Striking the work-life balance is a common theme within the legal profession. Sometimes those like Meredith Patrick Cord have trouble getting the balance right even when they make choices designed to do just that.
Cord is a Buckeye by birth through and through. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, she attended Ohio State and got her law degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. But opportunities kept luring her West.
She did an internship in the family violence unit of the Dallas, TX, district attorney’s office during her undergrad years, then landed a job with the same division after she got her BA. Those experiences convinced her to go to law school. While at CWRU, she did another internship, this time in Denver. “I loved the people and the area,” she recalls.
So, after receiving her law degree, she turned down two solid job offers (from New York and Miami) and headed for the Rockies to see what she could find. Before long, she was working in the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s office.
“The work was fascinating, but I was starting think about having a life outside of work,” she says. “Someone suggested family law to me; I thought if I went into private practice, I could have more control over my schedule.”
You know the old saying: Going into business for yourself gives you the freedom to work 24/7. Cord found this adage to be fairly accurate — yet she thrived on the work.
“It is such a privilege to have a client choose you to represent them at this very difficult time in their life,” she says. “People are handing over to you something that they have invested a ton of time, sweat and tears in. It is my job to help them through this by empowering them to make good decisions in a time when doing that is so hard.”
Partnering with David Johnson, their practice has done well, while allowing her to “have my hands in everything,” from the state and local bar associations and the Colorado Women’s Bar Association to her favorite charity, the Griffith Centers, a school that encourages family reintegration.