Tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get started with your current career path/business journey?When I first began practicing law, my focus was on tax consulting for high-net-worth clients. Quickly, I found that I had a deeper desire to work with clients on a more intimate, personal level. Family law and divorce had always interested me for this reason, and then I faced divorce myself. I experienced the difficulty of adjusting to the day-to-day practicalities of decoupling with a spouse while feeling first-hand how emotionally charged the legal process can be. It became very clear to me that a pivot to matrimonial and family law was where I knew I could relate to and support my clients the most. At our firm, we spend a lot of time counseling clients on how to get back on their feet, how to avoid engaging in toxic behavior, how to be a good co-parent and much more. Our counsel only starts with the legal aspects, and the additional support we provide expands from there. It’s our holistic approach to client service and wellness that we love and that really sets us apart.
How are you overcoming challenges during the pandemic as a business owner?
As you can imagine, with the court system being shut down and inaccessible for many months during the pandemic, many of our client matters were caught in limbo, while others have been delayed from starting a process that was already very anxiety-inducing. In response, we had to lean on both sides of our strengths, stepping up our advocacy in the absence of the court’s guidance, and leaning on the softer side of our practice to consult and guide each of our clients through managing uncertainty and unprecedented challenges. As with everything through this time, technology has played an essential role in the success of keeping things moving along. Our entire business is able to run virtually, which was something we already had set-up prior to the pandemic. We leveraged cloud-based programs across the company, so thankfully we were set to go from day one of the shut-down. One thing that we’ve capitalized on during the shutdown is the opportunity to focus on some marketing initiatives that we had little time for beforehand. My team and I launched a YouTube channel for our “coffee talk” series where we discuss a hot-button legal issue and give insights on how to handle it. We invite experts as guests and take questions from the audience. This has already proven to increase our visibility in the community and with prospective clients, especially in the absence of being able to meet with people in person. I’m super proud of our progress.
What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?
A profound interest in helping people experience being seen and understood, because I find that the absence of this is so often at the root of conflict in our relationships.
What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it?
Early on in my career I was a little more impatient than I am now, meaning that if I didn’t feel excited about a project I was working on, I found it especially challenging to get it done and to avoid the temptation to start looking elsewhere for something else to replace it with. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big advocate of professional pivots, but I’ve realized that there’s still a ton of opportunity to learn and grow if you are patient enough to take the time and see where your value is most needed.
What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?
There are a few, but among the top are how to effectively communicate feedback as a leader and a mentor, and honing in on my public speaking skills. A large part of my professional goals include addressing large audiences both live and on camera, so overcoming that fear has been an interesting exercise in growth.
In what ways are you taking care of your personal well being and what are your #selfcare tips?
Self-care has come in many forms during this pandemic, because let’s face it, there is just a lot of s**t coming up around and inside of us all. Personally, I’m like a big dog that needs to be let out in the yard each day, so I’ve been (safely) staying active outdoors. I’ve also tried to take this moment in our history to intentionally consume and share more thought-provoking content, whether it be in the realm of personal development, a social justice piece or a good historical fiction. And, if we’re being honest, I can’t leave out retail therapy. Before the pandemic, I began working with Joanna Lovering, (fellow Luminary member and founder of Copper+Rise) as my executive style coach. We got everything done online and let me just say, we are so ready for business to reopen! My self-care tips are basic. You need to eat well, sleep well and keep your mind and body active. So often we neglect ourselves even the most basic elements of care (that, especially as women, we tend to so readily give others).
How are you inviting others to take a seat at the table #virtually?
Our virtual coffee talks are a great example of how we as a firm have tried to not only elevate our voices, but also the voices of the professionals and community around us. We invite experts and friends to join us and engage the audience in an interactive discussion. I’m most proud of the racial injustice segment we recorded in June, which was a total departure from our business and the services we provide, but as a firm, it was non-negotiable for us to utilize our humble platform and bring awareness to the racial inequities and inherent biases that we are all confronting today. You can find the episode on Artese Zandr PLLC’s YouTube channel ;)
What impact has Luminary made in your career? eg: Business Generated, Revenue, New Clients, Career Connections, Advancement Opportunities
When I first started as a solo practitioner (before forming Artese Zandri), Luminary provided an incredible ecosystem of women entrepreneurs who were all in the same boat as me - we were all just trying to figure out this “how to start and grow a business” thing. Now, as a business partner, I’m finding that I need an even higher level of support and resources and, with Luminary, I’ve been able to scale up and down right along with my needs. The staff, space, programming and fellows members are top-notch, forward thinking and really unmatched by any other community.