Now, I can continue to nurture both my career and my family
A conversation on motherhood as an attorney and how change can lead to better results.
This week for our Thursday Thoughts leadership profile, we are visiting Fresno, California to speak with attorney Alice Dostálová-Busick who recently joined Fennemore in April. Alice is an Of Counsel attorney who works in our Trusts & Estates practice group. Her work focuses on basic and advanced estate planning, wealth management, trust administration, business succession and probate. Alice strives to manage her work demands with her responsibilities as a wife and mother to three young children and two grown bonus stepdaughters.
Good morning, Alice! Happy belated Mother’s Day. How did your family spend the holiday?
We had a pretty busy spring already with our kids’competitive ski races, so we stayed local on Mother’s Day. We did some much needed relaxing and enjoyed each other’s company!
You’re a high-profile attorney who somehow balances your work with the needs of five kids. Three boys and two girls, what a busy household. What advice would you give to a woman looking to start a career in law who also wants to have a family?
There is no right way to go about having a career and a family. You have to be honest with yourself and make adjustments as you go. I was a full-time working mom, so we had our kids in daycare. It was not until we made the decision for me to stay home with the kids during COVID that we realized it was important for our family to have a parent present for the kids more often. Working a shorter schedule has its own challenges, but being present for the kids is well worth it.
Coming into Fennemore, it was really important to me to still have that flexibility. Now, I can continue to nurture both my career and my family.
Can you tell a little bit about the impact your family has had on your life?
My family moved here from the Czech Republic. My parents came to the U.S. looking to provide me with a better life. They worked very hard to help us succeed and thrive. My mom worked long hours and still made time to cook meals and made sure I was thriving in school. They instilled in me a sense of worth, good morals, a work ethic, and pride. These values, among some, led me to a degree from Georgetown University, and later a law degree.
What’s the best – and worst – piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of career advice I received a long time ago now was that you need to build a book of business. This advice really played a big role in pursuing a shorter work schedule. If you have your own book of business, or the ability to grow a book of business, you then have the freedom to better control your schedule. In turn, this meant I had more time to devote to my family.
The worst piece of career advice that I ever received was my own. I allowed fear to keep me from exploring new possibilities. After overcoming this fear, I have a more fulfilling and passionate career.
What inspired you to pursue a career in law after studying Foreign Service in under grad?
That’s actually a funny story. As a little kid, I wanted to be a judge like on the reality courtroom shows. Later, while going to university in D.C., I thought it would be “cool” to be a judge on the U.S. Supreme Court. Well, I did not become a U.S. Supreme Court justice. This is just as well because I love what I do now.
Are there any TV shows or movies that you’ve been binging lately? Or book that you just can’t put down?
I can’t stop watching “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” It is a lighthearted show that I can watch after a long day of work and mothering.
My favorite book has to be “Sophie’s World”. I read this book back in college. Unfortunately, I don’t read many books of my choice these days. Instead, you’ll find me reading “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” or “Spy School” and other fun books to my kids at night.
Last but certainly not least – if you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
It has to be pasta! It is just easy comfort food. My husband would definitely prefer to not eat it, but he indulges me often.
A huge thank you to Alice for her wonderful insights on motherhood and building a successful practice. If you’re interested in learning more about our Trusts and Estates group, please click the following link: https://www.fennemorelaw.com/services/practices/trusts-estates/