Across the country and around the world, businesses are switching their teams to full-time telecommuters. For some, this is an expansion of occasional work-from-home benefits; something that is already familiar. For others, this is a whole new world.

And now, many of us are a couple of weeks into homeschooling. While adapting to this WFH lifestyle.

Deep breath. You’ve got this. And we can help.

It’s a great idea to start by reminding yourself of your purpose both at work and as a parent. When you sit and think about it, you may quickly come to realize that the needs of both don’t have to be in conflict. In fact, they may overlap much more than you might imagine.

Our tips for working from home absolutely apply to both you and your child, and the more you start poking around the internet, the more you uncover a wealth of great resources, tips, and suggestions for keeping your kids—and their brains—busy as long as you need them to be.

Your kids may or may not have take-home work, or access to virtual classrooms, but never fear! We’ve gathered up a list of activities that have kept our Rubys (and their kids) sane, entertained, and learning.

Let’s get started:

The school day itself.

There are tons of online options available to share with your kids, younger or older, to help you schedule their time and plan a meaningful day while still working around conference calls and virtual meetings.

Webinars, but for kids.

Experts on many subjects can be found hosting a wide range of videos including some on science, space, current events, animated TED-Ed videos, a smattering of various subjects, and everyone’s throwback favorite, Sesame Street.

The art of storytime.

This comprehensive list of authors, illustrators, celebrities, and educators will keep kids occupied listening to stories and learning to draw. There are resources for toddlers to teenagers, and many include teaching guides and extended activities.

Lean on online learning.

So many scholastic websites have made themselves available for free during this time, and this extensive list will make it super easy to find a subject with just a quick search for a keyword.

Free (e)books!

Your public library card may already give you access to platforms like Hoopla for digital media, Kanopy for movies, Libby’s eBooks and audiobooks, but on-line digital library Epic! is now free through the school year with an invitation from a teacher or school librarian.

Move it.

Give the brain a break and work off some of that excess energy! You’ve got yoga for kids, pre-recorded and downloadable physical activities, outdoor play and education, dance-along videos, and even dancing with the great Debbie Allen! So why not take care of your own wellbeing at the same time and join in?

Be crafty.

Exercise the other side of their brains with lessons from Quarantine Art Club. Or, maybe your kids will tap into their inner storyteller with this writing workshop. And, these fun and fascinating assignments from a work-from-home/teach-from-home dad will engage your kids while giving you time to for a kid-free conference call. Or, why not cook together? Take fun quizzes, work puzzles, and play games. There’s a lot to keep everyone busy!

Guilt-free screen time.

Options are nearly endless with age-appropriate documentaries, cooking shows (we love Nailed It! on Netflix for family-friendly laughs), or travel videos. No need to feel guilty about giving yourself some downtime—especially when they’re still learning!

There is a lot of great information out there, so if you’re not sure where to begin or how to choose, reach out to peers, join virtual groups, and ask for support when you need it. We’re all taking this day-by-day.

For now, you can also visit this resource page dedicated to providing you with information, tips, and tools specifically for your COVID-19 business plans.

Be well and take care of yourself!

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A job in a growing business doesn’t always feel safe. Bold leaders and entrepreneurs often pride themselves on this. They buy into the ethos of “move fast and break things,” proselytizing the value of innovation, agility, and big ideas over predictability and security.

This approach is certainly exciting. And it does produce big results. But if you’re not careful, that big result could be a massive failure—and the thing you break could be your company.

The value of safety.

The fact is that safety is a core element of organizational culture. Safety is the foundation for innovation, excellence, and growth.

I’m not referring to physical safety (although that’s essential, too—hello, OSHA), but psychological safety. Your people need to feel safe to speak up, to be their true selves at work, to share their ideas, thoughts, and opinions, no matter how difficult it may be. If your people don’t feel safe, they’ll leave—or worse, become disengaged, resentful, and entirely unproductive, obstructing rather than supporting your organizational initiatives.

