Karen's Open Road

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  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Speedbump

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Denver, CO

  • AIRED ON:

    Other: Speedbump

KAREN MATHIS

Lawyer/President
American Bar Association

“If you have passion for something, there's not such a thing as a 40-hour workweek.”

INTERESTS:

Law Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Choices Determination Focus Goals Opportunity Passion Risk Struggle

FOUNDATION:

Upholding a cause I believe in

TAGS:

catholic church, childhood, choice, family, gender, helping profession, limited, military, women

BIOGRAPHY:

  • When she was growing up, girls had very few choices: you could be a stay-at-home mom, a nurse, a teacher, or a nun.
  • At the age of 12, she decided she didn't want to do any of those things: she wanted to be a lawyer.
  • Went to college and got an education degree; spent some time teaching, then went to law school.
  • No one in her family had ever graduated from college, but once she got to law school, she realized she'd found "the love of her life."
  • Says you manage a golf game not by thinking about all 18 holes, but by focusing on the hole you're on and the two coming up.
  • In that vein, she tries to operate with a five-year plan because she doesn't think it makes sense to plan beyond that.
  • Says the law profession isn't always accepting of women, but "it's easier to walk out a glass door than to keep bumping your head on a glass ceiling."
  • One employer wasn't matching her needs, so she left and formed her own practice; was able to take on the cases she wanted, hire more women.

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