Longmont 303-776-9900
Louisville 720-726-3670

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Commentary and Analysis Regarding Colorado Law

PRACTICING IN THE PANDEMIC: Kara Godbehere - Special Counsel, Water Team

The attorneys and staff at Lyons Gaddis continue to soldier on in this tenth month of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated quarantines and work from home arrangements.  We are turning our focus to the future and asking some of our people just why they do what they do, how the past ten months have made them better at what they do, and how they will challenge themselves in 2021.  Their answers continue to reinforce the Core Values of Lyons Gaddis:  Trust | Respect | Community | Excellence

Kara Godbehere, Special Counsel, Water Team

What is your “Why” When it Comes to Practicing Law?

My dad is a farmer.  I grew up in a town of 400 people and I genuinely LOVE farmers and the farming community.  I also have a weird passion about water and always have -- no idea why.  I was especially fascinated in law school to learn about the effort western water users went to in order to successfully farm (ditches 30 miles long?!), when all of the farmers I knew in northeastern Oklahoma don’t irrigate at all. 

I truly enjoy working with rural communities and the long-term planning and acquisition work that goes along with municipal water supply planning. I also truly enjoy litigation prep and negotiation but not enough to do it as much as say, a public defender, so practicing water law is a nice balance.  Before having kids I averaged about a trial a year and that was perfect, particularly given that preparation for water court takes 2-4 months and is pretty intense from an organizational standpoint.

How Has COVID-19 and the Associated Work From Home Culture Made You a Better Lawyer?

I have had to get WAY more organized especially since my husband and I are tag-teaming childcare at the same time.  Whether I like it or not, I now have no choice but to be extremely organized.  I’ve had to get a crash course really quickly in what works for me and what doesn’t.  In the process I’ve learned a lot about myself, what type of learner I am, and what types of systems work for me as I wrestle with organization and time management. 

Having so much on my plate has also made me acutely aware of my priorities -- caring for my kids and my family and how much work I can realistically do before my family (or my own health) suffers.  I was working regularly until two or three in the morning early in the pandemic and it just is not sustainable.  I also think I’m one of the rare people that actually LIKES working from home better – fewer distractions, less time commuting, easier to have dinner on the table at 6 pm vs. 8 pm because I can throw it in the oven at 4 instead of after I pick up kids from daycare and drive home.

How Are You Challenging Yourself in 2021?  

I’m trying to set better boundaries with work and external obligations and prioritize my time better when it’s “work time” vs. “family time.”  I was trying for months at the beginning of the pandemic to just work as much as possible because I was so worried about staying on top of the workload but quickly realized that with all of my work being at home, I was just working all of the time and never really focused on my kids or my family.  I had to start setting better boundaries for when I was willing to work and why, and I think it’s actually made me more productive and less stressed.

I’m looking forward to seeing people face-to-face again.  Until then, I’ll keep balancing precious time with my family and my weird passion for all things water.

Planning with Retirement Assets
COVID-19 Legal Update for 2021

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515 Kimbark Street, Second Floor
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-776-9900 
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950 Spruce Street, Unit 1B
Louisville, CO 80027
Phone: 720-726-3670 
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Fort Collins, CO 80525
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