In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle explains that psychological safety is one of three pillars (along with purpose and vulnerability) of positive organizational cultures, but that few leaders can recognize it for it what it is. Instead, he writes, “[w]e consider safety to be the equivalent of an emotional weather system—noticeable but hardly a difference-maker.” 

It’s about cues.

Smart business leaders are able to cultivate psychological safety on both the collective and individual level, effectively changing the emotional weather. How? Believe it or not, it primarily comes down to minute gestures and signals—what Coyle calls “belonging cues.” 

Examples include the following:

  • eye contact
  • forms of physical contact, such as handshakes, hugs, and high-fives
  • humor and laughter
  • active listening
  • “attentive courtesies” like opening doors or saying “thank you”

Together, these kinds of cues communicate “you’re safe here.” As Coyle writes, belonging cues “seek to notify our ever-vigilant brains that they can stop worrying about dangers and shift into connection mode.” This allows people to communicate more openly and genuinely with one another. Psychological safety is what creates chemistry.

How do you build safety?

“Building Safety” is probably my favorite chapter of Coyle’s book because it offers so many ideas for small, immediate actions that can improve culture and drive results. The ideas can apply to any team, any group of people—from employees to contractors to vendors to volunteers.

It’s not just about smiling or holding doors open. Belonging cues signal that an interaction is important, the person on the other side is valued, and there’s an investment in continuing the relationship.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate belonging cues and build psychological safety at your organization:

1. Take time to listen. Get to know your team. Use both your eyes and your ears, but really lean into your ears. Some of the most important indicators of psychological safety (or a lack of it) are silent. 

Look at who is in the room and who isn’t. Which kinds of people are and aren’t represented within your organization? Indeed, listening is a key aspect of any equity, diversity, or inclusion effort.

Go beyond the surface. Great teams tend to have both remarkable demographic and psychological diversity. Do you know which of your employees are introverts and which are extroverts? Do you know what genres of music they like, what types of books they read, what kinds of hobbies they engage in outside of work?

2. Give everyone equal access to the podium. This isn’t easy. Some people are natural-born speakers and leaders, but most of us need substantial, ongoing support and encouragement to speak up and share our thoughts. All those hand-raisers from school discouraged us from trying. Take on the role of a teacher and make sure everyone gets equal speaking time.

3. Set high standards. Establish an unwavering commitment to excellence, and hold your team to it. Your people might just surprise you—they’ll rise to the occasion and hold others accountable as well. After all, no one wants to do B-level work.

4. Demonstrate confidence. Encouragement and a positive attitude go a long, long way. You can propel your team to new heights with just a few words. The next time someone seems unsure about a task, rather than expressing doubt or offering assistance immediately, try saying something like “I know you can do this!” 

Note that confidence and vulnerability go hand-in-hand. The goal is to strike a balance—to create an environment where people can do their best work and ask directly for help when they need it.

5. Know that one negative person can impact the productivity of an entire team. Specifically, a slacker or other toxic employee can reduce productivity by 30% to 40%

If you can identify a negative contributor, don’t simply write them off or remove them from the situation. Think about their perspective, their issues, the needs they are and aren’t expressing. Try and coach them out of the behavior. Ask questions: “What’s going on? How can I help?”

Give them a chance or two to correct their behavior and meet the high standards of your organization. But don’t extend your patience infinitely. If you can’t do anything about that bad apple, get rid of them.

The fundamental truth in this chapter, and all of The Culture Code, is that culture is about people, not a person, singular—not the business leader, not a star employee, not the loudest talker. The best organizations are created for and by people, lots of people. They allow all kinds of people to feel safe, vulnerable, and connected to their purpose. 

Mostly, they give people what everyone wants: happiness. Today, over a third of our population has indicated they have to work multiple jobs to pay the bills. The result, work has become more than 50% of our life. If you can create an environment as an employer that embraces happiness through fun, belonging and growth, you’ll build a team that wants to come to work rather than needs to come to work!

That seems like as good a note as any to leave on! I hope you enjoyed this three-part exploration into The Culture Code. If you missed part 1, click here; for part 2, click here. 

