16. Genie Harrison, The Genie Harrison Law Firm – Legal Warrior: Fight to the Top of Employment Law

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Genie Harrison‘s success is fueled by her unflinching high standards and bolstered by her grit. Dogged advocate for employees and lead trial counsel at The Genie Harrison Law Firm, she advocates for victims of all forms of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. She has recovered over $220 million in settlements and verdicts for her clients but sees the real wins come from systemic change.

She holds the distinction of top 10 Super Lawyers in Southern California for seven years, is Best Lawyers, 2022 Plaintiff’s Employment Lawyer of the Year, and is an inductee to the Civil Lawyer Hall of Fame by the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel.

Today, Genie discusses how grit and courage make her a better fighter, why opening an independent firm can’t be done in isolation, and the apps she has built to better serve all victims and attorneys.

What’s in This Episode

  • Who is Genie Harrison?
  • What drew Genie to employment law?
  • Without mentors, how did Genie become the trial lawyer she is today?
  • What practical ways can women become better trial attorneys?
  • Are grit and tenacity traits that can be learned throughout a career?
  • How did Genie come to represent the women who voted to be in the Harvey Weinstein case?
  • What is a ‘dignity deposit’ and why is it important to plaintiffs?
  • Why did Genie start a legal tech business?
  • How can these apps help lawyers capture the non-economic problems for a plaintiff and prep for trial?

Transcript

Genie Harrison

I’m wanting to do the best I can to help them take back their power through the legal system, which is a very powerful system. And part of taking back their power is giving them their own choice to make, because their choice was taken away from them by the abuser.

Sonya Palmer

Courage is a choice. In the face of adversity, fight for yourself and your clients.

Genie Harrison

Going into court and trying a case is scary. But what it takes, it’s courage to overcome the fear. These things go hand in hand. So the question is, does one choose courage, instead of backing down?

Sonya Palmer

According to a recent survey, only 19% of managing partners in US law firms are female. We would like to see that change. Hello and welcome to LawHer, the show where we celebrate the trailblazing attorneys and entrepreneurs who are changing the game for women in the legal field. Be inspired by their stories. Learn from their mistakes and look forward to the future they’re helping build for the next generation of women in law. I am Sonya Palmer, your host and VP of operations at Rankings. The SEO agency of choice for elite law firms. This is LawHer. Genie Harrison’s success is fuelled by her unflinching high standards and bolstered by her grit. A fighter through and through she advocates for victims of all forms of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. She has recovered over $220 million in settlements and verdicts for her clients, but sees the real wins come from systemic change. She holds the distinction of top 10 Super Lawyers in Southern California for seven years. Is Best Lawyers, 2022 Plaintiff’s Employment Lawyer of the Year, and is an inductee to the Civil Lawyer Hall of Fame by the Association of Southern California Defense Council. Today, Genie discusses, how grit and courage make her a better fighter, why opening an independent firm can’t be done in isolation and the apps she has built to better serve all victims and attorneys. Let’s dive in.

Genie Harrison

I was very passionate about human rights. I really wanted to make a difference and to represent human beings. in my younger years, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. So my idea was that I was going to go work for the UN and the Hague and potentially, prosecute war criminals for rape. I went to law school and I took unemployment law class. And I was pretty fascinated. Although I had experienced sexual harassment I didn’t realize really when I, before I went to law school, that was something that I could pursue as a lawyer in terms of claims on behalf of other people. So when I took that class and I learned about the law around sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation and employment, Wait a minute! You mean I can do that for people here? Yeah, I think I want to do that. And so that is how I really got into employment law. I’m obviously really passionate about women’s rights. I’m just very lucky that I’m able to do what I believe in. What did you think law school was going to be like? And then what were your expectations different from what it actually was. I take everything so seriously. And that’s my personality. So looking back on it. How hard was it really? It wasn’t exceptionally difficult. It’s just the way I approached it, I think made it more difficult. and that’s true of my interactions with a lot of things. That’s the reason why I think I ended up being very good at what I do is because I take everything very seriously. I didn’t expect law school to be a great time to socialize. I didn’t go in wanting to try to do that. I wanted to try to learn how to be a lawyer. Of course, law school doesn’t really teach you that. I . Learned how to be a lawyer once I became one.

