We often are asked what a normal day looks like for our lawyers. Normal is something most of us don’t know much about, but in our recurring column—HOURS—we unpack the daily routines of our teammates.
Rise and shine! I am quick to get up and start my day with coffee, spending the first couple hours getting myself ready, my kiddos ready, and making sure everyone knows what they’re doing after school. I’m a single mom to three kids ranging from 12 to 19 so there is a multi-colored Google calendar that we swear by! Strict logistics govern our morning so we all get to the right place at the right time.
If I’m working from our Chicago office, I use this time to commute on the train and plan my day. I like to walk to the station if I can; the fresh air is so good for my psyche! If I work from home, I take a quick walk around the neighborhood. I live in Beverly – known for its bungalows and gardens, so I like looking for ideas for landscaping! I start my work day as soon as possible after that.
I try—really hard—to stay focused on getting things done efficiently! In the morning, I do a lot of Zoom meetings where I advise clients, negotiate agreements and strategize solutions. I’m so lucky in that my clients are all great people so we have a lot of laughter and smiles as we sort things out. I find it gets the blood pumping, and makes tackling tough or complicated issues that much more bearable, and even enjoyable!
My office space is really important to me and our Chicago office is one of the best spaces I’ve ever worked in! It’s open and airy with glass walls, so it always feels bright and connected. I love to be there with my colleagues, and we are happy and grateful to be open whenever our team wants to be there. Did you hear, we’re getting a new office in New York City?! Stay tuned!
In the afternoon, I try to block out some longer windows of time so I can turn in drafts or think about new privacy issues. Since my practice areas are primarily in healthcare and tech, there is always something changing or evolving; a new challenge that could use a new solution. I really enjoy problem solving, so this time is crucial to me—and to our clients!
When working from home, I get to treat myself in the afternoon. My office is a small room at the back of my house with fresh pink paint and has a glossy black piano. It’s a great place to work – and I’ve been known to take 10 minutes mid-day to play a Haydn Sonata. Current project is Sonata No. 53. If you take 10 minutes to find it on YouTube, you might understand why I find that doing this exercise is a great de-stressor, allowing me to meditate on the sounds and rhythms at hand, and briefly opening up my mind and body to re-center.
Sometime between 5 and 6, I transition home, either by commuting or closing the door to my home office. My kids usually get home on their own around the same time after basketball or student council or whichever activity they have going on that given day. Once I’m home, I start my other job: Mom’s in business! I enjoy cooking, but we do a lot of take-out, too (they’re the professionals, afterall!). Afterward, I spend a couple hours working with my twelve year old on homework and by 8:00, everyone is usually finishing up for the day.
About this time in the evening, I usually get back online and see what I can tackle quickly. Get a few emails out; ask for help on client projects; and read some of the newsletters I subscribe to. My partners and I almost always have a conversation over Slack about something administrative. A lot tends to get done in these short hours!
Like everyone, by the evening I need a mental break. Sometimes I have something that I’m following on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu (any suggestions?) or perhaps I’ll listen to music. On many occasions, I’ll also work on a creative project or send out a birthday card! I LOVE to send birthday cards and I have a list of about 75 people who get cards each year.
I like to go to bed by this time, but if my mind is running I’ll turn on some spa music or a podcast called Sleep Encyclopedia – I’m pretty much guaranteed to be fast asleep within ten minutes—it’s a dream!