Meet Heather Stevenson in her words:
Friends sometimes joke that I’m “too nice” to be a lawyer. They mean it as a compliment and that’s how I take it. But there’s no such thing as “too nice” to be a lawyer.
Being nice means that I ask the lawyer for the counterparty whether they had a nice vacation and that I agree to reasonable extensions, and occasionally even some that are a bit unreasonable if they don’t negatively impact my client. . . . .
. . .Being nice and being a pushover are two entirely different things. Know the difference, and if you’re a nice person, don’t stop being nice in your role as a lawyer.
Or, how about this (again Heather’s words):
My craziest career move (by a mile) was leaving my job as a litigation associate in New York to start a juice bar in Boston. The experience was even wilder than predicted, because we opened our first . . . location in November of what turned out to be Boston’s snowiest winter in recorded history.
That decision could be considered a “failure.” I set a goal of opening ten juice bar locations in ten years, but instead, three years later I went back to practicing law. Within five years, I shut the whole thing down.
But the decision also paid off in many expected ways, and even more ways I never could have imagined. Running (the juice bar) was like a hands-on MBA, but with more kale and coconut oil. Plus being a client to lawyers and other advisors gave me a clearer perspective on what makes an advisor effective. That perspective makes me a better in-house lawyer.
So, yeah, that’s Heather: authentic, honest, vulnerable, compelling, and human.