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Anatomy of a Crazy Project: How We Saved the Day

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By Steven Tanner on February 19, 2013 12:01 PM

The writers and editors behind FindLaw.com's Learn About the Law (LATL) section -- the best legal information site for people without law degrees -- like to plan ahead. That's one of the reasons we're so darned good, if I may say so myself. But occasionally, despite our best-laid plans (and often at the worst possible time), an emergency project drops in our laps and mass chaos ensues.

Okay, perhaps that is a little dramatic. Actually, we're quite adept at shifting gears and pulling together as a team to accomplish whatever surprise comes our way. In fact, that's when we truly shine.

Take, for instance, the heroic undertaking we dubbed Project Save the Day. Without boring you with the details of why this project suddenly cropped up, failure to execute would have left serious holes in our LATL coverage.

Just before Thanksgiving, when most companies throttle down for the holiday season, we were tasked with creating about 100 brand new articles covering a wide range of legal topics across various practice areas — in about six weeks. Never mind the fact that we were understaffed (earning our team the “skeleton crew” moniker) or that many of us were taking days off for vacation.

Also, ignore the fact that we were without a full-time team lead. Thankfully, we were in the astute hands of Interim Team Lead Tanya Roth, who often worked 12-hour days during the holiday season to shepherd the project to completion. She’s modest, but her management really was key to its success.

“This was something totally new to me, as I am used to working with different content on a different platform,” said Roth, who admitted she was a little stressed out but gives props to her team for getting it done like true professionals.

“No one ever told me ‘no,’ or said they wouldn’t be able to get their part of the project done,” Roth added. “That made me feel confident.”

As if that wasn’t enough, this was Senior Content Specialist Adam Ramirez’s first assignment after joining the consumer content team. Ramirez accepted the challenge with style and grace.

“It was a trial by fire, to be sure,” Ramirez said. “But I learned a lot about LATL’s taxonomy and was forced to bug the heck out of my new team members. In that way, I think we bonded as a team.”

Much of the planning and execution of Project Save the Day was in the capable hands of Senior Content Strategist Javier Lavagnino, who also put in long days without complaint.

“Despite putting in a lot of time on this project and working within a tight deadline, it was really a breeze working with a great team that created awesome content literally faster than I could keep up with,” Lavignino said.

In case you’re wondering what it is, exactly, that we did, here are just a few of the new articles we created. We think they are even better and easier for users to find through search engines than the content they replaced:

We hope you agree and like what we are working so hard to bring you. Have a comment or suggestion on our new content? Sound off on our Facebook page.

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