Janet Brooks Holmes has been a civil litigation lawyer for over 20 years. Isn’t that amazing? Here at LegalNet, we love featuring thought leaders of all types, but we find extra curiosity in those who have maintained a career for extended periods of time. With that being said, Holmes is first to admit that although the choices she made along the way were not easy, they were obvious. In our latest chat, she delved into her thought process of taking time off to raise her children and why she made that important decision.
We admire Holmes’ dedication to balancing her incredible career as a Partner at the McKay Firm with fulfilling her personal goals as well. If you’re looking for inspiration to do more while maintaining personal wellness, look no further.
You have been a civil litigation lawyer for over 20 years. How did you know this is something you wanted to do?
Civil litigation lawyers know a little bit about a lot of things. I wanted a longtime career that would challenge and inspire me. The civil litigation arena is fast-paced, new issues arise every day, and it’s never boring.
What have been the hardest moments of your career? How did you work through them?
I tend to be an all-or-nothing person. When my first child was born, I realized that I wanted to be a full-time mom while my children were young, yet I also did not want to lose my career forever. Making the choice to be a full-time mom was difficult, but it was the only choice for me. Once my kids began school, I was ready to return to civil litigation practice. Having left the civil litigation arena for mommy-status was a temporary career setback. Getting back on track in the world of civil litigation and not being full-time with my kids was tough; however, I am glad I made the choices I did because these decisions were right for me. Hard work, patience, and determination put me back on track in my career and also set an example for my children.
On the flip side, what have been the most gratifying moments?
Finding successful resolution of legitimate claims in the midst of the adversity inherent to civil litigation.
As Partner at The McKay Firm, you know what it means to work hard. What skills and characteristics do you believe a person needs to be successful?
A civil litigation attorney is an advocate for his/her client. Creative thinking is fundamental in this role. Additionally, I believe that the best civil litigation attorneys are strong advocates for his/her client, while at the same time being civil, courteous, and truthful with opposing counsel, parties, and the Court. Good litigators have many traits, including motivation, passion, determination, and creativity. The best litigators also know the importance of kindness and honesty.
What is your advice for someone who wants to build a long-term and prosperous career?
Be who you are and show strength in your choices. Choose a career that fits your personal skill set and reflects your values. Find your passion and channel it into your career, while striving to maintain balance.