At Total Talent Design, we are about the big picture.

Whether we're developing processes for companies to engage and retain their valued professionals across the generational spectrum or partnering with skilled professionals as they navigate their career shifts, we offer empathic + effective support and customized solutions based on experience, relationships, and goals.


While we all began our careers in the legal field, we’ve expanded our experience beyond law firms and lawyers to new markets and companies eager to expand leadership development and engagement.

Jessica Natkin


Jessica Natkin knows what it takes to engage lawyers in their career development and to build programs in firms that set lawyers up for that success.


With 20 years of experience in lawyer career development, Jessica has coached hundreds of lawyers in big law and beyond. She has taken that knowledge and experience to the next level by working with firms to offer solutions across the firm. Jessica has created engagement and retention programs that work.


Jessica is highly motivated to help people find a way to work that fits their life and values while meeting the needs of the firm and its clients.  She is known nationally for her expertise in lawyer career coaching and work/life integration through customized work schedules.

Jessica holds a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law as well as a graduate certificate in career development. Prior to founding Total Talent Design, Jessica was the Director, Attorney Career Development at Fenwick & West LLP. She previously worked as the Director of Programs for the Project for Attorney Retention, and she managed the career development programs at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP and Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.

Jessica is co-author, with Ida Abbott, of “Innovation in Supporting Excellent – From Mentoring to Sponsorship, Coaching and Beyond” in Innovating Talent Management in Law Firms (NALP 2016).

Louise Francis

Senior Consultant &

Leadership Coach

Louise Francis practiced commercial litigation for over 15 years in the San Francisco offices of Sheppard Mullin and Heller Ehrman. She has experience litigating policyholder insurance recovery lawsuits, management-side employment litigation, securities litigation defense, and a variety of other commercial matters. She tried cases in both Federal District Court and San Francisco Superior Court and has argued before the Ninth Circuit and the California Courts of Appeal. After graduating from UC Hastings College of the Law, she clerked for U.S. District Court Judge D. Lowell Jensen (now retired from the Northern District of CA). As a UC Hastings student, she was an editor of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.

She became a shareholder (partner equivalent) of Heller Ehrman in 1995 and spent three years as the Managing Partner of the San Francisco office from 1997 to 2000. In 2003, she left Heller Ehrman to establish a professional development coaching practice for lawyers. In 2007, she added counseling UC Hastings law students to her coaching practice.



Louise is a Certified Leadership and Transition Coach, trained by the Hudson Institute which focuses on training coaches to support C-Suite executives. She is also a Certified Mediator and is certified to administer the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Louise’s professional development coaching practice has included designing and presenting workshops on management and leadership for law firm partners and associates, and facilitating law firm retreats. She was a member of the team that developed the initial UC Hastings Inns of Court program, and she has developed and administered programs on U.S. law for foreign-trained attorneys for UC Berkeley School of Law. A New York native, Louise went to Swarthmore College, after college she worked as a paralegal for the immigration firm Fragomen, and came to the SF Bay Area to attend UC Hastings.

Gaines Deeringer

Consultant &

Career Coach

Christa Gaines Deeringer has been committed to law firm practice and professional development for over a decade.  She practiced as an attorney with Fenwick & West LLP's Technology Transactions group for five years and has deep experience counseling and advising a broad mix of Fortune 500 companies and privacy clients on a range of intellectual property, licensing, and technology transaction matters.  In 2012, Christa transitioned her practice to Fenwick’s Professional Development & Recruiting team, where she focused on attorney career development and law student recruiting. 


Since 2013, Christa has dedicated her professional development practice exclusively to supporting attorney career development, work/life integration, performance management, and associate retention/sustainable practice. 


Christa piloted and managed Fenwick's innovative “First-Year Guide” program, where she provided individualized career coaching and facilitated training programs empowering first-year associates to proactively manage their careers from inception. 


Christa holds an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential with the International Coaching Federation and received her Professional Coaching for Life and Work Certification from UC Davis Extension.  Christa received her undergraduate degree in English from UC Berkeley and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.  Christa lives in the East Bay with her husband, twin daughters, and a Betta fish named Darby.