Editor’s Note: In this blog series, we are getting to know the members of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors. TYLA, commonly called the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas, works to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All TYLA programs are accomplished through the volunteer efforts of its board and committee members, with the cooperation of local affiliate young lawyers associations. Learn more at tyla.org.

Name: Jeanine Novosad Rispoli

Firm: Rispoli Law Firm, PLLC

Area of Law You Practice: Family Law

Position Held in TYLA: President-elect and District 9 Director

How did you get involved in bar service?

I honestly just started going to bar and young lawyer lunch meetings as a way to go to lunch with my husband, Stephen, more often. Once I was there, I realized how much I enjoyed the people and the projects. The more involved I became the more I realized I wasn’t just networking. While local bar involvement definitely helped me get referrals, that was really just a byproduct of building a community of colleagues who are now friends.

What is your favorite TYLA project and why?

This is such a hard question because TYLA has so many amazing projects! I won’t pick favorites, but I will highlight two that have special places in my heart.

Texas Courts for Texas Veterans was my first major TYLA project, and I absolutely loved getting to know my fellow new directors better throughout the project. Everyone involved put so much passion and talent into TCTV, and I think we were all just humbled and grateful to work on it with Immediate Past President Victor Flores. The video testimonials can still make me emotional, even though we all watched them way too much in the editing process!

The testimonials on the Attorney Wellness website also still make me emotional after repeat viewings because they are so honest and powerful. I encourage anyone to spend some time at http://texaslawyercare.tyla.org to learn more about caring for your well-being and to be reminded that you aren’t alone.

What do you do in your spare time?

Stephen and I have been walking our lab, Khaleesi, even more during the pandemic, and we have really enjoyed finding new places around Waco to walk. I love reading books about and/or by strong women, especially First: Sandra Day O’Connor, by Evan Thomas, My Own Words, by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It, by Tilar J Mazzeo.

What tips can you give to other attorneys to manage stress?

The guidance given on an airplane is just as relevant in our daily lives: remember that you need to put your oxygen mask on before you can help others. During the pandemic, I haven’t been able to do all of the same activities that help me manage stress and well-being, but sometimes getting creative has been more fun. I am now a foam roller convert, new superfan of the Calm app, and I encourage everyone I know to take advantage of virtual counseling. Seriously, you can now go to counseling in yoga pants, with your pet, without leaving your home or office.

What is a piece of advice you would give new lawyers or law students?

Check out all the resources on https://tyla.org/ and join your young lawyers association! There are awesome young lawyers in your community and they could become some of your best friends and mentors!

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I love my Peloton spin bike, but I don’t know how to ride a real bicycle. I plan to complete the bike portion of the TYLA Virtual Triathlon (see https://tyla.org/virtual-triathlon/) in the comfort of my own air-conditioned home office/workout room.

Anything else that you wish to share?

In both pre-pandemic and pandemic times, I’ve heard from so many people who feel alone. Whatever you are going through, there are people out there who are in the same struggle and who want to help you. Asking for help is not only brave, but you may find that you help the other person just as much as they help you. If there’s a way I can help you, I hope you’ll email me at Jeanine@RispoliLawFirm.com.