Tell us about your passion project, talent, or hobby outside the courtroom.
I am passionate about yoga, Pilates, meditation and foreign languages, especially Spanish (which I only speak in the house) French, and Italian.
Why did you choose this particular hobby?
I am dyslexic and was always told I could not learn a foreign language. I hired a private French teacher after the age of 40 (over 20 years ago) and worked with her three times a week before I went to work as an assistant DA. Spanish was the first language of my children. After that, Italian and Spanish were easy. I decided to take up meditation after my husband died in 2008 and I needed a way to control my situational depression.
How much of your time are you able to devote to your hobby?
I have a meditation practice and meditate at least ten minutes in the morning every day. I can tell a difference when I do not take the time to meditate. I love yoga and Pilates because it is a way to relax my mind and get away from the stress of law.
Does your hobby have an impact on your legal career, and if so, how?
I am a believer that in order to be a great trial lawyer you must be mindful. I love to teach mindfulness and meditation to lawyers and judges. I have never seen a great trial lawyer that could not focus intensely on what they were doing.
How does your hobby affect your work/life balance?
I have three girls under the age of 12: raising them as a single mom. Taking the time for myself to do yoga, Pilates, and meditating for ten minutes a day is essential to control my level of stress.
Would you be willing to give up your legal career to pursue your passion project?
I would never be willing to give up my law career, but I would be willing to practice law less and turn to writing one more book about creativity outside the courtroom. Practicing mindfulness and meditation is something that I feel is necessary to keep the mind young and sharp.
How long have you been doing this?
I have been a psychologist for 40 years, so I have had an understanding of mindfulness/meditation for that long.
Who/what inspires you to do it?
Mentors who are lawyers who are just great people. Like my co-author Robert Hirschhorn says, "If you want to be a great lawyer, be a great person."
Have you ever competed/ instructed etc. with this hobby?
I have been teaching lawyers and judges mindfulness/ meditation for three years.
What's the most rewarding thing about what you do?
Feeling connected with people I enjoy being around and admire.
Do you feel this passion makes you a better attorney/person?
Yes, because I believe you cannot be a great lawyer unless you are mindful.