For more articles about building your business, be sure to check out our blog. And if you haven’t already, I encourage you to join Ruby Reads, our monthly book club for small business owners.

Be well.

Sincerely, 

Kate 

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What does the word “vulnerability” make you think of?

I think of an aircraft carrier. 

Hear me out. In his book The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle describes vulnerability not as a “touchy-feely” display of insecurities, but as a way of sending and receiving signals. According to Coyle, vulnerability is a channel for open and honest—and often mission-critical—communication.

Think of it as radio communication between an aircraft carrier and members of the fleet. The carrier has to send out constant beacons on its locations, speed, and conditions for landing. Pilots need to continually pay attention to and acknowledge receipt of those messages. And if either party encounters something that appears dangerous, unclear, or off in any way, the person on the other end needs to know, so aircraft can be rerouted.

The aircraft carrier can’t do what the people in the air do or see what they see. And vice versa. Only by working together can members of the fleet ensure things run smoothly and safely.

Our business runs on vulnerability.

The aircraft carrier metaphor can apply to practically any organization, including a business like ours. 

Here at Ruby, we currently have about a dozen major projects in the air, so to speak. Those projects are all highly interconnected to each other, as well as to our biggest project—our aircraft carrier. Every project needs to land on the aircraft carrier, one after another, in a specific order. If we don’t keep our channels of communication open, we run the risk of colliding into each other or letting a key initiative exhaust its fuel supply and spiral into the sea.

Vulnerability is what allows us to send and receive the information we need, when we need it. It’s how we stay tuned in to each other’s challenges, allowing us to offer support at a moment’s notice. Most importantly, it cultivates trust among the members of our team.

What does vulnerability look and sound like?

Communicating vulnerability doesn’t necessarily mean telling other people you’re scared, or anxious, or overwhelmed, or that you feel unqualified for your job. Those feelings may be one component of the message, but they aren’t the whole message.

Here are a few examples of vulnerability in action:

“I’m not sure I can handle this alone. Can you help me?”

“Have you ever done this before? I’m new at it and want to make sure I’m doing it right.”

“I’m worried we won’t be able to get this done in time. What are our other options?”

I’m sorry I said that. I can see how it hurt your feelings and I regret causing you pain.”

“What do you think about this? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.”

“I take full responsibility for that mistake. I was wrong.”

The four rules of vulnerability.

In The Culture Code, Coyle presents stories that highlight a few key rules of vulnerability: 

1. Define your path. Vulnerability should serve an objective. It should help us get from “here” to “there.” You won’t know where you’re going unless you chart your path first.

2. You can’t prevent mistakes. We’re all human. Mistakes happen. Pretending they don’t doesn’t help anyone. Vulnerability allows us to look at those mistakes head-on and accept them, so we can actually do better next time.

3. Don’t consider yourself the smartest person in the room. A leader is measured by their team. As the people in charge, our job is to be the “roaming catalyst.” We should encourage ownership of purpose in everyone. Rubys routinely hear me say, “You guys are so smart. I want to hear how you think we should solve this problem. I am not qualified to do your job.” And I mean that! 

4. Don’t feel obligated to give brutally honest feedback. There’s a big difference between being open and sharing every thought that pops into your head. Consider your audience and consider the usefulness of your feedback before you share it. Remember: vulnerability requires empathy. If you’re not considering the other person’s feelings and giving them something of value, you’re just being cruel.

How can you encourage vulnerability in your organization?

Based on The Culture Code and my own executive leadership experience, here are a few ways you can embed vulnerability throughout your business:

  • Align your team with subtle nudges. Encourage your employees to share their questions, doubts, hopes, concerns. Ask them how they’re feeling about their work. Lead through example—let others in on why you made that decision, give gratitude to someone who helped you complete something you couldn’t have done alone.

  • Offer support. At Ruby, everyone has an SOS button. If you hit that button, someone will turn around and ask, “How can I help?” This allows us to take care of problems as soon as they come up. And beyond that, people who get help often pay it forward—they take the time to say, “I just had this problem, and here’s how it got solved, so perhaps this can help you, too.”
  • Provide the environment and tools your team needs to collaborate. In addition to giving people the encouragement and room to ask for support, your business should provide helpers with the tools and space they need. (I’ll explore this further in my next article about building safety, so stay tuned.)

