Profiles of Joy: Katie Burke

Katie Burke shares what the pursuit of joyful lawyering means to her.


"Trust that the day-to-day mundanity yields to regular moments of TV drama-worthy moments of justice."


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Your full name:

Katherine Irene Burke (but I go by Katie).

City of practice:

San Francisco.


Firm name:

Burke Family Law


How long have you been practicing?

Twelve years.


How do you define joy?

Joy is seeing the life one has created manifest in the world.

What does Joy in the Law mean to you?

Establishing friendships over time with other lawyers; finding meaning in my work.


What are some things that you do or would like to do to find joy in daily life:

  • running on the Embarcadero in San Francisco;

  • writing short nonfiction stories;

  • reading a great book.


Name a few resources that have inspired you to find joy:

  • Podcasts (my current favorites are Happier in Hollywood, This is Fifty, and the Katie Couric podcast);

  • retreats (I'm going to Esalen for the first time this month); and

  • my six nieces and two nephews, who constantly remind me that pursuing joy is one of the most worthwhile uses of time and energy.


Knowing what you know now about lawyering, what would you tell your younger self if you could?

Trust that the day-to-day mundanity yields to regular moments of TV drama-worthy moments of justice. The rewards don't happen every day or necessarily every week. Your job is to bring better days to your clients, and by choosing wise actions during the daily grind, you will exponentially increase the odds of successful outcomes. You'll also give your clients dignity in the process.  

Final words?

"Joy is the best makeup."

       -Anne Lamott



Joy in the Law is delighted to present Profiles of Joy. In every post, we will feature an attorney and who she is today. Read other Profiles of Joy here.


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