A perfect fit: that’s how my seemingly disparate interests have joined together in the way I practice law. Through the representation of academicians and other professionals and executives who are wrestling with employment and career-related issues, I have found an exhilarating way to fire on all cylinders. Yet the path I took to become an executive employment attorney was anything but linear.
Although my father, an attorney-turned-proprietor, knew I was destined for law, I was determined to pursue two other competing passions first: literature and psychology.
Literature — especially poetry, analysis, and translation — taught me that every word in a text counts. As it turns out, I have come to rely on this same skill of close-reading when it comes to statutory interpretation and the meticulous construction and deconstruction of contracts. The art of translation also taught me how to be a persuasive advocate. The sensibilities needed to stay deeply attuned to an author’s creation and transpose it into another language are not dissimilar from stepping into clients’ shoes and giving clear and forceful voice to their wants and needs.
My fascination with psychology and Jung enhanced my insight into different personality types and enabled me to tailor my approach to each individual on the other side of disputes and negotiations. It also taught me to be an objective, but empathetic counselor. I draw upon these skills on a daily basis in my law practice today. Career transitions can precipitate unique personal crises which far exceed the confines of the workplace. Our clients often face gut-wrenching situations and are compelled to make some of the highest-stakes decisions and deals of their careers. I step in as the voice of law and reason, even as I support them through the broader financial, emotional and logistical impact their employment issues may be exerting on their lives and on their families.
One further pursuit which significantly influenced my executive employment law practice was the homeschooling of my gifted daughter. I spent years supplementing her education by attending undergraduate and graduate courses with her at three different universities. In the process, I gained new insight into the world of academics and the tough professional choices, business issues and internal politics academicians face — almost none of which was apparent to me when I was a student myself.
After many years of law practice, I have come full-circle and am delighted to report that I am still exhilarated by the ride. Although I continue to be an avid reader and writer, as well as an occasional translator and near-daily swimmer, my focus now is on being the most effective counselor and advocate possible for our clients.