  • Eliminate blockages to honest feedback. Like many businesses, we are constantly innovating here at Ruby. However, innovation has a tendency to result in scope creep, and every new idea or opportunity cannot be additive without changing something else. We know that innovation is only one element of our purpose, and not always the most important element. So, we empower our teams to ask, “How does this link to our purpose? What is the priority relative to our other projects?” If the priority is higher, we demote the other task. If the priority is lower, we put it in the queue, behind the current task. If the priority of both tasks is the same, we talk about what additional resources we need to complete both simultaneously. Being honest and getting everything out in the open not only feels good, but also allows us to execute faster and smarter.

  • Encourage new ideas—of all kinds. As CEO, I hold office hours in each of our facilities to meet with everyone. At these meetings, topics are wide open—everything is on the table, from what kinds of cereal we have available in the morning to whether we need to change our PTO policy to help single moms.

  • Look for the real problems. Teams get stuck for all kinds of reasons. It’s on the leader to offer up a suggestion or acknowledge a problem. Sometimes it’s a lack of clarity around solutions and roles. Other times, it’s because of harsh office lighting—a problem we ran into the other day. At a staff meeting, someone asked the question: “Does anyone think it’s really bright in here?” People immediately started chattering: “Oh yeah, definitely!” “Yes, it gives me headaches all the time!” So we ordered some blinds on the spot, but ran into another snag: facilities told us it would take weeks for the blinds to show up. And then someone noticed that the window looked to be about the size of a large Post-it Note—which there happened to be a stack of nearby. We grabbed a ladder and solved the problem in minutes.

  • Make it clear that it’s okay to fail. Not every problem can be solved as quickly as our lighting issue, and not every solution will end up working. That’s okay. Life is a learning experience. Acknowledge the problem, acknowledge why it didn’t work, and move on. Take ownership and don’t assign blame. When people know it’s all right to make mistakes, they tend to realize those mistakes faster and solve problems gracefully. And, again, failing and learning—together—is how trust is forged.

Clearly, there’s a lot to be said about vulnerability. If I had to summarize Coyle’s chapter on the topic, I would say that being a great owner, manager, or leader means having three priorities in mind:

  1. alignment 
  2. encouragement 
  3. problem-solving 

With those ingredients in place, you have what it takes to steer the aircraft carrier and guide your team to safety and success.

Speaking of safety and success, those are precisely the subjects we’ll look at in my third and final article in this blog series about The Culture Code.

Until then, be sure to join Ruby Reads, our monthly book club for small business owners. And if you missed part 1 in this series, which covers the role of purpose in company culture, you can read that here.

Stay well.

Sincerely,

Kate

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Tips from a Ruby: working from home.

Reading time:

Hello, business warriors! 

First, I have to say that I am SO INCREDIBLY proud of you. You have (as always) stepped up to this challenge and demonstrated that you are truly a remarkable community of gifted, hardworking, and innovative human beings.

Like many of you, I am so relieved and grateful to be able to work from home, but have noticed that there are some challenges that can come with the new digs! I’ve been working on some strategies to keep myself from sliding out of my regular schedule and headspace, and thought I’d share with you. It’s a work in progress, but we hope to keep building on it and eventually publish thoughts a handy “business at home” guide!

When our bodies don’t move and we work/play/sleep in the same place, our brains get foggy and nervous. Combine that with the stress of a schedule change and a scary virus, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for The Sads. Banish the Blerch by forging your own new daily schedule! Some of these tips are really basic, but when life changes, the little things can start getting away from you.

