I have said it several times, and it is worth saying again — the legal industry can be one of the most challenging (but also the most rewarding) in which to serve. And we are all fortunate to be part of a firm committed to constantly examining how we can cultivate a healthy work environment and invest in the long-term personal and professional growth and well-being of our people — and be willing to ask hard questions of ourselves in service of that commitment.
I was part of the group that launched our Foley Best Self wellness initiative in 2019 with the ambitious goal of making each person’s “humanity” a topic of open conversation, and it has been my pleasure and privilege to be seen as the “leader” of this effort at the firm (even though I am merely one member of a very wonderful team). Best Self is built around the four pillars of: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Meaningful Connections, and Fulfilling Careers.
As a team, we decided to focus our 2023 Best Self activities on the Fulfilling Careers pillar in support of the firm’s mission of “planning for careers.” And as we approach the end of the year and enter the holiday season, we have encouraged everyone at the firm to reflect on the progress of their own career goals and send a “Gratitude Gram” to those who have helped them succeed.
Somewhat on the spur of the moment, I sent a “Gratitude Gram” earlier this week to the entire firm, expressing that “I feel grateful to be part of this firm, surrounded by so many talented, caring, and interesting people. And for how we as a collective have shaped our environment and continue working to improve it every day.” I meant everything I said too — but I also wanted to encourage others to speak up and recognize the ways the people in our profession impact the purposes behind our effort.
Gratitude practice — intentionally noticing and being thankful for what is valuable and meaningful to us — has been shown to have wide-ranging health benefits and can help us feel more connected to those around us. With these benefits in mind, we also asked some of our attorneys to share who or what makes them grateful to be at Foley. Here’s what they had to say:
Natasha Allen | Partner, Silicon Valley
“I’m grateful for being a partner at Foley, as every day offers a chance to learn, grow, and make a meaningful impact. The opportunity to mentor and contribute to the growth of our exceptional team is not only a responsibility, but a source of immense joy and fulfilment in my professional journey.”
Rachael Martinez | Associate, Dallas
“I’m especially grateful for the friendship and support that I have found in my colleagues in both Dallas and beyond. We all know this job can be difficult at times, and having a close-knit group that you can count on to lift you up is absolutely priceless!”
Patrick McMahon | Senior Counsel, Chicago
“I’m grateful to be at Foley because it’s a firm that supports me and the community in causes outside of the firm like the Veterans & Allies Affinity Group and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.”
Jason Mehta | Partner, Tampa
“I’m grateful to work with some of the smartest and most talented colleagues I’ve ever met. I’m surrounded by amazing people who make me so happy to work at Foley!”
Neda Sharifi | Senior Counsel, Jacksonville
“I’m grateful to my Foley family for their continued support of my legal career, life balance, and investment in my future.”
In the spirit of expressing gratitude, I encourage you to think about some other ways to anchor to the good in life and practice gratitude, such as:
- Calling a loved one and expressing your appreciation.
- Spending a few minutes writing down the things you’re thankful for.
- Doing a favor for a neighbor, friend, or family member.
- Taking the opportunity to bring awareness to the time you spend with your favorite people, places, or activities.
- Thinking about if you had a few hours to spare, how would you choose to spend them? Can you find the time to do it?
Listen to Episode 84 of The Path & The Practice podcast, a conversation between myself, Jen Patton, and Leigh Riley, to learn more about Foley Best Self and the well-being resources available at the firm.