When law partners Cathy Fawcett and Nathalie Godbout joined forces to create Godbout Fawcett, they wanted to build a different kind of law firm, a firm focused on the holistic personal experience of clients and one that supports fellow female professionals.
And with a different kind of law firm comes a different kind of office.
We paid a visit to Godbout Fawcett’s uptown Saint John office on Hazen Street to talk to Fawcett about how she makes her office in the renovated apartment building her own:
Where is your workspace?
We are in a building that is about 200 years old. It’s what’s referred to as a brownstone. It was a three-unit apartment building that we renovated and repurposed most of it for a four-person law firm.
Did you put time or effort into making your workspace and office what it is?
I think most of the things that are in my office now have followed me throughout my career. Little things that mean a lot to me that I like to look at every day. It could be a little trinket on my desk or a painting on the wall that’s valuable really only to me, but follows me wherever I go.
Can your describe some of the work that you do here?
We do civil litigation almost exclusively. With administrative law, we represent professionals primarily through any difficulty they may be having that we can be of assistance with.
In my own office, this is my space. It can be whatever I want it to be, really. So I don’t see my clients in my office. This is just where I do the work, make the phone calls and send the emails and send the paperwork, but the clients we see only in the boardroom.
What are some of the things you surround yourself with that keep you productive?
I like things that make me smile and reduce stress. So I have paintings that my kids have done for me or things that will evoke a happy memory of some place that I’ve been or something that I’ve done or just something that makes me smile like my googly eyed elephant.
Is there anything you can’t have around when you’re working?
Crappy pens. There’s no time in my life for a crappy pen.
What inspired you to have a workspace like this?
We wanted something really unique to us. When we were looking for space, there were a lot of beige walls, grey carpet office space around and that just doesn’t reflect who we are. We wanted something that was a little more colourful, a little more interesting and just made me feel comfortable and not more stressed.
What would you say is the most important thing on your desk?
Probably my phone … and my coffee. There aren’t many times a day that there isn’t a coffee going on my desk. Everything else is really just paper. Different paper for different reasons and you can collaborate with all kinds of things, but the steadies are a good pen, the electronics to get the work done and the coffee.