By: Eric Elms, of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, Ninth Circuit Representative, and also of Fisher, Rushmer, P.A., Orlando, Florida
May 12, 2015
Q: How long have you been practicing law?
A: After graduating from Florida State University College of Law in 2007, I started working at the Ninth Circuit Public Defender’s Office in Orlando, where I worked for a year. In September of 2008, after leaving the Public Defender’s Office, I began working at The Florida Bar. I have been with The Florida Bar since 2008.
Q: What are your duties at The Florida Bar?
A: I am a Senior Attorney in the Lawyer Regulation Department, where I investigate grievances and litigate potential disciplinary actions.
Q: What is your typical work schedule?
A: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but when I am preparing for trial, I work after 5 p.m., and on the weekends. The Florida Bar is great about working with their employees to help achieve a better work/life balance. For instance, the Bar allows its employees one flex day a week allowing employees to work half of a day once a week.
Q: Outside of your work at The Florida Bar, what legal or civic activities are you involved with during the year?
A: Currently, I am a Board of Directors member and Secretary of the Orange County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section, and I am a Board of Directors member and Co-Programs Director for the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers. Also, I am an active member of the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association. Through these three organizations I attend different civic events where the focus is on raising money for different charities and helping the less fortunate. Last, but not least, I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and as a member I help with the sorority’s EMBODI program, a program aimed at helping African-American male youths reach their full educational and social potential.
Q: You are a busy lawyer, during your work week, how do you de-stress?
A: I spend time with my three year-old son, husband, other family members, and friends. I take walks sometimes daily, but definitely weekly, and I exercise. I read non-legal books. Also, I make sure to not overburden my schedule with legal functions outside of work. It is important to not overbook my calendar at the expense of my personal life.
Q: What other advice do you have for young lawyers striving to achieve a better quality of life?
A: Try not to bring stress from your work day home. It is essential to bring your mind “back to center” by not overwhelming yourself with stressful thoughts or situations. I have seen the negative effects of lawyers being consumed with stress from both inside and outside of the work place. Plan something daily you want to do and make a commitment to do that activity, whether that be cooking, reading, walking, spending time with a friend or a family member, or something else you may enjoy. Time is about priorities. Life is too short, live it.