Name: Elizabeth King
Job Title: Attorney, Family Division Rice & Rose Law Firm (primary focus is divorce & paternity)
City: Daytona Beach, Florida
Number of Children/Other Dependents: I have been married for thirty years. My husband shared his first three daughters with me and we have a son and a daughter-both recent college graduates. We have four grandchildren and I am the oldest of six siblings with a very large extended family.
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated? Why?
If “having it all” means having every marker of in success as defined by the popular culture, it is probably overrated.
What does having “it all” mean to you?
I define “having it all” as possessing a very high degree of personal satisfaction in all areas of your life. In that sense, it is very possible.
What is the best advice you have ever received on balancing your personal and professional lives?
A fortune cookie at a pivotal moment in my life read: “You never know what you can do until you try.” I keep that fortune and remind myself of it periodically.
If you had an extra hour in your day, how would you spend it?
Whatever it would be it would involve fresh air.
Looking back at when you started in the profession, and knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
Evaluate your hesitation to jump in for just a minute and then move forward. With what I know now as a divorce lawyer- I would say, even when the children are young, go out with your spouse once a week just the two of you.
Do you deal with guilt in trying to balance your personal and professional lives?
For me it’s all life and all personal-I acknowledge that sometimes adjustments need to be made, but no I don’t feel guilty. The demands of society on women are unrelenting at present.
What single change do you believe would have the biggest impact on work life balance or quality of life?
Having a full-time housekeeper or a devoted wife!
What part of “balance” do you struggle with?
I struggle with leaving my work at work. My mind goes to problem solving at all hours and will not stick to a strict schedule. Meditation helps with that.
What part of “balance” are you improving at?
I have taken in a Bikram yoga session at least five days a week for the past five years. That keeps me straight.
As a working parent, how do you balance your career and your role as a parent?
My children are grown now and through college. They never missed a meal through law school and twelve years of practice and so far they are decent citizens. The role of a parent is to set an example of civilized conduct and where possible I did that.
How important is civic and/or professional involvement to you and why?
I am involved in civic life because I enjoy meeting people in all walks and socializing. I contribute where I can, but I always get back more than I receive in terms of rewards. Participating brings all good things, so I tend to overdo it and have to dial back on the schedule at times.
What’s the advice you would give a young lawyer seeking to strike a “balance” between family, self, and the practice of law or achieve better quality of life?
Within each of are many “unlived lives.” Acknowledge that practicing law is not you, it is one aspect of you. Cultivate yourself, fascinate yourself, challenge yourself, and enjoy yourself fully.