Christine Keller, Groom’s Executive Principal and the first female to hold the position at the firm, took the time to look back on her two decades of lawyering, the legal landscape for health plans, and cranes!

How do you define success in your career and/or in your daily life?

Success to me means regularly getting outside your comfort zone and continuing to grow as a lawyer and as a person. My legal practice is focused on health plans and other welfare benefits, and as laws and regulations change and innovative products and services develop, I have an opportunity to learn new things and to share what I learn with others. The legal landscape for health plans in particular has changed a lot since 2020—from new rules regarding COVID-19 tests and vaccines to new Surprise Billing regulations, there is a lot to absorb. Success in my practice means learning these areas in depth alongside my Groom colleagues and expanding the number of people I can share this information with (LinkedIn has been great for that during the pandemic). In my daily life, I try to follow routines that help me stay focused on my goals. My most successful days are those involving a mix of work and relaxation.  To relax, I meditate (Headspace app), exercise (I run, do yoga or use my water rower) and make dinner with my family (we love Blue Apron!). I also love to read. I’m currently reading the most recent book in Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series (“Go Tell the Bees I’m Gone”). I have also taken some classes in fiction writing and would love to write a novel some day.

When did you know you wanted to be an attorney?

I was a Business Administration major in college with a minor in Industrial Engineering. My job upon graduating from college was as a sales representative—I sold overhead electric travelling bridge cranes. Those are the cranes that are used in a warehouse or manufacturing facility, and the ones I sold had a capacity of 2-50 tons (Class C). I learned a lot about sales (and cranes!) during the two years I did that, but decided I wanted a job that involved thinking on a daily basis. It was then that I considered my skill set and concluded that since I liked reading and writing and lawyers do a lot of reading and writing, perhaps I would enjoy being a lawyer. Fortunately, that logic played out—I’ve been a lawyer for 26 years and have enjoyed every minute, from my (6) years at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, to my (20!) years at Groom.

If you could go back and give your 16 year old self advice, what would you tell her?

I would tell her the same thing I tell my 13 year old son—enjoy the moment and don’t spend too much time wishing that you were in the next stage of life. It is good to map out where you want to be but more important to appreciate where you are.


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