Sonya Palmer

After you graduated law school and become an attorney, walk us through your path then to your first position as partner.

Genie Harrison

When I came out of law school, I did a clerkship here in Los Angeles, actually with the Los Angeles County Superior Court. And I wanted to do that because I was very interested in the trial courts. I’ve never been interested in being an appellate lawyer. So I did that for a year. It was a clerkship with two judges. And then I got a job as an associate at a firm with some lawyers who had tried some cases, in one of the judges courts where I worked. I did that for about six years and then transitioned really to just a more exclusive employment law practice in where I was an associate. We did a more generally business and plaintiff’s practice. There was one partner there who really just handled sexual harassment cases on behalf of plaintiffs. And that’s where I started doing that work. Then I transitioned into just doing plaintiff’s work again as an associate. At a firm and then became a partner at that firm. I was a partner in total in three different firms before I opened mine.

Sonya Palmer

Yeah, you are a very accomplished attorney and have more awards and recognitions that I could even list in one sitting. A few that did stand out to me, our Top Women Lawyers and Law Dragon, Top 500 Employment Lawyers in the nation, both since 2018 and Top 50 Women Southern California for nine years of your awards, which one are you most proud of and why?

Genie Harrison

I actually am most proud of two of them really. And actually coming up a third. First of all, the top 10 Super Lawyers in Southern California, really in the Los Angeles area that was remarkable to me. And and I have been in the top 10 for six going on seven years. Which is really amazing. And humbling because, You can’t buy that. And so that’s a function of people voting. And so it’s, my peers and the selection process that they go through. In addition this year for 2022 Best Lawyers selected me as the 2022 Plaintiff’s Employment Lawyer of the Year. And so for Los Angeles, and that’s pretty remarkable to me.

Sonya Palmer

Very

Genie Harrison

uh That came as a surprise. And so in addition in June, at the beginning of June, And association of Southern California Defense Counsel. We’ll be putting me in their Civil Lawyer Hall of Fame.

Sonya Palmer

Wow. A hall of fame.

Genie Harrison

By the defense lawyers. And listen, I’m not easy on them. It comes into it. That was another real surprise to me.
So those things that are very meaningful.

Sonya Palmer

Yeah, that’s incredible. Like from the defense, that’s amazing. I think also to be the best to achieve that, but then to keep it, to be able to do it year after year is truly a testament to how good you are. For women who want to be the best. What advice would you give them?

Genie Harrison

One must have one’s own high standard. And so that consistency of, reaching the top and then saying at the top is the function of my own internal drive to be the best that I can be on a daily basis. And nobody puts those standards on me or has that, those expectations of me. I have them of myself. And my expectation is not to get X award or Y award it’s to give 110% on every single thing I do in every given day and every week and every month and every year. My recommendation to everyone is have your own high standards and strive to meet them on a daily basis.

Sonya Palmer

I think it’s easier to give your all 110%, when you’re taking it serious. So I love that you are a very fierce advocate. The LA Times had this to say about your tenacity, “When you see her in a fight with a bear or worry about the bear.” Have you always been a fighter?

Genie Harrison

I have, yeah, absolutely going all the way back to when I was a kid I like to say that my first client was, my younger brother. And we grew up in some really challenging circumstances inside the household. I, just went toe to toe. My father who was very demanding and verbally aggressive but I just went toe to toe with him in order to try to protect my brother. Once we’ve gone through, that fire basically every single day as a kid standing up to a parent who that’s really the scariest possible thing, a person can do in their life. Standing up to the other bullies out there who are trying to take advantage of women and others who are, just trying to do their best in at work or, live their lives and not be treated differently because of their gender or other protected class. It’s not that scary.