Physical Swellness:

  • Sunshine! We’re not commuting anymore and aren’t getting the same dose of the outside world! It can be easy to slide into a habit of bed -> work -> bed, especially when we’re all working so hard. Get outside before and/or after work, walk a few blocks and breathe the fresh air! (Hazmat suit optional).
  • Eat yer vegetables! We’ve all heard the stories about empty grocery store shelves, and moving forward we will likely encounter some shortages of fresh produce! We all love pirates, but Scurvy is so 18th century. Take a multivitamin if you aren’t already, and keep your eyes extra peeled for produce when you see it at the store! Maybe even try that weird dragon fruit someone left in the bakery section…
  • Stretch! We don’t have our standing desks or fitness room available, and we imagine you probably don’t either. Get up and leave your computer for breaks, setting a timer for every hour to stand up and get your blood moving again!

Mental Swellness:

  • Keep that morning routine! It is so…so very tempting to roll out of bed a few minutes before your shift because, by golly, you CAN! However, we have all relied on our morning warm-up for years, and depriving ourselves of the coffee/musings/podcasts that we’re used to can really put us off our game. And in that vein…
  • Establish and maintain a schedule! We’re all a little discombobulated right now, so it’s extra important to create a dependable schedule that mirrors our experience at work. Wake up and go to bed at the same time, schedule daily “boost” activities like walking and baby/furbaby snugs time. And hey, there’s an app for that! 
  • Take time off! I know that we all want to put in 110% percent to get through this, but we are under a lot of stress. Recognize it, be gentle with yourself, and proactively schedule a mental swellness day to give yourself some breathing room.
  • Innovate your fun! Over the coming weeks, your days and nights may start to blend together because you’re working and playing in the same space. Come up with new ways to party with friends. (I’ve included a few ideas at the bottom of this post.)

The Work Part:

  • Reach out for resources! We no longer have our trusty desktops, filing cabinets and bookshelves anymore, so you might start feeling like you’re coming a bit unraveled when it comes to work organization. Reach out to your network and see what others are doing to keep their spaces (and their minds) tidy. 
  • Ruby-Fy your desk! What we mean by this is, make it your own. You might be working from the space that you have right now for a while, so take the time to get cozy and comfortable, whatever that means for you. 
  • Check out of your email! Easier said than done, I know, I know. But taking a moment to step away from the constant pings and dings of Slack messages, text messages, emails, and maybe even calls can give you the time you need to keep your business on track. 

 Innovate Your Fun:

  • Remote Board Games! Get your hands on a webcam/mobile device and break out Cones of Dunshire or Candyland and play with a friend! (Don’t play Risk, though. It ends friendships.)
  • Video Charades! Your pet may think you’re weird, but you and your friends will have a blast.
  • Community Movies! There are a ton of apps out there from The Rabbit to Plex to Netflix Party that will allow all of you to watch movies together!
  • Bake/Cook Together! Ruby is well known for our collection of master bakers. We’ve been spending time virtually cooking with one another in the off-hours, and it’s just so sweet. 
  • Online gaming! For all of you sweet summer children who don’t yet spend hours playing video games, there are actually a ton of fun solo and multiplayer games out there! Whether you love working puzzles, playing Scrabble or just plain making mayhem, the gaming world has you covered. Reach out to one of your gamer friends for suggestions (you know who we are).

I know that most everything is tough right now, but there is no grit, no dedication out there like that of a business owner. I know this because I have the pleasure of supporting you, your customers, and your businesses every single day, and I am confident that we can get through this with the heart and grace that our community always delivers. We got this, and we’ve got each other, so keep on keepin’ on! 

All my best,

Amanda Morrison
Problem Solver and Happiness Maker


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Dear small business owner,

We know you’re busy, so we’ll make this quick:

You deserve a lot of love right now.

You’ve dedicated your life to your business, putting in the work, quietly making the world run. Society as we know it would fall apart without you. 

We wouldn’t have food.

We wouldn’t have places to live or stay.

Without you, we couldn’t find medical care, legal aid, or financial help. We wouldn’t have services of any kind—no consulting, no accounting, no website help. No home or car repair, no babysitting or petting, no cleaning or landscaping or cooking. No way to manage our physical and mental well-being.

Without you, the world wouldn’t have jobs. Every nine out of ten jobs are created by business owners like you. And you take care of your people and their families. Collectively, small businesses pay their employees $2.55 trillion every year.

