Name, title, and organization: Paula A. Barran, Partner, Barran Liebman LLP
Responsibilities: Practicing law most of the time by providing legal advice to colleges and universities and to employers, developing training and other compliance programs, and representing clients in litigation and other forms of dispute resolution.
I also do a lot of practice development and serve as an internal resource, particularly for the newer lawyers in our firm.
Graduation year and class: 1991, Oregon Executive MBA Class 5
Three tips for women to succeed in business
- Remember those simple pie charts we learned in school as ways to visualize dividing up a fixed amount? That’s what I use to help plan my time. Start with the must-have. My work is billed by the hour, so I try to think of how many hours I need to reserve for just work because this is the time that generates income to support my cost and pay my share of the overhead. Then, take out essential personal and family time, including sleeping and eating. Then, treat the amount that is left like a bank account that you have to deplete every year (or every month or week). I make better choices, and I do ongoing negotiations with myself about how to spend that time.
- If you need to market yourself, think narrow. Remember how in college you picked a major and a minor? Nice, clean, simple, and it communicates the message that you are a specialist.
- Don’t stay in a career you don’t love. That’s like living somebody else’s life.
Favorite quote: “No passion in the world, no love or hate, is equal to the passion to alter someone else’s draft.” Attributed to H. G. Wells. I also love, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.” And for really busy days, the sign that goes up on my door says, “Nobody gets in to see the wizard…not nobody, no how!”
First job: Retyping the case index for the clerk of courts in Trumbull County, Ohio.
Guilty pleasure: I make up ridiculous songs to sing out loud to my dog. I mean really ridiculous songs—all sung badly and off key.
Best live concert experience: I saw George Harrison in Vancouver, BC, back when he was touring with Ravi Shankar and Billy Preston.
Favorite tradition: Celebrating Russian Christmas. That way you get Christmas twice, and if you can wait the extra two weeks, you can buy all your presents on sale AND eat a lot of sauerkraut. (Maybe this should have gone on the guilty pleasure line).
Favorite Portland restaurant: I actually am not much of a fan of eating in restaurants, mostly because my good friends who live in Oregon wine country are extraordinary cooks and love to do small-scale entertaining. Am I lucky or what? But then I also recently had a wonderful lunch at Nel Centro and that will definitely be getting me out more often.
Best weekend activity: Being in Bend.
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