Focus on cultivating a reputation of excellence, be the most prepared person in the room and witness the humanity in each person, regardless of gender.
A Conversation On Lessons Learned & Life In The Law With Attorney Tracy Inscore
Tracy Inscore works out of our San Bernardino office where she has more than 13 years of experience assisting a variety of regional, national and multi-national clients with all aspects of commercial, industrial and residential development, often involving controversial projects and complex environmental regulations, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
We recently had the pleasure of talking with Tracy about her life in the legal profession.
Fennemore proudly celebrates Women’s History Month during the month of March, and in this week’s leadership profile we talked with attorney Tracy Inscore who is making history in the Inland Empire! It’s hard to believe that we’re coming up on a year since Fennemore’s expansion into San Diego and San Bernardino. How are things going during this transition – and what’s your vision for the future of our firm in Southern California?
I know, I can’t believe it’s almost been a year! The transition has mostly felt seamless, which I think speaks to the good fit between the firm cultures that have merged together over the past year. I still get to work with the same people I’ve worked with for the past 15 years, so my daily experience doesn’t really feel different at all.
I am excited to see Fennemore create an even stronger southern California presence as we expand into Orange County. Especially as the legal profession moves away from exclusively brick and mortar offices, we are able to cast a much wider net beyond our office locations, which feels exciting and expansive.
What would you tell your younger self, or a 1L, (especially a woman) at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law currently contemplating a career in the legal profession?
To tune out all of the noise about how being a woman would somehow make my career more difficult, or how I might be paid less or not advance as quickly as my male counterparts. I understand that this may have been the experience of some women in law, and I don’t mean to dismiss or invalidate that–but I have a somewhat controversial opinion that much of the conversation around these issues is actually more harmful to women than it is helpful.
Thoughts are powerful and I strongly believe that we each create our own reality by what we choose to focus on. Particularly in the area of environmental law, I quickly got used to often being the only woman in meetings—had I attached any negative significance to this or gone in expecting to somehow be treated differently, I might have had a different outcome based on the energy I brought into those situations.
The legal profession is not easy for anyone; focus on cultivating a reputation of excellence, be the most prepared person in the room and witness the humanity in each person, regardless of gender.
Without naming your clients, are there any intriguing current matters that you’re working on in your Real Estate and Land Use practice?
I am currently working on the cleanup and remediation of a 200+ acre site that will be redeveloped for multiple uses. This involves coordination with the Department of Toxic Substances Control and multiple consultants from different disciplines.
Who is your hero – or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life and career?
My family definitely demonstrated and instilled a strong work ethic. I have also been lucky to have great colleagues and mentors who positively impacted my life and career, especially Mark Ostoich who just recently retired. My friends have been my heroes. At times I’ve been my own hero.
Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn? And how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?
I am very entrepreneurial and have started businesses that weren’t as profitable as I’d hoped—although I felt like this was a failure at the time, I can see now that it was simply part of the learning process.
Likewise, my biggest personal “fail” was not taking proper care of my mental and emotional health. I spent so many years depressed and anxious, living a life that was not authentic or aligned with who I am, and I can’t get those years back—but, this helped me to develop so much empathy and insight. I learned that everyone is dealing with something hard, so be kind. My path to healing started with taking radical responsibility for myself and being radically honest (oof!) with myself about how I was the common denominator in all of my problems.
What’s the best – and worst – piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?
The best advice I received (I think it may have been from Ernie Riffenburgh?) was to always keep your car clean because you never know when you might need to offer a ride to a client or be the one to drive colleagues to a meeting. This has come in handy multiple times!
I honestly can’t recall getting truly bad career advice, although I’ve always been the type of person to keep whatever resonates with me and quickly forget the rest.
What are you currently listening to (podcast or music); reading; and watching/streaming?
I have been listening to the Energy Anatomy audiobook by Carolyn Myss; reading Unblocked by Margaret Lynch Raniere; and my husband and I love watching renovation shows like Hometown, Restored and really anything on HGTV or the Magnolia channel.
The practice of law is a stressful occupation! Tell us about your work in alternative healing, improved mental health techniques, and EFT Tapping in regard to boosting performance.
I recently became a certified Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) tapping practitioner after experiencing its life-changing effects firsthand. It is a type of somatic therapy that involves light fingertip tapping on key points along the same meridian systems in the body that are used in acupuncture, while focusing on a problematic emotion, memory or physical issue. It is clinically proven to calm the central nervous system and improve a whole host of health issues, as well as trauma and PTSD.
It can also be used to achieve peak performance and reprogram limiting beliefs, fears or phobias—for example, common things that might hold lawyers back from career development, such as impostor syndrome or fear of public speaking. Thanks to Zoom and the flexible work/life balance here at Fennemore, I was able to launch my own EFT practice in January with the primary focus of helping professionals heal from and prevent career burnout. In my opinion, EFT is probably one of the most powerful (yet underrated!) tools available to lawyers to deal with stress, being overwhelmed and burnout. I’m really looking forward to sharing this with my colleagues and am excited to be part of such an innovative firm where things like this are embraced and encouraged to make us healthier and stronger.
Many thanks to Tracy for her inspiring insights!
And for information on how to partner with our team of attorneys in the Inland Empire, please visit: https://www.fennemorelaw.com/contact-us/san-bernardino/ .