It’s fair to say that businesses like yours power the American and global economy. But you do more than that. 

You are an epicenter of culture and connection. You shape neighborhoods and cities. You bring people together—all kinds of people—at farmers’ markets, in waiting rooms, on the street, over books and coffee. You give us art to look at, clothing to wear, things to see and do.

At the same time, you’re stepping up as a leader in your community. Perhaps you’re active in politics or a member of your city’s chamber of commerce. Or maybe you serve on the board of a local educational institution or nonprofit or faith-based organization. Or maybe you give back through donations, sponsorships, fundraisers, and volunteer work. 

Or maybe, like so many small business owners, you do it all—because you can’t help but get involved where there’s someone in need.

You’re like Mr. Rogers, Oprah, and Spider-Man rolled into one.

And just like them, your work is never over. You regularly work 50-, 60-, 100-hour weeks. You start early and stay late. You do your best and give it your all, day in and day out. 

The rest of us can take sick days and go on vacation. We don’t need to dedicate 110% every day. You don’t always have that luxury. You have to show up—because there’s usually no one else who can do your job or run your business for you.

You’re the person in charge of making sure customer or client demands are met, no matter how challenging or unpredictable. You need to live with extreme uncertainty and relentlessly pursue your goals in spite of it. After all, you’re the person your team looks to for direction and vision. You need to think fast, act fearlessly, and make tough decisions dozens of times per day. 

You’re a risk-taker and an innovator. Virtually every new technology, insight, and trend is birthed at businesses like yours.

We want you to know you’re appreciated—because it’s hard out there right now, and you probably don’t hear it enough. We see you working to give your families, your business, and your communities everything that you’ve got.

From all of us to you: thank you for everything you do!

Love,

Ruby

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Hubspot Test

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Not unlike healthcare patients, when legal clients reach out, they are more likely to be in personal crisis than customers in other industries. Calling, texting or emailing their attorney means they are truly seeking help right away. 

84% of consumers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services (up from 80% last year), but only 8%  believe that companies meet their expectations for excellent service. Legal clients in particular experience challenges that go beyond the needs of standard consumer industries. 

An attorney’s approach to potential clients has the power to turn their feelings of anxiety and confusion into relief and loyalty if the experience is positive. Additionally, every client you speak to has the power to become a source of positive reviews and referrals or reputation-damaging negative word of mouth. 

64% of legal clients make decisions based on the likeability of a lawyer’s tone, and 52% have in turn decided not to hire a lawyer if they were not likable or friendly enough. The perception of friendliness and likeability begins the first time a client calls, and can be impacted by every connection and exchange leading up to hire.

“Most people don’t see attorneys under happy circumstances, unless they are working on a business deal. In your personal life, you’re either planning for your death, or someone has died, or you’re getting divorced, or someone was hit by a car… having some compassion helps attorneys bring things down to the level of their clients.”

– Somita Basu – Norton Basu LLP

Ruby’s receptionists and chat specialists ensure that inbound communications are answered with a tone that recognizes and honors each client’s situation, offering an immediate sense of connection, friendliness, empathy, and likeability to set you up for success. Our services mean that you never miss a call or opportunity to assure a client that you are ready to assist and support them, and they never have to wonder if their message is lost or sitting in a void.

Download our attorney ebook to learn more about why the Ruby team is your best client ambassadors!

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Ruby Reads: 'Just Mercy'

Reading time:

By now, you have heard of ‘Just Mercy’, written by attorney Bryan Stevenson, and now a major motion picture starring Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan.  ‘Just Mercy’ was both a critical and commercial success when it was published in 2014. The book tells the true-life experiences of Bryan Stevenson, a fresh Harvard law school graduate who founded the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama working to defend the poor and the wrongly condemned in an area of the country deeply steeped in profoundly segregated political and legal traditions. 

