Susan Wetzel in Dallas Business Journal: ‘In Her Own Words:’ Living in the Age of Coronavirus

05/08/2020

Even a pandemic is different for working women. The lines between personal and professional physically blur when working from home, often with a spouse, parent, child, pet or all of the above. Susan Wetzel is a partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP, who serves as chair of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group. Her community work is almost as demanding, as she is a board member of the Dallas Women Lawyers Association (DWLA), DWLA Foundation, and American Heart Association, Dallas Division Board of Directors — all of which her family is witnessing first hand as their home becomes her office.

As a practice group leader at one of the largest law firms in the country, I am no stranger to working long hours or while traveling or from home. However, none of my prior experiences could have prepared me for practicing law during this quarantine. My days at home tend to blur together like scenes from "Groundhog Day," with little difference between weekday and weekend. Nonetheless circumnavigating the COVID-19 crisis has been an enlightening experience in some very surprising ways. Mostly, it has shown me how resilient my family, community and colleagues are and how much we support and lean on each other.

To give you a little insight into the past seven weeks, we began our quarantine the night before we were to leave for a much-anticipated trip to Walt Disney World. As we debated whether to cancel the trip, the decision was made for us when the parks announced they were closing due to COVID-19.

Initially, we hoped we could have a fun “staycation” (I even found a wonderful cocktail with the same name to enjoy during our time at home). I dreamed of getting our house organized, dining at new restaurants and exploring Dallas as if we were tourists. On Monday morning of our “spring break,” it became apparent that this was not going to be the staycation I had envisioned, as my clients starting emailing with questions about how to navigate employee issues caused by COVID-19 and daily COVID-19 briefings dominated the news.

Excerpted from the Bizwomen section of the Dallas Business Journal. To read the full article, click here.

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