Sonya Palmer

You grew up in Texas. Do you attribute some of your grit to having grown up in Texas?

Genie Harrison

Yeah, I attribute a lot of my grit to the circumstances of my upbringing altogether. All of them.

Sonya Palmer

So then do you think that’s a trait that can be learned or is it something that’s just, someone is born with it?

Genie Harrison

I think it is developed. I do think that that grit and the tenacity is something that becomes part of one’s personality early on in life. And maybe, there’s some nature the grit really comes from being exposed to adversity. And overcoming it, having the courage because everything’s scary. Lot of things out there are scary standing up to, an abusive parent is scary. Going into court and trying a case is scary. So all of these things are scary, right. But what it takes, it’s courage to overcome the fear. That’s where you won’t have courage, unless you have fear. These things go hand in hand. So the question is, does one choose courage? Instead of backing down and that’s something that, you will never exhibit unless you’re exposed to adversity and things that scare you and you nonetheless step into them.

Sonya Palmer

In some ways, courage can be a choice. It’s not necessarily something that you have or is innate, but it’s something you choose to have.

Genie Harrison

Exactly. I really agree. Courage is a choice and I advocate choosing courage, in circumstances that really. Make sense. I’m not suggesting that one jump off a cliff, without a parachute or without having learned a skill to be able to do, parachute off a cliff. But what I’m saying is that there people can surprise themselves with just how much impact they can have on the outcome of a specific circumstance if they choose courage.

Sonya Palmer

True courage is not reckless. It is honestly evaluating the thing that is hard and often scary and going through with it anyway. Genie’s decision to open her own practice took immense courage. She explains how she knew it was time to strike out on her own.

Genie Harrison

I was tired of being in partnerships where things weren’t configured the way I wanted them to be. I was tired of being the squeaky wheel and saying, this is wrong. I don’t think we should do it this way. I think we should do it that way. And being ignored. When it was clear that I was leaving my last partnership my husband said to me, you have to start your own firm. You can’t keep doing this. And he said, nobody out here is going to give you the opportunity to shine the way that you will on your own. I said, I don’t know how to do that. I’ve never done that. And he said, don’t worry, you can do it. And I’ll help you.

Sonya Palmer

Good husband. Did you have mentors resources, anything that did help you on the way?

Genie Harrison

There were a number of people actually. And so I do think that it takes a community. And I’m not even necessarily talking about financially because nobody helped me financially. I did it financially, but what they helped with was encouraging words and advice about how to run a business and just offering that they would be there. If I, met a true hour of new. And so just knowing that I have people in my corner made a huge difference for me.

Sonya Palmer

Whether or not you ever actually need their help, just the knowledge that you would have it. If that moment came as enough to push it forward.

Genie Harrison

Yeah. It’s absolutely true. And I try to pay that forward and do that on behalf of other people as well. Yeah.

Sonya Palmer

I hear about support systems all the time. And I think that’s a good point to make that it’s not necessarily about always helping or pitching in, but it is just this like person that you know is in your corner.

Genie Harrison

Somebody to call when you’re grappling with an issue. Whether it’s, oh my gosh, I’m signing my first business lease and terrified. Do you think this is going to be okay? Or, I’m really torn about whether or not to take this case or what to do about this specific issue in a case. And it just really helps to have people to call to bounce these things off of. Because I think it really makes a difference to articulate thing. And it’s not a lot of times I find that in saying things out loud to somebody else I’m actually, moving towards my own answer. I just need somebody to talk to about it. .

Sonya Palmer

You represented five women who voted to be part of the Harvey Weinstein settlement. Can you walk us through how you came to represent these women?

