"Alis volat propriis."
"She flies with her own wings."
I was a labor and employment attorney for 12 years. One of the things I noticed over those 12 years, as our society became increasingly litigious, is that many lawsuits resulted or were exacerbated by the parties going into "litigation mode", where each side was preparing for attack or defense, rather than just speaking to each other as people. As an attorney, I understood the necessity of this, but I also recognized that it often unnecessarily complicated matters. In fact, this is one of the reasons I elected to leave the practice of law.
My goal with any training or consulting program that I provide is to bring common sense and humanity back into the workplace.
During my 12 years as an attorney, I focused a large part of my practice on OSHA and workplace safety-related issues. I represented employers throughout OSHA inspections, conducted accident investigations, provided counseling and advice on safety-related issues, and provided training on a multitude of OSHA and safety-related topics.
I always enjoyed the safety part of my practice because I felt it was one area where I could help employers make a real impact - by helping to make their workplaces safer. It also always felt like a way to be closer to my dad, who spent his entire career as a sheet metal worker.
So, when I decided to start my own training and consulting company, I knew I wanted to continue the safety training and consulting as well. Follow the link below for more information.
Monarch Endeavors, LLC ("Monarch Endeavors") is the culmination of a personal journey and the combination of two previous - and very different - careers: social work and law. Growing up, I was repeatedly told that I should become a lawyer (apparently, I liked to prove my point). I was a very good student (and, let's be honest, a goody-two-shoes), so I excelled in my studies. It was presumed by everyone - including myself - that I would go to college, study pre-law, and then go to law school.
Like the goody-two-shoes I was, I started off on that path once I got to college, but over my four years at Albion College, I started to question whether being a lawyer was really the right path for me. I had begun volunteering with an at-risk youth program during my freshman year and had continued to do so throughout my four years at Albion. I had also started taking a number of sociology classes and had developed a strong interest in social justice. In my junior year, I switched my major from political science to sociology; yet, I still planned to go to law school when I graduated.
Upon graduating, I was still undecided, so I decided to take a year off and work in the social work field. One year turned into four very eye-opening years of experience I will never forget and for which I am forever grateful. What I loved about social work was the "warm fuzzies" I got from helping people and seeing how what I was doing on a day-to-day basis was changing people's lives. What I didn't like, however, was that it was not intellectually stimulating enough for me, and, during that fourth year, a little voice started nagging me, saying, "You'll regret it if you don't go to law school."
So, I applied to one law school and one law school only (I had no idea how foolish that was at the time, nor how lucky I was to not only get into that one law school but also get a scholarship!), packed up my bags, and moved to Cleveland. Despite a four-year hiatus from school, I fell right back into the swing of things and actually had a blast during law school. I made lifelong friends and ended up making Cleveland my new home.
I spent the next 12 years practicing labor and employment law with a wonderful firm in downtown Cleveland. During the latter part of my career at this firm, I began focusing on OSHA and workplace safety, in addition to general labor and employment issues. I truly enjoyed my time as a litigator, but I think I always knew that was not my true path.
Making the decision to leave the practice of law was not a decision I made quickly or easily. It was a decision that began as little more than a whisper; a little voice that said I was supposed to be doing something different, something bigger than what I was doing. It started in July of 2012, when my dad became ill. From July 2012 to July 2014, my dad battled multiple myeloma - a cancer of the plasma cells. He did it with such grace, strength, and courage. He never took a moment for granted and he fought like hell for every moment he was given. He was an unbelievable inspiration.
Watching him made me realize that tomorrow is not promised and I need to make sure that I am serving others in a way that uses the best parts of me. Social work allowed me to use my heart, but not enough of my head; law allowed me to use my head, but not enough of my heart. The work I am doing through Monarch Endeavors allows me to use both my head and my heart. It allows me to blend my previous careers and experiences, as well as what they have made me: a person who has the wisdom of a lawyer and the heart of a social worker.