I try to achieve as much of a true balance as possible

A Conversation On Lessons Learned & Life In The Law With Attorney Michele Kirrane

Michele Kirrane is an experienced litigator who handles a wide variety of business litigation matters, including commercial disputes, claims of breach of contract, misappropriation, fraud and breach of fiduciary responsibility for clients ranging from individuals to large, multinational companies. She’s also well-versed in real estate property issues such as premises liability, nuisance, conversion, and commercial lease disputes.

As the month of May is upon us, and Mother’s Day is right around the corner, in this week’s leadership profile we headed to Oakland to visit with attorney Michele Kirrane – a mother to twin boys! Talk about the blur/balancing act required to be a high-profile attorney, as well as a mom.

I found that it’s nearly impossible to have a true work like balance. Some weeks, work is on top and other weeks, life is on top. Regardless, I try to achieve as much of a true balance as possible. This requires planning ahead, being organized and having a lot of help/support from my family.

What would you tell your younger self, or a 1L, (especially a woman) at the West Virginia University College of the Law currently contemplating a career in the legal profession?
Advocate for yourself, ask for help if you need it, keep everything in perspective and breathe.

Talk about your mom – and the impact she has had on your life and career.

My mom raised three kids while working full-time as a medical secretary. She taught me the value of hard work, how to deal with difficult people and the importance of making time for your family. She also taught that me that you should always be nice to your secretary. 😊

Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn? And how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?

I started making pottery a few years ago. I thought throwing pottery on the wheel would be a piece of cake – something I could master after a few tries. However, it was a lot harder than I thought. Everything I made looked like it had been done by a kindergartener. After a lot of practice and determination, I was able to improve. My pottery doesn’t quite look like it belongs on the shelves of Pottery Barn, but it’s getting there.

What’s the best – and worst – piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?

Best – Mistakes happen, and everything can be fixed – except for a final habeas corpus ruling in a death penalty case.

Worst – Don’t worry about originations.

What are you currently listening to (podcast or music); reading; and watching/streaming – and what’s your go-to take-out order?

Music – Whatever my kids want to listen to in the car

Reading – A World of Curiosities (A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel) by Louise Penny

Streaming – Ted Lasso and Shrinking

Take Out – Mexican food

Okay, you’re hosting a lavish dinner party at your home. Name the three people – from any time in human history – who you’d invite.

Warren Buffett, Joan Rivers, Keanu Reeves.

Many thanks to Michele – and all of the mothers at Fennemore – who provide exceptional counsel on behalf of our clients while also performing the most important job in the world!

For more information on Fennemore’s Business Litigation team, please visit: https://www.fennemorelaw.com/services/practices/business-litigation/ .