Panel Provides Tips and Strategies for Work / Life Balance in the Law

The Women's Legal Forum at Washburn Law hosted attorneys Sarah Morse, Angel Zimmerman, '06, Larry Zimmerman, '00, Professor Andrea Boyack, and The Honorable Christel Marquardt, '74 of the Kansas Court of Appeals on October 24, 2017. The guests Lunch and Learn presentation, "Lean In Without Falling Down," was sponsored by the Business and Transactional Law Center. The panelists discussed important issues of work and life balance in legal practice. The speakers described tips and strategies they employ in their own lives for striking a proper balance that moves their career forward and avoids the unwanted result of sacrificing work for life, or alternatively, life for work.

Photograph: Panelists discussing work/life balance.
Left to right: Sarah Morse, The Honorable Cristel Marquardt,
Angel and Larry Zimmerman, Andrea Boyack.

Sarah Morse, a mother, wife, and six-year attorney at law, stressed the importance of discipline and focus at work, which reduces the need of working at home. Additionally, she shared her strategy of limiting work email notifications that come straight to her phone, which she has found, reduces stress.

Angel and Larry Zimmerman, the parents of four children and partners at Zimmerman & Zimmerman, P.A., spoke about the importance of carving out time in weekly schedules for family and prioritizing what is important in life. They explained what is important now may change in the future, but you should always strive to wrap your life around that top priority to maintain happiness.

Professor Andrea Boyack, the mother of four children, wife, and law professor, emphasized the importance of self-actualization. She explained that realizing one's talents and potentialities is a crucial step in the work / life balance equation and that in order to strike a proper balance, you have to make yourself happy so that you are not "pouring from an empty vessel."

The Honorable Christel Marquardt, mother of three, described the difficulty she experienced, because of her gender, of finding a job after obtaining her J.D. in 1974; however, after a successful 17.5 years on the Kansas Court of Appeals, she explained the work / life equation is not actually a balance. Judge Marrquardt noted that managing work and life is a juggling act and that prioritizing things in your life is the first step to succeeding in that juggling act.

Washburn Law thanks all the guest speakers for taking time from their busy schedules to speak with students about this real world issue in legal practice.