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You Can Be a Litigator and Still Be a Yogi

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. | Last updated on

Think that being a litigator means you have to be a stressed-out, ulcer-ridden, hard-ass shark? Think again. You can certainly follow that stereotype, or you can have success as a litigator while still keeping it Zen.

Don't believe us? Just check out this trial lawyer who operates a yoga studio alongside his practice.

So, who is this yoga master slash trial lawyer? Patrick Palace, an attorney who handles workers comp, personal injury, and civil rights cases just outside of Tacoma, Washington. When he's not running his firm, Palace Law, he helps run Yoga Palace, the studio he founded with his wife.

Palace came to our attention when he was interviewed by Lawyerist recently. Unfortunately, we didn't get any insights into how to master the archer's pose or whether hot yoga beats the room-temperature kind. But we did get some insight into how he manages his legal practice and his yoga practice. His iPhone, Palace says, lets him "run my office from it while in my office and out." Just three apps -- Slack, Trello, and Clio -- let him meet deadlines and complete work, without being chained to his desk.

Not that his desk sounds bad. "[M]y desk is clean, sparking and so satisfying," Palace says. "It's beautiful wood grain glows under the morning sun." (Side note: as a Seattle native, I question how much morning sun that wood actually sees.) If he's not at his desk, he may be working from the "two giant super-soft red beanbag chairs that sit in the middle of our community office space," he says.

Lawyer Yogis Abound

Palace isn't the only lawyer whose melded law with yoga. In fact, two lawyers have even written a book on yoga, targeted to their colleagues. Hallie N. Love and Nathalie Martin published "Yoga for Lawyers: Mind-Body Techniques to Feel Better All the Time," in 2014.

In addition to her Santa Fe practice, Love founded PositivePsychologyforLawyers, training attorneys "in the benefits of cultivating a broaden-and-build mindset and incorporating recharge techniques into legal practice to increase positivity and decrease stress, anxiety, and depression."

Martin, her coauthor, is both a lawyer and law professor, focusing on high-cost loans and mindfulness in the law. Their book got some positive reactions when FindLaw reviewed it two years ago. Full of "advice on sleep, overall health, and tips for those of us who sit at desks most of the day," the book even provides suggestions for practicing yoga "in the office and on the go."

So, if you've been torn between pursuing your path as a yoga guru or making your career in law, keep in mind that the two aren't incompatible, as these lawyers show.

Have an open position at your law firm? Post the job for free on Indeed, or search local candidate resumes.

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FindLaw has an affiliate relationship with Indeed, earning a small amount of money each time someone uses Indeed's services via FindLaw. FindLaw receives no compensation in exchange for editorial coverage.

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