We had the good fortune of connecting with Jack Litwak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jack, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Criminal defense work can often be grueling. We spend so much time battling against the government, battling with judges, battling against injustice, and fighting to protect the lives and constitutional rights of our clients, that it can take a toll mentally. It is extremely important to take the time to decompress, no matter what field you are in, but especially if you work in the criminal defense field. It is important to take the time to reset mentally so you can continue the fight with the same passion, aggressiveness, and determination, for each and every client.
Since opening my firm, my work life balance has changed and adapted because not only am I practicing law, I have to run a business. The first year I opened my office I developed a four hour routine to myself in the morning, before I ever get to the office, to help alleviate some of the stress throughout the day. During those four hours I walk the dogs and meditate, eat, workout, and eat again.
Some cases I have worked on have taken a mental and emotional toll on me. I realized that despite my morning routine, I was not taking enough time to myself to reset. Once I came to that realization, I made a conscious effort to avoid working seven days a week or working late every night. I designated specific days that I would leave work by five and established one designated day for a date night with my wife.
I realized that within my business and within the practice of law, stepping away even for a few days to explore new things makes a world of difference. It helps reset us mentally and emotionally. It also allows us to expand as individuals by providing new life experiences that can help further us in the courtroom and at the office. So, I make it a point to travel somewhere every three months.
Work life balance is extremely important to me. I am devoted to my clients, to fighting for constitutional rights and freedoms, but I cannot efficiently do that unless I have a good work life balance. I am always open to adapting as it relates to that balance.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am in the business of fighting for and defending the constitutional rights of people accused of committing crimes. My firm is client and result oriented, rather than volume base. I genuinely care about each client I interact with, I care about their families, and everyone that is affected by their situation in the Criminal system. I take on a limited case role so that I can effectively investigate all factual and trial related issues, and so that I can challenge every constitutional violation. I attribute the success of my firm to the dedication I have to each client, to seeing them as people rather than pay checks.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I enjoy most of the restaurants in central Phoenix, but also love the outdoors. I generally take visitors up to Prescott, Flagstaff, and all over central and downtown Phoenix.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I started off at the Maricopa County Public Defender’s office here in Arizona, where I met some of the most passionate, dedicated, and skilled attorneys who grew to be close friends. I benefited from bouncing ideas, complaining about issues, and having all the support anyone could ask for while working together in the trenches where everything is at stake for indigent clients. While there, I knew that my practice would always be devoted to my clients, to defending them in every way possible, to grow with them as people, and to see them as people rather than pay checks. That mentality, fostered at the Public Defender’s Office, is what I attribute much of my firm’s success to.
In addition to my peers at the Public Defender’s Office, I have always benefited from having great mentors who have been practicing criminal defense for most of their careers. These mentors not only provide general guidance, they reign me in when I am going crazy and help guide me not only in the practice of law but by contributing to the success of my firm.