TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY WITH YOUR COMPANY AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME THEIR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR?
My love of MothersEsquire did not grow overnight. MothersEsquire is a place for women attorneys with children – whether currently working as a full-time attorney, or a stay-at-home mom, or anywhere in between. The group has grown to over 4,000 private members, who get not only advice, but referrals, resources, connections, and more. Sounds amazing, right?
But when I was asked to be their Executive Director, I sat down to write an email to Michelle, the Founder and President, telling her no on 7 different occasions. A simple email – I can’t. But I couldn’t write it. Then I started writing a ‘yes’ email and the words flowed like gushing rapids. Clearly God was telling me this was where I needed to be. Before sending the email, I talked it over with my husband.
He was extremely supportive but we needed to plan to make it work – after all, this was a volunteer position and I was a military spouse and stay-at-home-mom to two young kids. It didn’t feel right to pay for childcare so I could volunteer. And getting anything done with my kids around was not realistic. Do I give up nap time when I get everything in the household done? Then when do I do the household things? Do I give up some of the two hours each night I get with my husband after the kids are asleep? And we move so much as a military family, is it worth it?
So, I did something a little crazy – I found a childcare provider that could take my kids for 2 entire days per week and I advertised myself to do legal research and writing. I bought a subscription to a legal research database and really dove into this entrepreneur adventure. It was more than wanting to volunteer with MothersEsquire, it was a calling back to my love of the law and advocacy. And I was finding a way to still be there for my kids while doing it. It was an exciting start to a new chapter of my life. And somehow it worked! Attorneys started trusting me with their research! And it was so much fun to dive back into the trenches – what tolls this statute of limitation, is there a means to argue to attorneys’ fees in this matter, does res judicata apply in these facts, and so on…
When I joined MothersEsquire, it had already grown to a supportive Facebook group, where members network, offer referrals, share challenges and joys of keeping all the balls in the air, and provide tips and tricks to make it all work. But the group was still in its infancy stages of the power it can harness. I helped establish more structure, helped make it into a 501(c)(3), and wrote and rewrote the bylaws. With all that, my love of this non-profit grew exponentially. United we could do so much to improve the world for my daughters (who might become lawyers???)
Now, as the Executive Director my role is to manage our troops – getting those interested in various projects together and helping guide them to our goals. Our focus will be on advocating for a parental continuance rule in all 50 states – this would allow a mother or a father who have or adopt a baby to get a continuance on their cases unless the opposing side can show undue harm. This would mean that parents no longer have to beg and apologize to the court for having a child!
Mothers Esquire, Inc. works to increase the understanding of the motherhood penalty and gender bias through articles and speaking engagements. In addition, we help when members need to take policy recommendations to their employers.
We also plan to have a lot more mommy meet-ups all over the United States and a national convention. We will put more resources on our website. We are also pushing a big initiative to get lactation spaces in courthouses across the country for lawyers, jurors, courthouse employees, etc. And we will continue to have a platform for networking, giving/getting referrals, providing resources and discounts for our members, and be a learning network for mom-lawyers across the country.
I look forward to continuing my efforts with Mothers Esquire, Inc. and have loved helping my fellow attorneys with their legal research and writing needs, but I am about to invoke on a new chapter in my life. We have now moved to South Korea and I have accepted a position at Eaker Perez Law. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to continue to do what I love from anywhere in the world! While life still involves a mountain of struggle raising two independent and fierce little girls, I know I am a better mom because I have these opportunities in my life.