When it comes to amazing female attorneys, my dear friend and blog reader Stacy is a prime example of what it means to be exceptional. Stacy grew up in Sacramento, and has been financially supporting herself since her undergrad days at UC Davis. Throughout law school while the rest of us attended social events, Stacy locked herself in the law review office to pull all-nighters, trying to secure her place at her dream job. Stacy achieved her goal, and more. In addition to being a killer lawyer, she is also a killer athlete. Stacy coaches gymnastics, does Crossfit 5 days per week, and is a loving mom to her kitty, Fidget. She even competes against other Crossfit athletes state-wide! In addition to her many talents, Stacy recently purchased her first home, reaping the rewards of her hard work, dedication, and overall badassery. I asked Stacy 5 questions, and here are her answers:
Q: How do you keep such a good work-life balance?
A: To attain work-life balance you really have to identify your priorities. I’m a single gal, so I don’t have to balance work with kids or a husband (though my cat Fidget is almost like my child). But I have decided that my fitness is my top priority outside of the workplace. I leave work every day by 5:30 pm to make sure I get into the gym and get a solid workout in. If that means I have to bring work home with me and work while I eat dinner, then so be it. Others at my firm work till 7 or 8 pm in order to stock up on hours so they can take 2 week vacations to exotic locations or spend more time with their families. Luckily for me, my gym isn’t just where I work out, it’s also where I spend time with my friends. Two birds, one stone! So if you want to find that elusive work-life balance, take the time to sit down and decide what is REALLY important to you and forget all that other junk. Work has to get done no matter what, but you have to make the time for the things that matter to you.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far, and how did you overcome it?
A: My biggest challenge has probably been others not taking me seriously. I’m 27 years old, a female, in my second year as an attorney, 5’2’’, and definitely look 16. I’ve been called the secretary , the court reporter, and “too nice to be an attorney.” I never let comments like that change my overall attitude. Many older male attorneys try to say things like that to try to get a rise out of you, to turn you into that quintessential female attorney bitch. Never stoop to that level, brush off stupid comments and have confidence in yourself and your abilities as an attorney.
Q: Do you have any tips for ladies in the Sacramento area that need to dress professional in summer weather?
A: I am a firm believer in shells/conservative sleeveless shirts. Nice and summery, but easily dressed up with a jacket. And ALWAYS keep a pair of flip flops at your desk for walks to court or lunch!
Q: As young professionals, what can we do to contribute to a more collegial atmosphere in the legal profession?
A: I attended King Hall as a law student, and the absolute greatest part about that school is that we all supported each other. We shared notes, outlines, flash cards, and horror stories. We knew that we were stronger working together as a team than working against each other as enemies. While the real world is less warm and fuzzy, and the interactions we have with each other are inherently adversarial, that doesn’t mean we have to lose that cooperative mentality. Don’t be that jerk that everyone dreads working with. All it’s going to get you is a group of peers unwilling to grant you favors when you really need them.
Q: When you are not at work, you are……?
A: Lifting heavy weights in the gym or lifting a few glasses of wine with my friends.