As a busy attorney running a small firm, I rarely have time to read for pleasure. At the end of a long day, I usually want to disconnect from what I do and try and enjoy time with my friends and family. But “Just Mercy” is a must-read for anyone interested in or connected to the legal system. Mr. Stevenson’s journey in the deep South was an uphill one from the start but the clarity, empathy, compassion, and hope with which he writes about his struggles to vindicate an innocent man on death row is as inspiring as it is uplifting. This book will inspire you and give you hope that there are attorneys fighting for justice and mercy without billions of dollars behind them.  

While this book is mostly centered around the case of Walter McMillian, there is a deeper message beyond the legal ramifications and brinkmanship that is woven throughout the narrative. Mr. Stevenson makes the point that we are all more than the worst thing we have ever done.  And all of us – and he really means ALL of us – are worthy of mercy, which is undeserved and unearned. This is a message that has resonated with me deeply and something I constantly repeat to clients, my children, and my colleagues. Without being overtly religious, Mr. Stevenson’s message is one of the most pious statements that can be expressed in modern times and one that we all would do well to remember in all our interactions, both in-person and online.

Finally, I have met Mr. Stevenson in person.  He is as engaging, humble, and dedicated to his cause as his book and the movie convey. I strongly recommend spending a few hours of your precious ‘downtime’ to read “Just Mercy”. It’s a page-turner as a legal story, an unflinching look at problems in our legal system, and yet full of hope. (You may even notice a famous musician’s father making an unflattering appearance!) It is my sincere desire that when you turn the last page of this book, you will be filled with a sense of hope and grace that will change the way you look at our legal system and your judgments of those around you. 

Somita Basu

Somita Basu is a Founding Principal and the Co-Managing Partner of the Santa Clara, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas offices of Norton Basu LLP. Ms. Basu addresses complex issues in estate planning, probate and trust administration matters. She is a member of the California Lawyers Association and serves as Vice-Chair on the Executive Committee of the Association’s Solo and Small Firm Committee.  She is also on the Project 2021 Committee for the California Lawyers Association, providing input into how California’s largest bar association will adapt and function in the future. Ms. Basu is a member of the Silicon Valley Bar Association, which focuses exclusively on the issues of estate planning and probate and serves as a Board Member at Channing House, a senior living facility in Palo Alto, CA.

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The coronavirus & your Ruby service.

Reading time:

To our Ruby Customer Community: 

As you have seen in the news or read in the headlines, new cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 are starting to be confirmed in the U.S. On Friday, Feb 28th, Oregon had its first confirmed case, and because Oregon is home to two of our three receptionist centers and our headquarters, we’re taking this news seriously. 

We’re reaching out to let you know that we are here for you. Our goal is to make sure that we prioritize employee health and safety while also maintaining the legendary service that you rely on us to deliver.  

Here is what we are currently working on: 

  • Employee health and safety. We are taking extra precautions in our Portland and Kansas City offices to ensure surfaces are cleaned on a regular basis and cleaning supplies/hand sanitizer are readily available for all employees. 
  • Secure, remote access to our platform. We are making preparations to continue business as usual in a safe environment. Our Technology Teams are actively working on a secure and scalable contingency plan should we need to operate in alternate locations. 
  • Ongoing customer communication. We will be regularly communicating with you about any changes to our workforce that may impact our ability to meet your needs. At this time, we do not anticipate disruption to your service. But should that change, we will be transparent about what we are doing and the impact that might have on our services.  

We also know there is a lot of misinformation fueling the conversation about the Coronavirus COVID-19. The best resources for virus news include:   

Center for Disease Control & Prevention 

World Health Organization 

For the most up-to-date information about service availability, please access your Ruby account at my.ruby.com. We also encourage you to download or upgrade to the current version of the Ruby app to stay informed on the go (available at App Store or Google Play Store).  

Should you have any questions, our Customer Happiness team is available from 5am to 6pm PST, Monday through Friday. Please feel welcome to reach out to us at staff@ruby.com or 866-611-7829. 

Sincerely,

Kate Winkler

CEO 

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The Secret to Successful Law Firms

The inside scoop on Clio’s latest legal trends report.

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*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the cancelled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner.