How Lawyers Work: Betsy Spawn Stotler, Health Care Lawyer, Mom & Inner Monologuer

In this week’s edition of How Lawyers Work, we hear from Betsy Spawn Stotler. Betsy is the owner and managing partner of Burgeon Legal and primarily focuses on civil litigation and resolution of complex problems faced by healthcare facilities.

You can find Betsy on LinkedIn.

What’s your elevator pitch?

I help health care providers; solve complex problems, often related to collection; so they focus on care.

What apps or tools are essential to your daily workflow?

I’m not very exciting in this regard. I use a Mac, my iPhone, Outlook and the Lync chat feature, as well as my day planner and a notebook. Also, strong strong coffee and hint water—both keep me going whether I slept three hours or seven.

What does your workspace look like?

I work at a desk in my bedroom that faces a large alcove window overlooking the river (for inspiration). My room has a lock which is essential with kids at home.

How do you keep track of your calendars and deadlines and why are these tools useful?

I have an outlook calendar but I really rely on a pretty flowery, but old school physical planner. I needed to stop doing it only online and have a real piece of paper to look at and scribble on.

What is one thing that you listen to, read, or watch that everyone should, and why?

The New One Minute Manager was a great book that outlines some simple management tips that are actually pretty hard to put into practice but worth working at, and it’s an easy read if you have a stack of books to be read with several started and still unfinished (a habit I can’t break).

What is your favorite local place to network or work solo, and why?

A new brewery by my house, Industry Brewing, is quiet during the day, close and is a good spot for the final end of day stretch of time. But, that is where I WOULD LIKE to be working. In reality, I rarely leave my home office. In the morning it feels like a shot goes off, I start running and go into a time warp, and it’s suddenly the end of the day.

How do you or your team approach problems?

My natural reaction is to worry, and possibly overuse empathy. I remind myself to also use wisdom, and try to process vs. react, and remember sometimes we’ve already put in place solutions that just haven’t run their course in showing results yet. So to avoid redundantly solving the same problem, patience and optimism have to take over.

As a team, we try to remember some problems are going to exist and that’s just a business. We figure out which ones need solving, which ones might go away, and which ones have already been solved and just need a little more elbow grease and think-tanking to fully resolve them. Also, that management and problem solving, in general, can be a process that never ends and just changes form or reacts to the results of the prior problem-solving. And, my candid admission is that we often overthink and over talk problems, and possibly err on the side of over-caution to signs of a problem, and may need to let it go a little sometimes. We’ve been working on reviewing past agendas from eg. a year ago and appreciating the problems we have solved and any progress and achievements.

What are three things you do without fail every day, and why?

Even though in no way does life allow this anymore, I still have a rough time in the morning, and spend a few seconds accepting that it’s time and I need to do this; then, I make almost undrinkable strong coffee and have 2 cups of it (in a Bunn unless I have time to use a press pot); lastly, I make a to-do list so the important things are fresh on a page, and then also a Short List of the must do’s that day.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?

Kelly Hayes at Burgeon Legal

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