Attorney at Law Magazine First Coast sat down with Katie Johnson to discuss her career in the latest Rising Star interview.
AALM: How would you describe your practice? What is your main area of law? What drew you to that practice?
KJ: For nearly my entire legal career, my law practice has focused exclusively on family law and representing clients through complicated divorce, alimony and child custody cases. Typically, when I am involved, there are certain needs in the case like confronting a difficult or intimidating person, an important long-term support claim, business valuation or asset tracing issue, or a serious issue involving the safety and wellbeing of children.
AALM: Do you have any mentors or professors that encourage you?
KJ: Yes, I feel fortunate to have gained invaluable experience from working with long-time mentors and family law pioneers Barry and Elliot Zisser. I appreciate that Elliot and Barry, as well as the other lawyers in my firm, share in the excitement of my accomplishments and offer support and guidance through the more challenging times. In addition, my brother, Christopher Bruce, who is a marital and family law lawyer in South Florida, has had a profound impact on my legal career. He is the reason I decided to go to law school, and ever since, he has continued to help guide my career and build my practice in family law.
AALM: What do you find particularly rewarding about being an attorney?
KJ: In family law, my role is often more than a lawyer assessing and advising a client on their legal rights. The cases I handle are exceptionally challenging on many fronts, and I strive to take on these cases because I know my clients (and their children) will have a dramatically improved and transformed life once the divorce is over. It is rewarding to know I am responsible for helping my clients achieve this type of life transformation—it motivates me each day to continue dedicating myself to my clients and law practice.
AALM: What do you find particularly challenging about your practice? How to you overcome these challenges?
KJ: While rewarding, it can also be quite difficult to go through such a dramatic life event with your client. Sometimes, I am expected to immediately “fix” all the problems that have been building for years.
AALM: What drew you to your current firm? How would you describe the culture there? How would you describe your role within the firm?
KJ: Simply stated, Zisser Family Law has a long-standing reputation for excellence and professionalism in the legal community. During law school, one of my adjunct professors told me Zisser Law was the best family law firm in North Florida, and I wanted to be part of the firm ever since. I was asked to join in 2015 and feel grateful I have the opportunity to carry on and contribute to the firm’s reputation and service in our community.
AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies? Sports?
KJ: Being that I devote a substantial amount of time to my practice, I cherish all time spent with my growing family, which includes my husband, our 2-year-old daughter, and another baby girl on the way in December 2020! Outside of spending time with family, my interests include exercising, fashion, and anything outdoors, especially involving sunshine and saltwater.
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?
KJ: It is a goal of mine to become board certified in marital and family law, and I plan to sit for the exam in March 2021. On a personal level, I strive to be the best version of myself as a wife and mother to my family every day.