New Lawyers Spotlight: Working From Home

Jake LevineJake Levine Head Shot
Fredrikson & Byron
What have been some unexpected, positive outcomes that have come
from working from home?

Working from home has definitely presented unique challenges, but I’ve loved being able to spend more time with my family, exercise at home, and cook a whole lot more. Finding a balance with work and home life has been more difficult now that my bed is 15 feet away from my office, but I’ve made a point to exercise daily, cook new recipes (usually vegan) a few nights a week, and go for lots of walks in parks around town.

What’s the most creative way you’ve connected with clients or
colleagues while working from home?

The amount of “down time” without engagements has surprisingly been a silver lining during this time, and it’s not lost on me how lucky I am to be able to continue working during the pandemic. I try to stay connected to my colleagues and clients. I’ve decided one of the best things to do to that end is just pick up the phone and chat. In some respects, things are moving at a glacial pace, but the daily developments rock the worlds of so many individuals and businesses that it’s good to connect often and authentically.

Allyson Kerr
Tuft, Lach, Jerabek & O’Connell
What adjustments have you made to your work-life balance as a result of working from home?
PIC - Kerr
I find that it is important to be more intentional about my work schedule. While working from home it is easy to feel the need to be “on” and working all of the time, including well beyond regular working hours. I have tried to get in the habit of actually taking a lunch break, physically putting away my computer at the end of the work day, and turning off work notifications on my phone at the end of the day. For me, this helps distinguish clear work hours.

Have you picked up any new hobbies or habits working
from home?

I have always loved cooking and baking. While working from home and not being able to go to restaurants, I have tried to take time each week to try and make a new recipe. It’s been a fun activity to look forward to, with many successes and a few failures.


Dani Peden
Brandt Criminal Defense
What have been some unexpected, positive outcomes that have come from
working from home?Dani Peden

Spending quality time with my husband. We are both very busy individuals and realized how little time we actually spent together when we were able to see each other for hours at a time and share lunch together. He has since returned to work, so another unexpected, positive consequence has been my elevation to the favorite dog-parent. Our puppy Piper now prefers me to my husband and I thoroughly enjoy my new status.

What adjustments have you made to your work-life balance
as a result of working from home?

I find that I have a much more difficult time “checking out” and not working now that I am working from home. I end up bringing my laptop to the couch while watching a movie and continuing to work. I am trying to make a conscious effort to differentiate my work hours and my home hours for the sake of my husband and mental health. I do enjoy being able to sleep in longer though and avoid long commutes to hearings outside of the cities.

Nicole A. Lemon
Law Clerk – Hennepin County
What have been some unexpected, positive outcomes that have come from
working from home?PIC - Lemon

Most of Hennepin County judges and their chambered staff has made exceptional progress in using technology to continue working from home. However, most of us on the criminal felony blocks are back in the government center handling new cases and the backlog of cases from the Stay in Place Order.

What adjustments have you made to your work-life balance
as a result of working from home?

While working from home I have utilized my time much more efficiently. I woke up at 5:00 am, worked for a few hours before my toddler woke up for the day, took a break and brought him to grandma’s to play, came back home to write several pending evidentiary hearing orders, and then would be done with an 8 hour day around 1:30 pm. Since I had about 3 hours before child pick-up, I was able to go for a run or ride my horse and take care of any tasks I had been putting off pre-pandemic. I had a list of extraneous projects and phone calls to make and accomplished 1-2 each day. This gave me a splendid opportunity to work on my mental and physical health which was otherwise eaten up by transportation into work.