We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Peterson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
The most important lesson i’ve learned is that health and wellness are paramount. As lawyers, we work hard every day in our jobs to achieve success, money, and notoriety. It is no surprise that achieving these goals often comes at the cost of stress, anxiety and sleepless nights. Too often, we forget to focus on our personal health and well-being, which somehow gets brushed aside in the legal profession. The legal industry has trained us to become emotional and analytical counselors for our clients which can be draining, demands us to meet deadlines and rigid time schedules, and encourages spending long hours in the office. Our careers often don’t promote a healthy work-life balance, or the mindset of putting our personal health first. Taking time out of our busy schedule to meditate, exercise, eat healthy, and establish meaningful relationships will go a long way in making a positive impact on our emotional well-being and overall sense of happiness in life. I personally have experienced some recent health issues which were triggered by work stress that have completely changed my perspective and outlook on life. I started to experience digestive issues which got progressively worse over several months, almost to the point of checking myself into the hospital. After weeks of tests and various medical procedures, I was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in February 2020. For those who don’t know, Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease that affects the large intestine and small intestine. After my diagnosis I did everything I could to learn about the disease, treatment options and long term management. I was put on a medication treatment plan with my gastroenterologist which has helped with my symptoms significantly, but it is my goal not to be on medications long term. I have learned that it is possible to achieve remission with this disease by carefully managing my diet and nutrition, and keeping stress levels low. In light of this, I made the conscious decision to put my solo law practice on hold temporarily to focus on healing. I turned away all new clients for several months, and limited my hours in the office. I started going to yoga more regularly (since that was about all I could do as far as exercise due to the fatigue), meditating daily, and switching to a completely dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo diet. These changes have greatly impacted my healing process.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Launching my own law firm in 2015 was the best decision I made in my career. I enjoy that I get to choose the clients I have the pleasure of working with, and can provide that one-on-one attention with a client which doesn’t usually happen in large law firm. I pride myself on being an attorney that defies the stereotype most people think of (ie billing every second for every call, not returning calls in a timely manner, seeing the client as a dollar sign, not as a person). My practice is the opposite of this because I provide that boutique, small office atmosphere for my clients, and always return all calls and emails, and often don’t charge clients for a quick phone call question. I am proud to have earned a well-respected reputation in the legal community, and highly value all client referrals from colleagues.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I absolutely love Coronado, so I would recommend walking on the beach for exercise and taking in the scenic views. I am also a huge fan of all restaurants in Little Italy, especially Buon Appetito for Italian food. For drinks, I would recommend a rooftop bar like the Nolen or Kettner Exchange.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my parents and my sister. My family has supported me unconditionally through good times and bad and I am so fortunate to have them in my life.