Jon A. Dorf, Head of Dorf Law Firm LLP in Mamaroneck, NY, Balances Work Life and Athletic Pursuits

Climbing the Corporate Ladder—and Mountains

We all talk about work/life balance, but Jon A. Dorf, head of the Dorf Law Firm, LLP, in Mamaroneck, does more than just talk about it. By day, you’ll see him behind his desk, dressed in a well-tailored suit and ready to head into the courtroom. At night and on weekends, though, you can see him zip by on the streets of Westchester, decked out in cycling gear.

“You have to keep a balance between working hard and what makes you happy,” says Dorf, who graduated from Albany Law School in 1990 and decided to launch his own law firm a few years later. Today, it is one of the most successful firms in the county—an 11-attorney operation, handling hundreds of cases a year.

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Juggling both a full workload and out-of-office interests is, of course, work in itself. “Balance doesn’t come through osmosis,” Dorf says. For example, when he decided, in 2002, that he wanted to run the New York City Marathon, he endured six months of intense training. And? “It was everything I had hoped it would be,” he says. “It was exhilarating to run through the streets of the greatest city in the world.” The challenge of putting aside time for those intense training sessions was paid back—and then some—by the accomplishment of finishing the marathon.

Photo by Marilyn S. Goerler

Photo by Marilyn S. Goerler

Dorf didn’t rest on his laurels. The following year, he successfully scaled 14,410-foot-high Mount Rainier. “It was terrific,” he says. He topped himself again in 2005 by completing the New York City Triathlon. In the coming years, he hopes to climb Alaska’s Mount McKinley.

For most people, finding time to go to the gym is enough of a challenge, never mind climbing mountains and running marathons. But, for those who have managed to find that sweet equilibrium between time spent in and out of the office, pursuing outside interests is as essential to healthy living as eating your vegetables. “I would say it’s critically important to live a balanced life,” Dorf says, and, with the next summit in his sites, you know he means it.

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