Name: Julie Braman Kane
Job Title: Partner, Colson Hicks Eidson
City: Coral Gables, Florida
Number of Children/Other Dependents: My husband, Jeffrey Kane, and I have 3 spectacular kids and 2 rescue dogs.
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated? Why?
“Having it all” is a fantasy that is impossible to achieve. There is a general sense that one must “do it all” to “have it all”, but with only 24 hours in a day, there is simply not enough time to do it all. The concept of “having it all” has been dramatized in the media and literature, representing an unattainable benchmark that has become one of the greatest causes of guilt for women who almost always fall short.
What does having “it all” mean to you?
My attainable “having it all” is happiness. It brings me so much joy to see my children, my husband, my clients, and my colleagues happy. When all of those things fall into place, I feel I have it all.
What is the best advice you have ever received on balancing your personal and professional lives?
Do what you can, when you can, and live in the moment.
If you had an extra hour in your day, how would you spend it?
With my family, doing absolutely anything that made them happy.
Looking back at when you started in the profession, and knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
Enjoy learning every single day. Young lawyers have so much to learn, and so many opportunities to do so. I remember being terrified of ignorance and failure as a young lawyer. Instead of fearing, I wish I had embraced the process of learning a bit more. I am still learning every day, and I have come to enjoy it rather than fear it. My colleagues, mentors, law partners and clients have taught me so much and continue to inspire me every day. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege to work at the same law firm and learn from some of the greatest legal minds in the country. I’ve also been fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved with many community and professional organizations that have taught me so much. Our industry offers tremendous opportunity with many organizations that are designed for just that purpose. There are also many senior lawyers that are willing and eager to help young lawyers learn and succeed. Embrace it.
Do you deal with guilt in trying to balance your personal and professional lives?
Not anymore. I focus on what I can do, I prioritize, and I have learned that if I do the best I can, I shouldn’t feel guilty. So, I don’t.
What single change do you believe would have the biggest impact on work life balance or quality of life?
Better management of my smart phone.
What part of “balance” do you struggle with?
Over-committing. I am passionate about my profession, my clients, and preserving the civil justice system, and with the many opportunities this community offers, I want to take advantage of every one of them.
What part of “balance” are you improving at?
As a working parent, how do you balance your career and your role as a parent?
It is impossible to balance career and parenting. I simply have to focus, 100%, where my focus is deserved. My system relies on the best advice I have ever received: Do what you can, when you can, and live in the moment.
My children know that they always come first, without exception. They also understand that I am passionate about my career. They recognize that what I do, both for my clients and for the civil justice system, is important to the culture of our country and they support it. They are learning to be passionate about their personal interests and the community. I think the lessons that our kids learn by watching their parents’ give back is invaluable.
How important is civic and/or professional involvement to you and why?
It is very important to me. From the onset of my career, my partners have encouraged me to get involved in the community and professional and civic organizations, and each opportunity has helped me grow as a professional and as a person. I have had the privilege to serve the bar in our community in many ways. Earlier in my career, I served on and ultimately chaired the Florida Bar Grievance Committee. I have also served as president of the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers, and as a commissioner for the Florida Elections Commission. I have been actively involved with the American Association for Justice for more than 20 years, having served on many committees and offices, and now as president-elect. I’ve worked with both the American Association for Justice and Florida Justice Association to preserve the civil justice system and protect citizens’ seventh amendment right to jury by trial. Through these organizations, I initiated and chaired a Voter Protection Action Committee which provides lawyers in all fifty states to protect the voting rights of American citizens whose access to the polls is otherwise limited. My efforts to protect Americans’ constitutional rights are central to who I am – as a lawyer, as a person, and as a parent. My professional and civic involvement inspires me to remain passionate about my clients, the practice of law, and our country. To me, the importance of this cannot be understated.
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?
Breathe, focus, and prioritize.
Any other parting words of advice?
Do what you can, when you can, and live in the moment.