Rachel Johnson on becoming a lawyer, being a founder, a mom on her career and practicing self-care

rachel johnson, j&o, ah.mi

Meet Rachel! A mother, attorney, co-founder, managing partner, and CEO... should we go on? We'll let the post do the talking, she does it all. Enjoy!

Rachel! Introduce yourself...

I am a lot of things! Most importantly, I am a mom to two little ones. I am also an attorney and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&O Law - a law firm focused on representing high-growth companies as they scale. I also recently founded ah.mi health - a company all about making healthy choices in a real and approachable way.

As a woman in law, what are your tips for others interested in practicing law?

  1. Focus your first year of law school: I was a complete hermit my first year of law school (my best friends and roommates can attest to this), because I heard from an older law student during orientation that your first-year grades were the only grades that mattered. I did very well my first year, got an internship at a top law firm, and then in my 2 and 3 years I worked at a law firm as a legal assistant and had some fun. :)

  2. Learn from the best - I started in big law and worked for the best lawyers out there. While I was there I knew it wasn’t my forever and always had the goal of starting my own firm, but I am so grateful I did it and got the experience. I built amazing lifelong friendships and big law definitely gave me the confidence to know I could handle anything.

  3. Kill them with kindness. I always come into new situations being amicable. It is in my nature to become friends first, then work out the details.

  4. Take care of yourself. I started really taking care of myself 2 years ago which led me to start ah.mi. Honestly, I don’t know how I was surviving before especially when I was in my first years out of school working crazy long days. You have to prioritize taking care of yourself so you have the energy and brainpower to get you through the days. My two cents: try to be active often (move for 20-30 min every day even its a walk on a conference call); drinks tons of water while you're at your desk; eat lots of fruits and veggies (I always throw fruit in my bag when I leave the house so I have a quick healthy snack to grab); and get a good nights rest (I try to go to bed around 10pm). Of course, not every week is perfect and the nature of our work is that when it rains it pours. I am still known to devour handfuls of starbursts on my busiest days. If one week is a complete disaster, I just try to make sure I reset over the weekend and prioritize getting back into a healthy life the following week. Those month-long funks of not taking care of myself are just not an option for me anymore. I need to feel good so I have the energy to tackle my days and be a happy mom & wife.

You also founded ah.mi – tell us more about it!

Ah.mi was started out of my desire to live a healthy life, but feeling like there was no company out there that was actionable to help get me there and that spoke to me in a realistic and approachable way. ah.mi started with me and a group of my friends committing to get healthy together. After 3 months, we all felt and saw huge changes by incorporating simple habits into our everyday busy lives (consistently being active, drinking water, eating more whole foods). I knew so many other women out there needed something like this. We now have a team of 6 amazing women, plus a Registered Dietitian. Our monthly Le Health Club membership gives members access to our growing collection of over 75 easy, healthy recipes that are real-life approved, weekly nutrition tips, access to nutrition sessions with our R.D. for Q&A, and most importantly a community of other women aiming to live that healthy life so you have that motivation to stick with it. You can find out more and sign up to join here!

What have you learned from your ah.mi community?

There is something so motivating when you commit to getting healthy with a community of other people. It is that extra push that actually helps you stay with it. When members tell me that ah.mi has encouraged them to start to do what they previously thought was unimaginable it makes me so proud of what we are building.

As you know, we're all about community at Diem... how has your community helped you personally or professionally?

My community is everything! Friends, family, coworkers and my amazing network in the legal profession. My Co-Founder, Christina, and our entire team at J&O are so passionate about making connections in our community that we naturally have been able to create an amazing network of people who are constantly supporting J&O. Whether it's people recommending their friends who are building companies to J&O or creating strong relationships with lawyers at other firms who we can call when we need their specific expertise. We have focused on community since the very beginning of J&O and I truly think it has been the key to J&O's success. In our early days, we would host small J&O happy hours at local bars and invite friends and family to help spread the word. We now laugh and cringe about it, but those small gatherings in the beginning helped, and I'm proud that we had the courage to put ourselves out there!

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