We had the good fortune of connecting with Karine Karadjian and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Karine, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My work life balance has improved significantly since I started my own firm 5 years ago. When I worked for other law firms, typical schedules were a 50-60 hour workweek. Now, I typically aim for a 20-25 hour workweek. I think that better work life balance leads to a happier business owner, who in turn projects that positive attitude toward clients. I love what I do for a living, and I love my clients. My work life balance has a lot to do with that outlook. I’m a happier lawyer now and my clients get the best version of me. Now, don’t get me wrong, a 20-25 hours workweek doesn’t mean I sit around without getting work done. I work hard and I try to work smart. I use time blocking to get things done efficiently without distractions. You’d be surprised how much work you can get done if you do it distraction-free for 45-90 minute blocks. I use automations and systems for certain tasks. Of course, there are weeks when I need to work 40+ hours, particularly if I’m up against court and mediation deadlines, but for the most part I’m lucky to have a great work life balance. Having my own practice has allowed me the flexibility to choose when to work, how much to work, which clients and cases to take on, and to refer out cases if I’m overwhelmed. I’m in a situation where my health is directly correlated with my stress levels, hence the work life balance. Take it from someone who literally stressed herself to the point of an autoimmune condition: all the money and “success” means nothing if we don’t have our health. If there’s anything I’d like to convey, it’s to listen to your body, take a step back, and access your work life balance so you land yourself in a healthy balance, both physically and mentally. If you’re in a position where you cannot control the amount of time spent working (you work for someone else, you need to make X amount to support your family, etc.), I urge you to use some of your time off on self care to balance out that stress. There is no uniform “right” formula to work life balance, Follow your instincts.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My law and mediation practice focus on bankruptcy, debt settlement, and employee rights. I help people get out of debt and I help aggrieved workers who have been wrongfully terminated. I love what I do. My clients are family. I don’t follow a typical law firm model. I don’t have typical hours. A lot of my clients can’t afford to take time off. That’s why I offer evening and weekend appointments. We also have a small kids corner in the office with some toys and activities so if clients don’t have anyone to watch their kids they’re welcome to bring them to their appointments. I’ve designed my office space to be as relaxing as possible since my clients are overwhelmed with debt or have recently been wronged at work. What I’m most proud of is that I truly get to help people, and that my clients appreciate the work I do. It’s extremely rewarding. Be authentic, care for your clients, be honest. Build relationships with other attorneys and professionals. Don’t just focus on profits, focus on the quality of your work and the impact you make in the lives of your clients. Those are the foundations of a successful practice.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Too many great places to list in LA! I’m a foodie, so definitely a lot of food spots. Assuming things were open and non-Covid times, Bottega Louie, Osteria Mozza, Beauty & Essex, The Rooftop at JG, Alcove, Perch, Barton G, Republique, Firefly, Avra, The Six, and Raffis are some of my favorite spots to eat. For ice cream/dessert, Salt&Straw, McConnells, Bae, Milk, Portos, Papillon, and The Dolly Llama. To explore, Getty Museum, Getty Villa, Huntington Library, Descanso Gardens, Malibu, Venice, The Last Bookstore, Griffith Observatory, For hikes, Fryman Canyon, Escondido Falls, and Eaton Canyon. And of course, Disneyland and Universal Studios!

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’d like to dedicate this shotout to all the women who have uplifted and supported me throughout my life, both personally and professionally. Empowered women empower women.

Website: www.kelawfirm.com

Instagram: instagram.com/thedebtfairy

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karine-karadjian-2474351a5/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karine.karadjian/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/karine-karadjian-san-fernando-van-nuys?osq=karine+karadjian

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc8dcu6QrfB7N61hUVBd7Ow

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