Genie Harrison

Yes. So my first client, Sandy Brett Hall was Harvey Weinstein’s former personal assistant. God bless her. And so when the first article came out in the New York Times and people started talking about it, the press started talking about. Sandy called me and she said that she had spoken with a couple of lawyers and that she thought that she was probably going to need to do something about what happened to her. But these other lawyers really said that they didn’t think that she had a case. And I could just tell by the way that she was the way she was. On the phone, not what she said, but the way she was, I could tell that she had serious trauma from working with Harvey Weinstein and I wanted to know more. And I flew up to meet with her the very next day, because I wanted to know more and I could tell that we needed to meet in person. And not only that, I, it really matters to me to make sure that I’m taking care of the human beings. Who come to me for help. And so I got on a plane and we, met the next day. And I will tell you that though, she said certain things to me during that meeting she wasn’t capable of, telling the full story for years.

Sonya Palmer

Wow.

Genie Harrison

And and that’s not for a lack of the effort that I engaged in, or that she engaged in to make it more comfortable, to help her, to share my stories to let her know that I, she had a completely safe space. To talk with me about what was going on. And to let her know that I really understood nor was it from a lack of her trying is just, oftentimes it is the nature of the consequences of the trauma that people have a very hard time actually admitting that certain things happened and it can take years as we know, and for her, it did. And so I am so proud of her in her journey and what she has done, it’s meant so much to me to represent her and then, to have the opportunity to represent the other women, whom of course I met and people who found out about me as a result of the fact that I was representing Sandy so that’s how it came about.

Sonya Palmer

Not every sexual harassment or assault case will see restitution. Can you explain what the litmus test is or the deciding factor that tells a victim that pursuing a case would be worth it.

Genie Harrison

I don’t know that there is a singular answer or a litmus test. I think what happens for most people is that they can no longer tolerate the dissociation that they’re creating internally by ignoring what happened to them or trying to compartmentalize what happened to them or deny what happened to them. Because it doesn’t go away. It’s still there. We took claim to tell ourselves that we’re compartmentalizing, but there are no boxes inside of us. Everything is connected. People who have sexual assault survivors eventually get to the point where.They have to choose to rescue themselves. That’s what it’s really about. because it becomes either about, the perpetrator swallowing them and the disintegration of them as a human being or rescuing themselves. And by rescuing themselves, They have to do it by speaking out, sunlight is the only disinfectant that begin to kill the virus, the contamination from sexual abuse. It’s the only thing that does talking about it is the only thing that makes it better. And it doesn’t fix it doesn’t ever return it to the pre rape or pre sexual harassment life. It just makes it possible to move forward and have a different integrated life. That’s what it does. I share my own story as an example of the fact that, there is a path forward. There is a future that, can be different from the current suffering. It can be much more positive. That’s what I try to do.

Sonya Palmer

Yeah. How do you help these women? What is their course of action?

Genie Harrison

I have a very close working relationship with my clients because it’s very important that they are supported and it’s almost we’re in group therapy together.

Sonya Palmer

I believe that.

Genie Harrison

Yeah. It’s like that. And I think that’s an important part of the course of action. They then have to make the decision, the choice. Do they want to get into litigation? Or do they want to try to, get a piece of the justice pie without engaging in litigation. And that is a very personal choice and that is a choice that, probably earlier in my life, I wasn’t interested in providing to people. I was just interested in going to trial. And, but that’s putting, myself and my own interests ahead of my clients and I’ve learned over time. And I’m very client oriented. So I give them. The choice. I explain, what these two routes are and what we’re going to find along the way and what it’s going to be. Like. I have a very full conversation and as part of trying to help them I’m wanting to do the best I can to help them take back their power through the legal system, which is a very powerful system. And part of taking back their power is giving them their own choice to make, because their choice was taken away from them.

Sonya Palmer

Yes. Excellent.

