10 July 2024

Extra pairs of feet at Front Foot.

Front Foot is growing. We recently welcomed two new colleagues to our team: Jahnna McKeag, Associate Director, Contracting and Mary Ryan, Legal Operations Manager.

David Curtain, the founder of Front Foot Law, is enjoying the new dynamic. ‘We each have our areas of expertise. Jahnna looks after our interim contracting practice. She’s a very warm personality with deep experience in relationship building and developing business opportunities for our lawyers and clients.

Mary is a legal operations specialist with particular expertise in knowledge management and automation. She also collaborates with me on other areas, like process improvement. I love how clients respond to her – she’s great at engaging with them.”

Jahnna worked in the media industry for 25 years, leading high-performing teams in a competitive landscape. She also has extensive experience supporting leaders’ mental health and well-being, coaching and mentoring them personally and professionally.

Jahnna’s background brings a fresh perspective to Front Foot’s offering. She explains, “Having experience beyond the legal world gives me an openness to come in and explore things from a different point of view. It just comes back to a human focus. If we take the time to understand the people, their needs, and what drives them, we can make a real difference in their lives.”

Looking at the current working landscape, Jahnna sees trends across all industries. “Time is precious. We’re all human. We can only do so much. And that balance – the harmony between work and personal life is essential.”

She’s enjoying her new role and Front Foot’s impact on clients’ and lawyers’ lives. “It really is an empathetic, heart-led business that is focused on humans. We can automate certain things, but ultimately, it comes down to people and connection.”

Mary comes from an in-house legal background. “Private practice wasn’t for me, and I ended up finding myself in-house. In-house roles suited me much better. I really liked the environment of being part of a business and part of a team – closer to the beating heart.

As the years went on, I found that what I really enjoyed was organising strategic governance or helping with the governance of a team rather than the actual work itself. So, a few years ago, I jumped from being a traditional lawyer to a legal ops role.”

Mary enjoys multiple components of her role. “If you look at it at a high level, there’s the creative element to legal operations – the ideation, creation, and frameworks at a strategic level. I find that part of it exciting.

I think that’s what attracted me to a role like this. Helping people innovate where it’s most needed.”

Mary is enjoying the various elements of her new role. “Working for Front Foot has exceeded my expectations. I thought it would be exciting and energising to have different clients and problems to solve. But I’ve been much more energised than I even imagined.”

Jahnna and Mary share the Front Foot ethos of injecting joy into the day when working with each other and our clients. As Dave notes, “We understand everyone’s busy, but we believe it’s important to focus on the people at the heart of these issues and not get lost in the weeds. Everything we do is focused on nurturing long-term relationships.”