I love having a June birthday. It’s almost mid-year, so it gives me an opportunity to benchmark my goals for the year and my progress toward them. I’ve learned not to make my current score be anything more than a compass. It points me in the direction of my next steps.
June is also a great time to check my alignment with my 2022 theme: “How Simple Can You Make It?”
If you’ve been following my work for a while, you might know that “simplicity” was a prior year’s theme. My guiding question for this year is next-level. It forces me to consider whether something could be made even easier–for me, my clients, and others impacted by my actions.
I’m currently wondering if this is how we should always be thinking about our actions. Each action impacts someone, often beyond me. I’m trying to be more aware of this, although it can admittedly be overwhelming at times.
June is also a special month because on June 23, 2003, I launched my solo law practice. This year, the 50th Anniversary of Title IX falls on that day, which seems so significant. Although I often complained about the measly $600.00 scholarship I was offered to play softball out of state in 1987, I am grateful for the opportunities Title IX brought me. Sport helped me develop problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership skills. It kept me reaching for more when it seemed I deserved so little.
But Title IX brought more than my participation in college sports. It gave me a seat in the classroom. I might not have gotten an undergraduate degree, much less a law degree, without Title IX. I love that my business shares this important anniversary.
How Far We’ve Come
In the early years of my business, I was simply operating under my own name. I litigated workers compensation claims, primarily for one large insurance company. I occasionally represented injured workers, but most of my clients were small businesses and domestic employers insured by my client.
I still have a soft spot for the little guys like me.
I continue to resolve penalties for home-based businesses and domestic employers who unintentionally misclassify their workers. I also help those who fail to recognize the need to insure their workers.
Often, my clients have been in the entertainment industry and creative professions, which is why my business carried The Law Studio of Nance L. Schick name for several years.
I launched Third Ear Conflict Resolution as a program in 2006, and I turned it into a book in 2014, but the New York State Unified Court System didn’t allow attorneys to practice law under trade names. Recently, all that changed.
In January, I officially renamed my firm to reflect my passion. You will continue to see evidence of the transition throughout the year. In the meantime, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the transition.
Are you still mediating employment disputes?
Yes. This is one of my favorite things to do and a great use of my skills. There are few things I enjoy more than listening for the hurts we can heal in mediation, develop an action plan to heal them, and leave parties empowered to create better futures. If you’d like to discuss how pre-claim mediation could improve your workplace culture, let’s chat.
What other types of disputes do you mediate?
I do my best work in employment disputes. It’s where I got my start. Some say I resolved so many disputes in the operations of a prior employer that I had to be moved to Human Resources. Yet my mediation skills also translate well to personal injury (PI) and small business matters. After all, I have been in this small business for nearly 19 years, and it’s not my first. I also started my legal career at a PI firm and have continued to work in and around that practice area since 2002.
Can you help me resolve a workers compensation penalty?
Yes. This is one of my focus areas. Various government agencies collected a lot of data from employers, employees, and independent contractors through the Paycheck Protection Program and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. The audit notices are still going out, and penalties are still being assessed. Let’s get you in compliance.
Will you help me defend an overtime claim?
No. I have strategically partnered with Joseph Harris of A.Y. Strauss for the past 10 or more years. He is far more skilled than I in Wage and Hour claims, and I want you to have the best counsel available to defend you. It’s not me in these cases.
Do you still teach continuing education?
Yes. I frequently teach funeral directors through organizations such as Continuing Vision LLC and regional funeral director associations. You can often find my upcoming courses on the CV website. If you’re interested in having me teach for your funeral, legal, or other professional organization, please contact me directly.
Do you still offer diversity training?
Yes. This continues to be a growth area for my firm. I’m working on a huge project right now with a large employer that wants to put hurtful parts of its history behind it. We’re looking at ways to flatten the organization and make it more inclusive. This is how we create a future even better than we imagine possible, and I would love to talk to you about doing this in your business, with your clients, etc.
Do you still defend employers in workers compensation claims?
Yes. Since 2004, I have worked with several employers that have high-deductible insurance policies. They often found that their insurance carrier ignored or mishandled claims until they appeared the deductibles might be met. I continue to work as part of the litigation management teams for such employers.
When is your next book coming out?
That’s a good question. I’ve been slowly working on DIY Conflict Resolution at Work (working title) throughout the pandemic. Like a lot of our creative projects, it has to be shelved from time to time so I can focus on other projects. In addition to the transition of 19 years of content and branding, I’m working on a move to a larger space. That has proven to be a big challenge in the current New York City market. I welcome your good vibes, prayers, or whatever goodness you can send my way. I promise to keep working on the book and get it out in divine time.