Genie Harrison

By the abuser and I’m not going to take their choice away from them. I’m going to give them their choice and inform them. So they’re taking back control and taking back their own power. So then they make the decision. Do they want to try to resolve the thing, and get a piece of that justice pie before, without going into litigation or do they want to go into litigation? And if they go into litigation, let’s get ready for what that really means. We assume from the beginning, when we filed the case that we’re going to trial and let me talk to them about what trial means. And then along the way, obviously I’m always there to make sure that they get therapy and and also that they are connected with us in the firm that we’re there taking care of them and helping them along the way. And then I created an app and software backend for lawyers. So an app for clients in the software backend for lawyers to actually help the client monitor record and communicate their ongoing, emotional distress for their non-economic damages. I explained that part of the case, this is what we’re doing. This is what a case was about. And let me help you gather the information and communicate it to me as your lawyer so that we can do our best job to tell your story through the case and hold the perpetrator maximally accountable. That’s what we do.

Sonya Palmer

Let’s talk about Legal Genie. You help so many people but it’s hard to get to everyone who needs a fighter like you. In 2018, you launched Legal Genie, a tech company that creates and produces legal industry-based apps. Can you tell us about the different apps your company has created and who they serve?

Genie Harrison

Yes. I created Damages Genie, And that is an app for clients for plaintiffs to use, to capture and communicate they’re non-economic damages information, their emotional distress and physical pain. And it’s communicated in a way to us as their lawyers. These are attorney client privilege communications. It’s communicated to us in a way that makes it very usable for the lawyer to help respond to discovery to. Prep a client for deposition to help prep for trial testimony potentially assist an expert as well. And so the information is communicated. It’s electronic, it’s organized by date and keywords and there’s a lot on the backend for a lawyer that is very powerful for the emotional distress non-economic damages portion of the case. And I built that from the trial backwards, knowing what we’re going to have to produce and demonstrate to the jury at the trial and the questions that are going to be asked, on the verdict form, the jury instructions that are going to get, and, utilizing keywords and whatnot from medical records, psychological records, all the way, going back to making a very simple user-friendly app for the client to use. But they interact with and they find it very useful. And so other attorneys can utilize that service as well. It’s very inexpensive, just basically a monthly fee for them, paying for their own, space on the encrypted, HIPAA compliance server space through Amazon. And so I don’t have any contact with other attorney’s files, nor do they have contact with mine is completely separate. So that’s one. And then in addition, When the Kavanaugh hearings were happening. my husband and I became very frustrated with hearing like Lindsey Graham, about Christine Ford Lindsay Graham saying since it wasn’t reported to the police and there’s no independent information, verifiable information. We just can’t believe that this possibly happened. Cause what, how in the world can we, we got nothing to point to. And so we said, you know what, we’re going to go ahead and create Incident Genie which it’s a very simple app. Where people who have been victimized by sexual abuse or any kind of incident really can utilize that app to capture information immediately after the incidents happened at geotags you upload, details. Immediately into your like, whatever your iCloud or whatever your system is that you want to keep that information on. Maybe even just, directly on your phone and it doesn’t get reported to anybody else. It is what you have. You have control over the information and you can provide it to the police or whomever else if, and when you choose to do it just helps you capture the information.

Sonya Palmer

That’s incredible. I. I’m an operations person. So that level of innovation is very exciting to me, but how intimidating it is to have to tell another human being a stranger, what has just happened to you and then to attach like legal repercussions by going to the police. And you can tell your phone, like that’s genius, like we tell our phones, everything else. To be able to get your own truth of what happened, not have to recall it or remember it, but to just be presented with the way you recorded it. That’s incredible.

Genie Harrison

Thank you. And I, you can take pictures. They’re all kinds of things that you can do with that, just to capture the information and, no one’s forcing you to do anything with it. It’s just making sure that you’re protecting yourself by having your own independent contemporaneous record of, what you experienced.

Sonya Palmer

Yes. what was different about like building a law firm and then building a tech company?

