Hi, my name is Crista Haynes and I’m a lady and a lawyer. I try to represent both as best as possible. I decided to go to law school after graduating from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in Criminal Justice. I chose Criminal Justice as my major because I liked the underlying education about the law. However, I knew I did not want to be a police officer or a probation officer, both of which are options for Criminal Justice majors. So, the only reasonable thing to do was to sign up for the LSAT and see what happened.
I studied for the LSAT while working full time and enjoying life full time, for goodness sake I was 21 years old and living life to its fullest in Long Beach. I took the test and received a respectable score so I decided to go to law school. I uprooted my life again and moved to the Inland Empire to be closer to school. Moving closer to school allowed me to get involved in activities which helped me appreciate the journey that law school is; it also kept me sane. I got involved with the Society of Legal Studies in Business and the Journal of Law, Business & Ethics. I also befriended several of my law professors, whom I now consider family.
After finishing law school and attacking the bar exam, as if I could never endure that kind of stress again, I began thinking about what kind of life I wanted for myself that would allow me to continue living and enjoying life. I didn’t want to end up at some big law firm slaving away for hours on end never seeing the inside of a courtroom, always passing up my vacation because I wanted to become partner in five years; but I did want the opportunity to make big law firm money. I didn’t want to go to work for the government; I already decided against that option when I went to law school in the first place. So I thought to myself what route would enable me to live the life I’ve always envisioned for myself? Opening my own firm and being my own boss.
So that’s what I did. After swearing into the California Bar on December 1, 2011, I talked to Taylor, my current partner, and we decided to take the journey together. We both had the same ideas for what we wanted out of life and out of work. We want to work extremely hard when we are at work so that when we take time out to do the things we love. We can really experience those things without the stress of an overbearing partner. I can work 20 solid days a month; however, I want to spread the workdays around my crazy schedule and take time to go snowboarding, to go to the river or on a hike, or to be spend time with those that I love. I couldn’t have imagined a better life plan, and this is the story of how it all plays out as we build our law firm.
Just a little humor… Why won’t sharks attack lawyers? Professional courtesy.