Meet HCBA Member. . . Rachael Hafdahl

by Nick Hansen | Dec 18, 2018
Rachael Hafdahl has always relished being a part of where decisions are made. “I always liked having a say in the events that happened,” she said.  Growing up playing sports, including lacrosse in college, she also enjoyed being part of a team and having a sense of community. However, that changed after graduating from college. “I spent my entire life being part of a team, spending all day, every day with my teammates who became my family. And then it just dropped off very quickly when I graduated college and went to law school,” she said.  After law school, she sought a renewed sense of community, which led her to the HCBA.

As co-social director for the HCBA New Lawyers Section, she’s taken a role in creating a sense of community for new lawyers. Participating in section activities helped her develop her network. “Connecting with other members outside of our formal meetings has been great. I've formed some really good relationships,” she said. “Having those friendships with other new lawyers in the HCBA really helped me through my first two years of practice and helped strengthen my bond with the rest of the section,” she said. That bond helped Hafdahl find her dream job.

Hafdahl currently works as in-house counsel at Life Time, Inc. The opportunity came to her through networking within the HCBA. Hafdahl befriended current NLS Chair Stephanie Willing, who introduced Hafdahl to another colleague, who had Life Time as a client. When that position opened at Life Time, he recommended her for the job. “I would have never known about the job opening or gotten that recommendation if I hadn’t first befriended Stephanie through the HCBA,” she said.

Working in-house challenges Hafdahl in unique ways. “I love proactively working with the business to develop best practices and procedures, so that we can prevent issues from happening as opposed to reacting to them on the other end,” she said.

When asked of what she wished she’d known before she started practicing, Hafdahl reflected on her time in law school and stated that she wished she’d followed her passions sooner. “I feel like I didn't really explore all of the areas I wanted to in law school because they conflicted with what I thought were obligatory classes I needed to take,” she said.  If she could go back, she would have more fun with her classes and leave the nuts and bolts of the bar exam to her bar prep course.

While Hafdahl may not be playing team sports anymore, she’s happy to have found a similar outlet in her professional life. “I've found that joining the HCBA gave me that community I was looking for.”