Mandi Clay

Mandi Clay headshot
Mandi Clay headshot

When in need of a quick recharge I…walk around a bit, eat a brownie, or reach out to my husband for words of encouragement. Sometimes all three.

When I’m feeling stressed I… reach out to someone who loves me and/or take a Xanax (depending on how stressed I am!).

A period in my life when I really struggled was… when I was a teenager, before my mental illness was diagnosed and treated and in the early years of my treatment. I had to adjust to a new normal and reinvent myself without all of the sadness and drama that had previously defined my life.

The most important thing in my life is…the people who love me.

I am most looking forward to…tomorrow.

I am most productive during the day when I…am physically comfortable. I suffer from chronic pain related to a few different conditions. The more comfortable I am, the less pain I am in, and the more productive I can be.

The best advice I’ve received about balancing work and life is…it’s impossible. They are not two separate things. Work is a part of your life and you have to treat it that way, you can’t look at it as a battle between the two. The role of work in your life will ebb and flow, just like everything else.

The one thing I would tell a stressed out and overwhelmed lawyer is…nobody is perfect, allow yourself and others to make mistakes and be forgiven for them.

Every day I make sure to…eat!

I can’t go a day without…medicine.

My guilty pleasure is…Reality Stars Marriage Boot Camp and Disney Emoji Blitz.

If I could go back to when I was a young lawyer and give myself advice, I would say…don’t be so afraid, just be yourself.

The best way to deal with a difficult colleague or opposing counsel is… try to get advice from someone else who has dealt with that person before. If that’s not possible, think hard about picking your battles with colleagues, a mentor can help with this. With opposing counsel, though, I generally just “kill ‘em with kindness”, it really throws someone off when they yell at you and you respond with something like “Thank you so much for your input!”

The quickest way to ruin your career is…to give up on yourself.

The worst piece of advice I ever received was…you need to act like “one of the guys” if you’re ever going to get clients and make partner.

I keep my priorities straight by…consciously reminding myself every day to do so. We each have an unknown but limited amount of time in this life and it is important to give that time to the people who deserve it. So if I have the opportunity to see someone that loves me, I take it. Even if it’s just thirty-seconds for a hug.

The last time I cried tears of joy was…when my sister sent me an unexpected but much needed gift – about 2 weeks ago.

The most relaxing vacation I ever took was…to San Francisco with my then-fiance, now-husband. We just went there to check it out – no special event or purpose, just us and a brand new city with a few strategically placed friends to show us around.

The best life lesson I ever learned was…that you can’t control anything but yourself. Bad things will happen, people will hurt you, and you have to focus on controlling your reactions to those things. You have to get to a point where you trust yourself to be okay on the other side of things, where you don’t take things personally, and where you recognize that there are some people you will never be able to please and that is okay.

The best way to promote health & wellness among lawyers is…to educate the people they work for. Young lawyers have a lot of fears and the culture in many law firms feeds off of those fears. It can be cruel. We need to educate all lawyers on what is acceptable and effective in the workplace so that our young lawyers join healthy work places to begin with.

The happiest lawyers are those that…get involved with the legal community through voluntary bar associations.

It’s my dream to one day…be a full time mediator.