I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you find something meaningful to take away from my website. I started A Balanced Practice after being a lawyer myself and finding that many attorneys also struggle with well-being. I’d like to tell you a bit about myself and how I got where I am.
After graduating law school in 2013 and landing a dream job in “Big Law,” it didn’t take long for the anxiety, perfectionism, and fear of failure to set in. After suffering in silence for several months during my second year (too proud/scared to ask for help), support from my family and friends got me to start seeing a therapist. After learning my anxiety triggers, I left private practice behind and moved to a non-practicing role at Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company in 2016.
I then spent several years helping lawyers navigate challenging moments dealing with ethics and malpractice claims. I learned so much about the law and, frankly, how easy it is to commit malpractice and violate the ethics rules! I also saw how hard lawyers are on themselves when things don’t go perfectly (hearing a lawyer utterly distraught over making his first mistake in 30 years is something I will never forget).
These experiences fueled my passion for finding ways to develop practical tips that lawyers can utilize each day to feel happy and satisfied in their careers while avoiding malpractice and ethical pitfalls. I co-chaired the Minnesota State Bar Association Well-Being Committee from 2017-2020, started writing the Practicing Well column through the Professional Liability Defense Federation in 2018, and was humbled in later receiving awards from PLDF and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers for following my passion.
When the pandemic happened, we were all forced to find ways to stay physically and mentally healthy. The two hours normally spent commuting became devoted to growing fruits, veggies, and flowers for pollinators (save the bees!), cooking, and rediscovering the quiet beauty of sunrise & sunset.
The more I focused on enjoying these “little things” in my personal life, the more I enjoyed my legal career. Each day I looked forward to talking with my colleagues, defense counsel, and MLM insured lawyers about what we were all doing to stay healthy, which allowed me to learn more about the struggles we all face and how we can overcome them.
During 2021 I began exploring the benefits of mindfulness & meditation. I obtained my Health & Well-being Certificate from Arizona State University & Mayo Clinic and took several workshops through ASU and the University of Minnesota to develop my mindfulness practice. I uncovered my passion for yoga and breathwork, the power of gratitude and resilience, and the value of self-compassion (a new concept for me!). I saw how these practices were changing my life and I wanted to show others how they could change theirs.
In 2022, I formed A Balanced Practice, where my mission is teaching lawyers, judges, and legal professionals about the “little things” we can do every day to enjoy life a little more as people and as members of the legal profession. I want to help people discover what well-being means to them because when we take care of ourselves, we are less likely to make mistakes that can lead to malpractice and ethical issues (and we tend to be happier in general!).
My first year in business was filled with many wonderful and unexpected opportunities to share my passion for well-being with lawyers, judges, and the incredible staff who support the legal profession. I also took full advantage of the chance to continue my education by enrolling in several mindfulness and self-compassion workshops, devouring countless books and articles on well-being topics, and even completing a 5-day silent retreat!
My second year has been even more rewarding (if that's possible!) as I've begun hosting wellness retreats where I get to witness workplace relationships developing in front of me while facilitating incredible discussions, trivia games, and other activities that embody well-being. I also became a Certified Mindful Health & Wellness Coach, and am thrilled to be launching my 1:1 coaching practice during the fall of 2023 where I get to help members of the legal profession achieve their well-being goals!
I have been so fortunate in having my incredible husband, Luke, by my side since meeting him at my law school prom during 1L year. We have a beautiful life together in the Twin Cities with our two Golden Retrievers (Indy & Loki) and Bearded Dragon (Mick). We love doing DIY projects for our house and yard, spending summers on the water boating and fishing, and being aunt and uncle to our 14 amazing nieces and nephews! We are lucky to live close to our family and friends, and are grateful for the neighborhood relationships that the pandemic allowed us to form. We are excited to see where life takes us next, and look forward to sharing that with you!
Thanks for reading to the end! Brevity has never been my forte! :)
Growing up, I always cared more about playing sports than focusing on my schoolwork, which often resulted in my dad saying that he wished I had a "thirst for knowledge." As 2023 comes to a close and I reflect on my journey in the well-being space, I am grateful for all of the experiences (good and bad) that have allowed me to have a thirst and a passion like never before. I love learning about well-being, finding ways to apply it to my life, and sharing this experience with others. I am currently enrolled in several new workshops and certification programs that will allow me to continue offering group presentations and facilitated discussions around well-being.
Inhale through your nose for four counts and exhale out your mouth for eight counts. When you feel stressed, come back to your breath.
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