We had the good fortune of connecting with Juliet Burgess and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Juliet, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
A wise and successful friend recommended “Brave, Not Perfect” by Reshma Saujani to me. This book encourages society to raise women to take chances and make authentic choices; without being afraid to fail, let others down, or stray from the norm, and that really resonated with me. I think empowered women have the courage to make bold decisions, bet on themselves and take action to make their wildest dreams a reality. I read this book as I was building Burgess Employment Law (which evolved into the Burgess Law Group) and found it poignant and inspiring.
Practically, as an employment lawyer, small business owner, parent, and community activist there are times where I need to find creative solutions to daunting tasks. Having the confidence to say, “let’s think about how we might be able to accomplish that” instead of “no” (because the solution may be somewhat complex or there is a high risk of failure) has been critical to my success.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Burgess Law Group is a boutique law firm providing specialized legal advice on all types of corporate restructuring, commercial bankruptcy, loan enforcement and labor & employment law matters. We work with businesses of all sizes and in various industries to tackle daily and large-scale issues in a timely and cost-effective manner. We recognize the value in problem solving and thinking strategically to find creative solutions and realistic resolutions to legal issues.
For example, we provide strategic and collaborative counsel to our clients on all types of pertinent workplace issues such as discrimination and retaliation, sexual harassment, hiring and termination procedures, social media policies, wage and hour issues, Family and Medical Leave Act, paid time off and paid sick time, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, and other sensitive workplace issues, not only from a legal standpoint; but also, a human standpoint. We also provide legal seminars on poignant employment law topics, conduct workplace investigations and lead in-house trainings on diversity awareness and harassment and discrimination avoidance in the workplace.
From inception, The Burgess Law Group has grown with our clients, the lawyers we collaborate with and the greater Phoenix business community. I think the Burgess Law Group has succeeded because we help our clients, many who operate niche businesses, create modern work environments that match their unique cultures and personalities. From early projects initiated by Arizona’s change in the employer paid sick time requirements, to the more recent challenges employers face from the COVID-19 pandemic, we stay focused on communicating the most comprehensive and current legal advice possible to enable our clients to successfully address the issues facing their own businesses.
Most recently, we expanded the firm to add four additional partners from large national firms: Todd Burgess, Alexandra Gill, Janel Glynn, Lindsi Weber. Todd Burgess is one of the most preeminent commercial bankruptcy attorneys in Arizona. Since 1998, he has practiced exclusively in the areas of commercial bankruptcy, creditors rights, loan enforcement, and financial restructuring work. Todd has been recognized as a top Business Bankruptcy Attorney by Southwest Super Lawyers® and by The Best Lawyers in America© for his work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law. Both, Janel Glynn and Lindsi Weber bring over a decade of experience working with Chapter 11 debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, official committees of unsecured creditors, and successfully handling all aspects of bankruptcy litigation matters.
We’re also enhancing our leading role in the employment law space with the addition of another senior labor and employment attorney, Alexandra Gill. As the firm continues to grow, I cannot thank our clients and colleagues enough, for trusting in and partnering with The Burgess Law Group as we continue to innovate and tackle complex legal issues.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Phoenix is one of the most dynamic metropolitan areas in the country and we are shaping the business community together from the ground up. One of the things I love most about our city is that it is filled with entrepreneurs and artists bringing fresh and creative ideas to our community. I’d love to take anyone visiting Phoenix to see some of the unique natural places near the valley (Camelback Mountain, Sedona and the Desert Botanical Garden) as well as to some of my favorite local businesses in town (Urbana, Mae & Marie, and Silver & Sage Jewelry to name a few)!
We could grab a Havana latte at La Grande Orange in Arcadia, visit the farmers market in oldtown Scottsdale, and then check out the Phoenix Art Museum’s Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich exhibit. I’m also proud to serve on the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library and would love to show off the iconic architecture of the Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix. Perhaps on our way back we could swing by the newly expanded Burgess Law Group offices at 32nd/Camelback to see how we’ve grown, and finish with happy hour at the Jade Bar at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa in Paradise Valley.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I was fortunate to be raised in a family that valued education, differing perspectives and kindness. As the daughter of two special education teachers, my parents filled my childhood with genuine unique experiences and taught me grit, grace and many other core values that have made me successful in life. For example, I was a competitive rhythmic gymnast growing up. After a particularly difficult competition, my dad said, “Jules, keep working hard and your time will come.” He was right. I worked harder than anyone in my gym and eventually I won many gold medals at the state, regional and national level. Following that advice in the practice of law and life has served me well. I firmly believe that no matter what your goal is, believing in yourself, working hard, and staying focused on your long term goals, will always help you succeed.
Professionally, collaborating with colleagues and the greater Phoenix community inspires me to be my personal best. To formalize my burgeoning network and harness its energy, in 2020 I co-founded The Aggregate, an organization designed to bring women in law and business together in modern and constructive ways. I adhere to the belief the sum is greater than individual parts and know we can accomplish more when we partner together than we can individually. Within the first year of the organization, and particularly during the pandemic, we learned that the need to connect, educate, and inspire one another is universal, which reaffirmed the importance of building a supportive and genuine community.
On this note, I am proud to share that the Aggregate has expanded beyond its 50 prominent founding attorneys to include business women in various industries, community leaders and women throughout the valley looking to support, connect and inspire one another. Additionally, The Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at ASU became an institutional member and our inaugural “Stronger Together” Event, which featured a book talk, fashion show, and exclusive networking opportunities, held on April 23, 2021, immediately sold out to 160 high profile members of the Phoenix business community.
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