruptions caused by the global pandemic, no one has felt it more than our health care providers. Our doctors, nurses, first responders, and all the people showing up to save lives are heroes. During the last couple months, we’ve been reminded just how important safe daycares are — the daycares that adhere to state laws, have the proper teacher to child ratio, and never leave a child unattended. These standards are vital now more than ever, as daycares are caring for the children of folks who still need to show up to work every day. With schools closed and kids at home, this crisis is putting pressure on families like never before. When something like this hits, our health care providers and other parents who work for essential businesses shouldn’t have to think twice about sending their kids to daycare. They deserve to feel secure and go to work knowing that the daycare will treat their kids just as well as they would. It’s for these parents and families that our firm takes on unsafe daycares and holds them unaccountable. No parent should ever have to wonder whether or not a daycare is providing adequate care. Times like this reinforce and validate what we do. We feel
motivated to continue holding daycares to higher standards that keep our children safe.
To all our health care providers, thank you for showing up for us. To all the daycare facilities that are doing it right, thank you for being there for our families.
BUTTON LAW HIGHLIGHT REEL
Nicole’s quarantine birthday flowers
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4315 W. Lovers Lane, Suite A Dallas, Texas 75209
www.buttonlawfirm.com | 214-888-2216
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Our Response to COVID-19
Team Member Spotlight
This Soon-to-Be Doctor Will Inspire You Why Safe Daycares Matter More Than Ever
Button Law Highlight Reel
How Our Team is Giving Back
Ashley Responds to a Stressful Situation by Giving Back For our attorney Ashley, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic was brought home when her sister, who lives in Florida, was diagnosed. “It gets real when someone close to you is diagnosed,” Ashley says. Fortunately, her sister is recovering, but coping with the stress of the situation prompted Ashley to look at how she could be there for others. “I needed to do something that helps people,” she says. Ashley has long felt a connection with the elderly population, and in thinking about how she could help this vulnerable group, she reached out to Meals on Wheels in Houston. “They’ve had a big influx of need, especially among senior citizens. They’ve had to move up all of their planned donations, spending, and food prep,” Ashley says. “They were in desperate need of volunteers to help deliver to senior citizens and others who are most at risk.” Along with her good friend Sarah, Ashley spent an afternoon at Meals on Wheels Houston packing breakfast meals. They packed over 600 meals in the four hours they were there. “No one was talking because everyone was super focused on their task. It was awesome to see,” Ashley says. Volunteers were encouraged by supportive Meals on Wheels employees. “Every time someone who worked there walked SHOWING UP FOR THOSE WHO NEED HER
by, they would cheer us on and shout, ‘Thank you, volunteers!’ The whole warehouse erupted in clapping. It was so inspiring to see.”
As her shift ended, Ashley stayed to talk with some of the other volunteers and hear their stories. “People from all different backgrounds and ages were volunteering. Everyone was there for different reasons. One person was laid off from their restaurant job. He was volunteering, he said, because ‘If I don’t get out and do something with my day, I’m just going to sit at home and be anxious and stressed. So I’m here every day.’ There were a lot of heartfelt stories. It makes you realize you can make a difference.” Because Meals on Wheels is considered an essential business, employees and volunteers are permitted to continue their crucial work to help our vulnerable populations. Ashley says social distancing guidelines were in place, and volunteers wore masks and gloves during their shifts. She plans to go back once a week to volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering like Ashley, you can find your closest Meals on Wheels location and sign up to volunteer at MealsonWheelsAmerica.org.
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