Name: Sigalle Barness
Position: Chief Operating Officer
1. A Recent Professional Victory: In June of 2018, in between two maternity leaves, I was promoted to Lawline’s Chief Operating Officer. I feel extremely blessed to work for an organization that fiercely supported me through my transition to becoming a mother of two while still recognizing the hard work, dedication, and loyalty I have as a professional.
2. Your Latest Challenge: Simplifying everything. I am a planner, a risk analyst, a problem solver, an idea generator, and a doer. This means I can also overthink, overcomplicate, or make things bigger than they sometimes need to be. Reminding myself to “simplify, simplify, simplify” has been my mantra to ensure I continue to strike the right balance between being thoughtful and being productive.
3. In My Pre-CLE Life, I Was: I litigated civil claims in areas such as landlord tenant, breach of contract, and tax lien and mortgage foreclosures actions. I also handled transactional matters such as drafting residential and commercial leases, demand letters, and client conflict waivers.
4. What Brought Me to CLE: What I found most fulfilling about being a practicing attorney were the instances where I connected with, learned from, and mentored my fellow lawyers on how to best serve their clients. I have a very curious personality and I like deep dives into different practice areas, legal concepts, and approaches to practice. When I became aware of CLE as an industry, it became clear that this was a community that fundamentally aligned with who I was and, more importantly, where I could really make a positive impact. When I found Lawline, I felt like I found a place that not only embraced the same values as I did, but also approached education with the same energy and curiosity. Seven years later, I still feel the same way!
5. I Never Leave Home Without: My iPhone. It feels cliche but can most people say anything else? My phone has become the most powerful way for me to juggle being a mom and a professional while still providing an outlet to explore and stay current with my personal interests.
6. My Favorite Software:
- Trello: Trello has been a real turning point for the Lawline team. It increases our productivity and communication while reducing the need for meetings. Our entire company uses it and the level of transparency and alignment that it has produced has been monumental.
- Watch Me Grow (Personal): As a working parent of two babies, it is easy to feel guilty and sad that you can’t be with them all the time. Watch Me Grow allows me to check in on my kids during the day while they are at school. I can see their meal times, nap times, and playtimes. I can see that they are happy and thriving. It doesn’t replace being there, but it does allow me to feel connected to my kids when I’m at work.
- Spotify: Spotify is, hands down, the best platform to explore, create playlists, and share music. For example, I created an Epically Focused playlist that I listen to regularly to help me when I really need to think deeply about a project.
7. On My Wish List: A virtual reality headset. I have always been a fan of virtual and augmented reality (I even developed Lawline CLE courses on it!) and I follow the technology closely as it advances. I’m torn between the Oculus Quest or the Playstation VR but I ultimately can’t justify buying either because life is so busy! And yes, if you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m a nerd.
8. Must-See Website(s):
- Harvard Business Review - This is by far the best business and leadership content online today. It is relevant, thoughtful, critical, and impactful. I gain value from every article I read.
- Conde Naste Traveler - If you love to travel, this is for you!
- My Blog - Shameless Self Promo!
9. Recent Good Reads:
- Disruption Starts with Unhappy Customers, Not Technology
- The Fast Forward Mindset
- Is Just-In-Time Training for Lawyers a Good Business?
- For Fun:
- The Girl Who Dared to Think
- Giraffes Can’t Dance
10. Favorite Pastime: Every Saturday morning I have a dance party with my kids. We listen to everything from The Drifters to Van Morrison to Miley Cyrus and dance in the family room. I love it because I get to expose them to all different instruments, genres of music, and they learn how to use their arms, feet, and voices in ways they don’t get to normally. It is my favorite part of the week!
11. Date(s) I Never Miss: My team members’ work anniversaries!
12. My Dream Vacation: My dream vacation has to include a healthy mix of adventure, relaxation, indulgence, and wellness. With that in mind, I would take a 3-month trip to Japan, New Zealand, and Fiji. I would eat my weight in sushi, ramen, and Kobe steak, explore Japanese gaming technologies, and immerse myself in the city and countryside. In New Zealand, I would hike glaciers and volcanoes, scuba dive, and then geek out on a Lord of the Rings tour. Lastly, I would end the vacation with rest, relaxation, and yoga on a sandy beach in Fiji. I would bring my husband, kids, and my parents (for babysitting).
13. Words I Live By: “Be decisive yet flexible.” Taking a position is necessary to make progress, whether in life or in business. However, I strive to embrace different perspectives so that I’m always learning better ways to approach things!