Building Trust with Jennifer Novak

In this episode, Alay and Jennifer discuss: 

  • Environmental law as a practice area.
  • Creating your perfect law firm and building a successful business. 
  • Challenges to overcome in building a successful law firm. 
  • Proactive and educational marketing. 


Key Takeaways: 

  • There are ways to communicate your value without it being only about the money.
  • Let people know what you do and why it is important. Many people may not realize how you can help them if they don’t understand what you do in your area of law. 
  • If you work with an industry with environmental concerns, you should also work with an environmental lawyer to protect them as much as possible. 
  • Think outside the box about issues that might affect your clients, even if they aren’t bringing those issues to you directly. 

Tweetable Moments:

  • “The trick really has been to explain to people what environmental law is, why people need to be thinking about it, why it’s good business to have some foresight, and how we can better serve our clients if we understand where the consequences might be of taking action or inaction today.” —  Jennifer Novak
  • “For lawyers, we need to get out of our silos. We need to be thinking about the fact that the advice we give our clients really could be of a higher quality and have more service to them if we’re making them aware of issues that they may not be thinking about.” —  Jennifer Novak
  • “Stories sell. Whether you’re a litigation or transaction attorney, stories sell.” —  Alay Yajnik


About Jennifer Novak:

Jennifer F. Novak is a second-generation female California attorney, who has been practicing law for almost 30 years.  Since 2013, she has been the principal of an all-female, all-environmental law firm, helping good people who find themselves in bad situations given the complexities of California law.  She’s helped a wide variety of people, from international and Fortune 500 companies to developers, to farmers, to small family businesses, and everything in between.  Whether people know it or not, we’re all affected by environmental regulation.  And sometimes those regulations trap the unwary, especially with family businesses that may have problems with contamination and need help with investigations, remediation, government enforcement, or litigation.  

In her spare time, Jennifer has served as the Chair of the California Lawyers Association’s Environmental Law Section, on numerous non-profit boards, including the California YMCA Youth & Government Program, and is an active community volunteer.


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