A Day in the Life of Georgia Marshall
Georgia Marshall is the Head of the Matrimonial Department at Marshall Diel & Myers law firm. Even after 32 years of practice, the thought of reading the judgement just handed down in a hard-fought case still gets her up in the morning. The day involves working closely with a bright team of attorneys, responding to clients’ needs, while mentoring young Bermudian attorneys. Even though time is always in short supply for her, she gives us her best notes and keys to daily success.
6:30 AM: My day starts with coffee, a quick email check, and a look at my diary followed by a peek at my Instagram account. It’s here that my mental to-do list is drawn up and I can move on to feed the dogs, make breakfast, shower, get dressed, put on makeup, and heels (black if I’m attending court). Then, off I go.
8:30 AM expectations: By now, I would have arrived at the office, poured coffee #2, and reviewed any papers for my 9:30 court appointments. I would meet with the client before finding myself in front of a Judge to present my case. If there are no court appointments listed on that day, I would use this time to organise my work, draft letters, pleadings, respond to client and opposing counsel emails.
8:30 AM reality:I arrive at the office with my mental to-do list ready for the day. I sit at my desk and before I can take the first sip, I pick up a call from Mrs X, she needs to see me urgently, Mr X was physically violent to her last night, she needs immediate representation. Then Mr Y needs an appointment now because Mrs Y is about to remove their children from the island to live permanently in Brazil. Mr Z has removed all funds from the joint account and has cut off Mrs Z from access to the credit card. She needs to see me right away. At this point, the mental to-do list has to take a back seat… It’s time to go into overdrive.
11:00 AM: I sit down with the client, take instructions, draft emergency applications and supporting affidavits, call the court to get an urgent appointment, present the case. I obtain Order, arrange for service on the opposing party. Breathe. A couple of days in a row like this, not to mention some in court and the mental to-do list becomes the urgent must-deal-with list!
1:00 PM: Lunchtime! Or an hour to see another urgent client and tackle those mental to-dos. I do get the rare day to spend this hour savouring a delicious meal and the company of my husband at the Red Carpet.
2:00 PM: Collect papers and organise for afternoon court, which starts at 2:15. Most days after return from court, I meet with my team to discuss active cases, latest court decisions, and any other matter that has come up on a case.
6:00 PM: Try to leave the office for a yoga class at Lucky Elephant. Depending on what is on my desk that needs to be completed, hot yoga may have to wait until tomorrow.
7:30 PM:Leave the office. Definitely.
8:00 PM:I’m home to feed the dogs. My husband and I will discuss the day’s events over dinner and call our children (in LA) to touch base.
9:30 PM: Catch up on the day’s news.
10:00 PM:Review papers for the next day.
11:30 PM:Get ready for bed and try to get to sleep. Often, this is harder than it sounds as my brain is on overdrive thinking about tomorrow’s hearing or that ever-present and always daunting mental to-do list.
A note from Georgia:
Being an effective litigation attorney takes hard work and organisation. You must know all the facts of your case. This takes hours of pouring through bank statements and other financial documents. Also, in order to head up a department, you must be responsive to team members so that you can add your input when it is required.
Everything cannot be done in one day. You have to work diligently, and apply your energies according to priority. I have learned that you have to save some time (which is in short supply) for yourself and for your family. I enjoy gardening and watching what I plant, grow – I’m in pursuit of growing the perfect tomato. I am a beekeeping novice and learn about perseverance from watching their hard work. I enjoy playing a vigorous game of squash with my husband with the hope to one day beat him and having a meal with good friends, engaging in stimulating conversation while sipping a good glass of wine.
This article was originally published in the February 2019 edition of the RG Business Magazine.