Genie Harrison

They went hand in hand for me. I just, it started with, realizing that, especially in small firms, we don’t have a whole department of people that can go and just focus on building the emotional distress non-economic damages part of the case. And I thought there has to be a way that we can use technology to make this more efficient, to get the information from the client directly to us. And I started figuring out how to organize that. And then in creating that system, that process gave me ideas about how to further refine automation within my own firm. And like I said, they really feed each other.

Sonya Palmer

That innovation and being willing to adapt technology. I think a lot of the legal industry was forced to do that during the pandemic, but I think the ones that went willingly and are continuing to do so are the ones that are seeing the most success. So pie in the sky, all milestones are reached. Where do you see Legal Genie in the next five years?

Genie Harrison

Wow. Honestly, I really do. I would love to partner with some case management systems out there to provide as many plaintiffs lawyers as possible. And their clients I mean, because this is all about the plaintiff to provide them what I think is a really terrific and powerful tool which is Damages Genie to maximize the outcome of the non-economic damages portion of the case. That’s where I see just tremendous deficit. In the work product, many cases really and where I see the most opportunity for lawyers to really maximize the outcome of the case is to be able to tell the story and I’ve created technology to help lawyers tell the best possible story, which is obviously rooted in the evidence and facts and the truth to collect that for them. Because, I know how to try cases. And I’ve tried to connect the front end to the backend.

Sonya Palmer

The non-economic damages are often the most devastating -and the hardest to quantify. But when a community truly sees a victim and here’s their story, it results in what Genie calls a ‘dignity deposit’.

Genie Harrison

So the dignity deposit is it’s an automatic transfer that happens from a jury when the jury finds for the plaintiff. And it goes directly to the plaintiff and it doesn’t go through a bank account. It doesn’t have anything to do with the money. It’s about the acknowledgement by the members of the community who have sat in judgment over the case and what happened to the plaintiff and said to the plaintiff, with their verdict, we hear you. We see you. What they did was wrong and we’re taking care of you and that’s a dignity deposit and it is one of the most powerful things that I have ever been involved in my life.

Sonya Palmer

Very powerful for victims. Is there a line between disrespect and harassment? And if there is, how can women clearly define between the two or when a law has been violated, How do they know when a law has been broken?

Genie Harrison

Harassment often includes a great deal of disrespect, but harassment that’s unlawful. That violates the law in California is conduct that’s directed at a person. Because of a protected class. So gender, in this case, we’re talking about women. So where women are targeted and they are treated poorly in the work environment. And it really changes the terms and conditions of their employment. It affects their ability to do their job. And it is it’s hostile because they’re a woman. And listen, we’ve all had, a boss or a supervisor who’s just having a bad day and happens to be a jerk that day. But when it’s a person who comes into work every single day and is demeaning and rude to and dismissive of women and is not the same way towards men. Okay, so targets women, that is where it’s crossing the line. It’s obvious too, when there is, when there is a person who’s targeting a woman with regard to, sex in particular, which is about power, right? So when it’s targeting a woman, you look really good. You need to wear. So I like how that looks on you. Oh, let me drop. Oops. I dropped my pen. Can you bend over and get it? And then things that are very explicit, like if you want to keep this job, you need to take care of this. And the whole gamut happens. Right? And a lot of times what happens is that, women call me and they say, I’ve never been through anything like this. I’ve never been treated this way. It is so bad. I have panic attacks when I’m driving to work. I feel like I’m gonna vomit. I cry every day when I get home. These are not normal. like somewhat negative interactions with a coworker or a boss here and there. Now these are systemic problems that are causing a person to suffer on a daily basis. There’s something going on there and we need to figure out is that because of sex?

Sonya Palmer

Yes, It is about power and not about sex. That has been what I have seen the difference between a crude joke or a bad day, and then actual sexual harassment, which is rooted in power. And it does feel very different because it’s dehumanizing. It feels very different. We’re talking about a lot about sexual harassment in the workplace. And I think we can agree that every woman knows a woman or has herself been a victim in some way of dehumanizing behavior while on the job. Is this a problem in the legal industry?

