In this week’s profile, we feature Maier Law Group’s partner Brittny Bottorff who usually hosts our San Francisco Joy in the Law meetings, and her take on Joy in the Law.
“Joy is a sense of inner peace and equanimity in both your personal and professional life.”
Your full name:
City of practice:
San Francisco, CA
Maier Law Group
Tell us a little bit about your childhood and where you grew up.
I grew up in Dallas, Texas, with my mother and step-father. I had three step-siblings who lived nearby in Fort Worth, and I saw them about twice a month on weekends. My step-sister is only four months older than me, and we liked to confuse people by identifying ourselves as sisters who were only four months apart in age. We actually still like to do this ;-)
You were a math major. What led you to the law?
I pursued my undergraduate degree in Mathematics at Baylor University and graduated in three years, all with the intention to go to law school after graduation. I had read that math majors and philosophy majors categorically scored the highest on the LSAT, and I was much better at math than I was at discussing philosophical issues. So, I chose to major in math. Also, both my mother and step-father have a Master’s Degree in Mathematics, and my bio-father has a PhD in electrical engineering, so I was somewhat genetically and culturally predisposed towards math (versus philosophy).
Where did you get your JD?
I graduated from the University of Texas School of Law. I actually enjoyed law school more than I enjoyed my undergraduate experience (at Baylor University). I made some very close friends at law school.
How did you move from there to Maier Law Group in the SF Bay Area?
I practiced litigation for about two and a half years at a large firm in Houston. I then worked in-house for Texas Children’s Hospital.
After my son was born, my then-husband and I moved to San Francisco. I took the California Bar Exam right after we moved (eight years after graduating from law school) when my son was only a year old. After I became licensed in California, I took a creative break from the law and focused on writing – both fiction and non-fiction. I eventually wrote a draft of a novel that remains in the proverbial bottom drawer of the filing cabinet.
When my son started school, I returned to practicing law on my own. I focused mostly on transactional work and advice and counsel. In July 2016, I volunteered to help plan the first-ever Joy in the Law Conference, and that is how I met Diana Maier. She was impressed enough with my work on the conference to offer me the opportunity to work with her firm. The rest is history, and I am now partner at Maier Law Group.
What does Joy in the Law mean to you?
I think joy is different from just being happy. To me, joy is a sense of inner peace and equanimity in both your personal and professional life. It’s about being okay with life as it is in the present moment.
What are some resources or activities that you pursue to attain joy?
Charlotte Joko Beck’s “Everyday Zen” and “Nothing Special” are two of my absolute favorite books, and they continually keep me sane and grounded. I also like reading Thích Nhất Hạnh’s softer, forgiving wisdom. Apart from reading books on mindfulness and Buddhism, I write daily haikus and longer journal entries on weekends. I also enjoy hiking in the Presidio, spending time with friends, and listening to classical music. My son is now in high school, and we frequently attend musical theater performances together – including an annual pilgrimage to Broadway.
Is there someone in your life who was a particular inspiration to you?
I was very close to my maternal grandmother. She inspired me to work hard, spend wisely, and care for others in a thoughtful and meaningful way.
What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time?
Take time to truly discover yourself – what you like, dislike, what you are good at and not-so-good at. And then, do not be moved away from your true self to please or accommodate others. You can help other people and bring about change while at the same time being true to yourself.
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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