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Jessie Spressart, ACC

Jessie Spressart, ACC

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

Hi there! I'm Jessie, founder of Optia Consulting. As a coach, my passion is helping stressed-out attorneys rediscover their love for practicing the law and helping them create a well-integrated life by shifting their mindset, understanding their value, and helping them set healthy boundaries. I also work with lawyers and firms to teach management skills and bring a more well-rounded perspective to their understanding of the practice of law.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

Ellevate has introduced me to new friends, collaborators, clients, and a coach of my own. I have met the most amazing women through live and virtual events - many of whom have enriched my life greatly. I am so grateful, and only hope I can do the same for others!

How would you define your professional mission?

Lawyers are burning out, dealing with anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Add to that the institutional barriers to progression by both women and diverse attorneys, and we have an industry that is struggling. My mission is to bring about change, one attorney at a time. I want to help them live better lives, have more successful practices, and be empowered to make changes to the status quo.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

Authenticity. Hard Work. Confidence. Patience. Curiosity. Empathy. Grace and Accountability (for myself and for others). Truly being able to listen to another person - their needs, dreams, and goals.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

What a journey it's been! I started out in academia with the expectation that I would be a history professor. When I realized, 2 years into a Ph.D. that my path was leading elsewhere, I took a leap and left school. I landed at a law firm in New York and quickly found that I loved working with lawyers to support their careers. Over the next 13 years, I built that firm's professional development department, becoming an expert in law firm talent management and attorney development along the way. I took that experience and my passion for working with attorneys into the next stage of my career, which was launching my business, becoming a credentialed leadership coach, and sought-after speaker and facilitator.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing the breakthroughs my clients have when they realize that their lives are within their control. That creating boundaries, pleasing themselves rather than others, and living the lives they want to live are all possible, even while being an amazing attorney and advocate.

What is your morning ritual?

During the pandemic, my morning ritual has become so important to me. I get up around 6 or 6:30 (no alarms needed!), and then go for a walk, or do yoga inside if it's rainy. Coming back, I make myself some coffee, shower, and get dressed for my day. I'm at my desk by 8:30 and I take a few minutes to journal or otherwise set my thoughts in order before starting my workday at 9.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

Helping people shift their perspective to see things in a new light that opens up new horizons.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

I have worked really hard to bring my working life and non-working life into a place of integration. Work is part of life too - and one that I would not want to do without! My no-fail tactic? Friday afternoon planning sessions. I review my week just finished and spend some time sketching out my week to come. Then I turn off my computer and do my very best to leave it off until Monday morning. It helps keep the Sunday Scaries at bay, knowing I already have a plan to start my week.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Take the leap. Try the new thing. It is not going to be easy and you might fail. But failure is part of life, and each leap leads you to the next.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.