Today we’d like to introduce you to Tricia Schafer.
Tricia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Phoenix captured my heart during a family vacation in the summer of 1980. I was 10. In comparison to my chilly childhood home in Oregon, I loved feeling the heat rising off the pavement, swimming outdoors at night, and sleeping on top of the sheets. Nearly 40 years later, those are still some of my favorite signs of summer!
After college in California and a 6-year detour to the East Coast for law school and what seemed to be a promising career in New York, I came to my senses and moved back West, leaving behind a terrific job and a life that wasn’t my own. That was a scary time – driving cross-country by myself in the winter of 1997 with few prospects. I celebrated my Loneliest Christmas Ever on the floor of my unfurnished Ahwatukee apartment.
Since then, I’ve been all about building relationships and learning from others. At my neighborhood gym, I befriended a fitness trainer who worked there part-time while balancing a full-time office job. I thought that was brilliant, particularly as exercise has always been a huge part of my life and I love helping people achieve and maintain wellness.
So while working full-time at a law firm, I studied and earned my fitness certifications and formed my fitness company in 2003, which now does business through Arizona’s Finest Lawyers Foundation’s wellness initiative, Fit to Practice®.
My dual professions uniquely position me to connect people with each other. Lawyers, judges, and their families comprise most of my fitness clientele, and we often find ourselves talking shop and networking while exercising, which is a dream come true!
Some of my proudest community moments have come from the nonprofit I co-founded with my longtime life-partner John Lookabaugh and trusted friends to resurrect what was formerly known as Scottsdale’s Night Run for the Arts. Encouraging people to exercise and enjoy the historic racecourse, and our favorable interactions with the City of Scottsdale to bring the event to life, exposed me to a vast array of fabulous people and the power of teamwork.
Has it been a smooth road?
I need a skyscraper for my elevator speech. I’ve discovered that it’s challenging to concisely explain the breadth and diversity of what I do when meeting new people.
Introductory language matters and I honestly care more about redirecting the conversation to the folks around me than talking about myself. Usually, I just say “I’m a lawyer and a personal fitness trainer” (or the other way around, depending on the audience), watch the intrigued expressions and allow the conversation to unfold.
Typecasting is a related challenge. My ideal work environment involves terrific people, a positive, forward-thinking mission, and of course economic stability. Sometimes it’s hard to convince people that I don’t necessarily have to work as a lawyer to achieve that, particularly when my writing, listening, communications, and business skills transcend professional labels.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Vitality Law’s name says it all. Life comes first. If you’re not taking care of yourself – physically and emotionally – legal victories are hollow.
Vitality Law provides Compelling Written Advocacy in the following ways: (1) within the lawyer community, I lighten colleagues’ loads by contracting with their law firms to perform research and writing tasks; and (2) with Vitality Law’s own clients, I’ve found that powerful and persuasive communication — be it demand letters, court documents, position statements, or thoughtfully-crafted emails — can effectively promote cost-effective dispute resolution.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Absolutely! Arizona has been very good to me as a lawyer and businessperson. When I left New York, I could have returned to the Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest, or moved closer to other family in San Diego. Phoenix was booming in the late 1990s when I arrived and navigating the occasional hiccups and economic slumps has been very doable. The Valley is a perfect place to reinvent yourself, which is exactly what I did.
I love helping transplants connect with job leads and other opportunities – returning the generosity that my colleagues extended to me 20 years ago.
- Address: 6929 N. Hayden Road
Suite C4-199 Scottsdale, AZ 85250
- Website: www.vitalitylaw.com
- Phone: (480) 331-5706
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org