Genie Harrison

For sure. Oh, yeah. Sexual harassment gender discrimination in particular paying women lawyers less than their male counterparts, their male competitors is pretty ubiquitous. so there’s there women lawyers who don’t. The same opportunities to go to trial handle, good cases, bigger cases all kinds of things. It happens all the time.

Sonya Palmer

What can firm owners do to help protect women in the workplace?

Genie Harrison

Yeah. Don’t engage in that behavior. It’s pretty simple. Nobody’s getting sexually harassed at my firm. People get paid based on a pretty, set schedule and whether it’s a man or a woman they’re going to receive the same compensation, given the characteristics that they have, years of practice and these kinds of things.

Sonya Palmer

And then what should a lawyer do, who doesn’t feel like they’re in a position of power or they’re experiencing what they believe to be, sexual harassment? What can they do?

Genie Harrison

A woman, lawyer any person who feels that they’re experiencing sexual harassment or discrimination, first and foremost, you need to keep a log of what’s going on. You need to write it down or dictate it and put it in chronological order. That is super important. Okay. Like one of the most important things you can do, plus if at all possible. Report what’s going on in writing don’t report it verbally orally, report it in writing because eventually, it’s possible that the employer is going to claim that you never reported anything. If it wasn’t in writing. Okay. I’m not being cynical. I’ve just seen a lot, in my career. I know what I know how these things go. If you feel like you can’t report it, like you feel like you’re too scared to report it. Or if you have questions you really need to reach out to a lawyer, not just another person, who’s not a lawyer, but a lawyer who works in this area a lot of times, just this kind of comes full circle with me starting my own firm. And there just being someone there. Or it and help me and encourage me that made all the difference for me. Oftentimes it makes all the difference for a woman who’s going through sexual harassment at work and really needs to report it to actually just have support behind the scenes. From a lawyer who says, this is a real thing what’s happening to you is illegal. It’s unlawful. It shouldn’t be happening. You do need to report it through reporting it. You’re going to help protect other women.

Sonya Palmer

Okay.

Genie Harrison

Because you’re creating a record. Okay. And you’re create, you’re going to force accountability on the employer, especially if they do nothing about your report this time. And they can be held very accountable if it happens again, after there’s been a report and they did nothing, that’s where you really, are working with a punitive damages scenario. You need to do that to take care of yourself and to take care of others. And so oftentimes people feel like that’s the support they needed to be able to step forward and report..

Sonya Palmer

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be?

Genie Harrison

I have I tell you, I have this answer that I used to joke with Amber Phillips, who is the associate with whom I started my firm about. She hated it when I would say this. And I’ll tell you. I don’t know, I got nothing else. It would have to be prostitution because what else would it be? I don’t know why there’s nothing more options. I’d have to be good at being a lawyer. But I think I would find something, but honestly, to me, what that question really is about is what else would you want to do? Okay. If you weren’t doing this, what else would you want to do? And right now, I don’t want to do anything else. This is all I want to do. I don’t want anything else.

Sonya Palmer

When you strive to be the best, you are your only competition. Harnessing that ambition to open her own firm allowed Genie to shine her brightest, removing the barriers to success. Stepping out on her own did not mean building in isolation. Even the toughest fighters require a community of allies to support their vision. Lean into the people in your corner. Even if it is just to say problems out loud and arrive at your own answers. A huge, huge, huge, thank you to Genie for sharing her story and unbelievable insights with us today. You have been listening to LawHer with me, Sonya Palmer. If you found this content insightful, inspiring, or just made you smile, please share this episode with the trailblazers in your life. For more about Genie Harrison, please check out our show notes while you’re there. Please leave us a review or a five star rating. It really goes a long way for others to discover the show. And I will see you next week on LawHer where we’ll shed light on how another of the brightest and boldest women in the legal industry climbed to the top of her field.

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