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Lawyer Karen Jimeno puts order in her court

BEST DRESSED WARRIOR. Sought-after lawyer, writer, TV host, professor and a devoted wife, Atty. Karen’s stellar career is both an inspiration and motivation to a growing number of modern-day weekday warriors.

MANILA, Philippines - I sometimes whine about how being a writer makes it impossible to get fully on board with other things, but when Modern Living TV Season 3 (MLTV) featured Atty. Karen Jimeno — a woman of beauty and substance who gracefully juggles seven jobs — I knew it was time to put my petty case to rest.

Seven, yes, you’ve read that right. Atty. Karen marches on the frontline of a rising movement congregated by weekday warriors like her — strong-willed women who take on multiple roles because they can.

Last Saturday, MLTV summoned the lovely attorney to give its viewers a lesson on efficiency, drive, and commitment. Let the evidence speak for itself, she’s a member of the New York State Bar, junior partner in a reputable law firm, professor in two colleges, newspaper columnist, TV host, and devoted wife — Atty. Karen’s portfolio is already an inspiration on its own.

In awe of her guest’s multi-hyphenated life, host Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi wasted no time and proceeded to interrogating the lawyer. And the first question she raised was probably what every viewer would have asked: What’s a normal day like for Atty. Karen?

Unpredictable is the single word that summed up her response.

“The problem with having so many jobs is that you don’t have a predictable schedule; it’s not like you go to just one office and stay from eight to five,” adding that she keeps on emphasizing the need to set meetings in advance so that she could accommodate everyone.

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“And I say juggling because I balance all my other jobs,” said the stunning multitasker.

When asked how she stays on top of everything, Atty. Karen gave the expected answer, time management.

If it didn’t come from someone who can seamlessly transition from courtroom to showroom, I would have deemed it cliché. But to even think that would be a total injustice, because Atty. Karen is time management personified.

“I don’t really have any idle time. I find myself writing a lot of the columns or drafting legal opinions in the car,” explained the woman whose views in The Star’s Motoring section prove that the best opinions on cars can come from a lady in stilettos. (Your brother’s dream job is Atty. Karen’s reality. Let that sink in.)

Judging by how divine she looks in a one-piece dress, you’d wonder how a time-strapped individual, who confesses to eating a lot while in transit, finds time to workout.

“Usually in between meetings, I go to the gym that’s close to where I live, change quickly then I run [or spend 45 minutes working out], shower again and go to the next destination,” the attorney fondly shared her routine in a tone that would have you convinced that it can be done.

Amazed and inspired, Stephanie had to ask what the unstoppable lawyer does to unwind.

“I go to the spa to take a break, but I bring my laptop when there’s something urgent, then I either get a massage or reflexology.”

“So you’re working while getting reflexology?” Stephanie chuckled in astonishment.

“At least it’s a compromise and better than sitting in an office. You have to make do with your time,” Atty. Karen giggled back.

Aside from working spa sessions, the lawyer revealed that baking is another activity that relaxes her.

“Saturday mornings, when I get home from teaching, is a good time to bake; that’s also the time when my husband is around.”

In most movies, they are often depicted as ice queens — tough, always in control, and cold-hearted. In real life, these achievers, with their exceptional grasp of time management, are usually the ones who can perfectly strike a balance between work and family life. Atty. Karen, who recently became a wife, makes sure she has time for her spouse.

“My husband is also very busy, so if we’re both working late, I end up scheduling dinner meetings as well; if we find a common evening where we both don’t have to work late, we have dinner, or we meet up for dinner then we go back to work.”

Starting this year, Atty. Karen will tour the Philippines to give lectures to deans of law schools across the archipelago; she plans on bringing her better half with her so they could spend more time together.

With so many job descriptions and events to attend to, how does Atty. Karen — who’s always chic and on fleek — deal with fashion?

“I pick dresses that would make my life easier every day because I’m usually rushing in the morning. I can’t afford to stare [at my closet] and analyze what goes with this blouse or skirt; I like one-piece dresses that don’t wrinkle because I also travel a lot.”

Before the fun sit-down wrapped up, Stephanie asked her guest to leave some tips for hardworking cosmopolites like her. Atty. Karen obliged and spoke from experience.

“If you’re a very busy person, it forces you to really manage your time well, and planning ahead really pays. I have a tiny planner that I bring with me everywhere to remind me what I have accomplished this week and what are the things that I have to do but didn’t get to do. It really helps.”

Take it from a super woman who continues to raise the bar in and out of the court — simple but fail-proof beyond any reasonable doubt.

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Catch the latest episodes of Modern Living TV Season 3 every Saturday, 6PM on ANC with replays on Sundays at 10AM.

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