By Paige Griffith • February 15, 2016•Ms. JD, Conference
I recently did a Q&A with our Women of Inspiration Award winner, Lesley Horton Campbell. She is currently the Associate General Counsel for Global Real Estate & Store Development at Tiffany & Co. Here are a few snippets about her life and her suggestions for young female attorneys!
Q: Why did you go to law school? Did you wait until after college and pursue a career first, or did you go immediately into law school? How many schools did you apply to before choosing the one? Were you happy with your decision?
A: I went to law school because I wanted to use my analytical skills to help people find solutions to their problems. I went straight from undergrad to law school. I applied to 5 schools and was very happy with my decision to go to NYU.
Q: In law school, did you have a concentration? Did you know coming out of law school what type of law you wanted to practice?
A: I had an interest in real estate law in law school, so I made an effort to take classes in that area as well as obtain summer work experience in that area so that I could get a sense of the work. By the time I completed law school, I knew that I wanted to practice real estate law.
Q: In law school, what types of activities and organizations did you participate in? How did those help you become the attorney you are today?
A: I participated in BLSA, the Real Estate and Urban Policy Forum, and the Mediation Clinic. My experience in all of these organizations was useful to me down the road in different ways. For example, the Mediation Clinic included a series on negotiation, and the skills that I honed in that clinic I use on a daily basis negotiating contracts.
Q: How do you maintain a work-life balance? Do you have suggestions for those coming out of law school?
A: I maintain balance by making time for interests outside of the law. It's important to schedule time for yourself whether it's a spa day, brunch with friends, travel or a long run. Identify what values are important to you and prioritize them. Once you identify what's important to you, it's easier to focus your free time and efforts on the things that really matter without getting distracted on things that add no value. Living a balanced life takes effort and planning. It doesn't just happen.
For those coming out of law school I suggest setting specific professional and personal goals for yourself. The more specific you are the easier it will be to identify people and resources who can help you achieve those goals and vice versa.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do away from work?
A: My favorite thing to do away from work is traveling and exploring new adventures with friends or family. For example, last year just a few things I did were: lobster boating in Maine with my husband, went volcano boarding in Nicaragua and climbed Mt Kilimanjaro.
Q: What are some suggestions you could give young, up-and-coming attorneys?
A: I advise that you master the 2 Cs: Craft and Connection. By craft, I mean you should know and perfect your craft. Take every opportunity to learn more about your area of interest. Volunteer to write an article, join a committee or organization focused on that area, take on pro bono matters, and ask questions. By connection, I mean that you should know how to connect with people. Firms, companies and clients are looking for attorneys who not only know their craft but who are a pleasure to work with. An attorney who can master these two Cs will likely find no shortage of opportunities
Q: What is your life motto?
Quote: You will achieve the greatest results in your business and career if you replace the word "achievement" with "contribution."
*Thank you for your wonderful suggestions, Lesley! Congratulations on your amazing achievements.