Name: Jennifer Barash
Company Name: Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas LLP
Address: 444 Madison Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10022
What do you consider to be your greatest success in the past 12 months?
My greatest success has been learning to navigate between being an excellent attorney who can achieve positive results for our clients while at the same time being a present mother to my two young children. I came back from maternity leave exactly 12 months ago and my biggest challenge (and success) has been learning how to balance it all - to give the best of myself to both my job and to my family. Balance is key, but so is organization and hard-work. I am lucky that SSRGA has been extremely supportive and helped make my transition back to work as smooth as possible. The fact that my career is flourishing, and my kids are thriving is (and will always be) my greatest success.
Who or what do you attribute to your success?
I am of the mindset that one’s success is correlated to one’s effort. I truly believe that my professional success is a result of all of the hard work that I have put into it. I grew up watching my father (also a transactional real estate attorney) work extremely hard at all times, always putting forth maximum effort and I believe that he instilled that strong work ethic to me.
What advice can you offer to someone who is just getting started in your industry?
The biggest piece of advice I can offer someone just starting out is always remember that even if you are done with school, you are not done learning. Every day I learn something new. Young attorneys should attend CLE’s, seminars and read journals in both the area you practice, but also in related fields. Knowledge is power and it is important to never stop learning.
How have your life experiences impacted who you are, professionally?
I graduated from law school in one of the worst economic times, so my first job was litigating, which was not the area of law in which I wanted to practice. As soon as I could, I transitioned to doing transactional work, but I do not view those few years as wasted time. Rather, I view them as providing me with a unique viewpoint different from many transactional attorneys, which has helped me when drafting leases, loan documents, and purchase and sale agreements. Every step (and misstep) along the way has taught me something which has made me a better attorney.