The Lawyer Ladies – My Sounding Board

As a young (family law) attorney, there are some days that I literally think that I am going to lose my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job and love the fact at the end of the day I have helped someone find some resolution on an issues that literally mean their life to them- their children, their retirements and everything that they have worked their entire lives for. I get to litigate, mediate, counsel and deal with interesting and new topics everyday—never a dull moment. But there are those days that between responding to client’s hectic emails, I realize that I have a happy hour downtown that I should be at, but only after I battle the hour long traffic commute home …. and then the phone rings and opposing counsel makes a an inappropriate comment… GAHHHHHH!!!!

This is about the time that I thank the lord above for wonderful technology. I reach for my iPhone and send a short text message to a wonderful group of female attorneys (whom I have lovingly dubbed “Lawyer Ladies”) who will sympathize with me, call that attorney a jerk and then offer up ways of how to deal with the situation. These ladies are all in different cities literally all over the state of Texas, are all different ages, practice different areas of law, practice at different size firms and are going through different stages of our lives—whether it be being engaged, getting married, having their first kid, having their second kid, being up for partner or just trying to get through the day- but despite our differences we all share one thing in common: we are female attorneys looking for a ear to listen (via text).

The Lawyer Ladies mean the world to me, they are able to answer my questions about whether what I am wearing is appropriate, how to deal with other’s inappropriate behaviors, how to broach difficult topics, guidance to resources for answers to my questions or just to listen to me vent and say “I understand.” The great thing about these ladies is that we are able to do this all via a short and simple texts, which we can answer when we have time and our response doesn’t take more than a minute or two and can be done while on hold or while riding the elevator. Sometimes if one of us in trial, they will finally read the texts and send a count of the number of texts we received. These short and simple texts help guide me (and I hope them) through the day and offer me a peace of mind. Sometimes hearing “I understand” or “OMG, that happened to me last week” can really help get through a difficult situation; and on the flip side being able to share small successes like “I sent that difficult email to my boss” or “Guess who got a huge referral today” and getting numerous virtual high fives makes my heart smile.

You are probably asking why I am sharing this story with you, and the answer is that I hope that this inspires others to seek mentorship, friendship and support in different and unique ways. I never would have thought in a million years that my best friends I would only see a couple of times a year but would text every day. Maybe texting doesn’t work for you, but maybe a weekly phone call or coffee with a friend or a walk during lunch on Mondays with a colleague might offer a little bit of sanity in a hectic world.

 

How do you seek mentorship or peace of mind?

Sally Pretorius

Sally Pretorius is an Associate Attorney at KoonsFuller in Southlake, Texas where she practices family law exclusively. Sally dedicates much of her spare time to the Texas Young Lawyers Association where she serves on the board of directors, and was awarded the Director of the Year award in 2014 and the First Year Director of the Year award in 2013. Sally was recently voted as Secretary for TYLA with her term to serve in the 2015/2016 bar year.

In North Texas, Sally is a member of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers where is a participant in the 2014 Leadership Class, a member of the Junior League of Dallas where she will serve as a Provisional Advisor for the 2015/2016 Junior League year. F

or fun, Sally enjoys spending time with her two “hunting dogs”- Roxy, a miniature dachshund and Molly, a rescue German Short Haired Pointer; running half and full marathons; Olympic lifting and shopping as a form of extreme cardio.

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