Anna B. Cole • 31 • Derry
January 23. 2018 3:50PM
Family: Douglas Cole (husband) and Baby Cole (anticipated on Feb. 22, 2018); Kirsten and Andrew Peterson (parents) and Jennifer Holland, Sarah Peterson, and Elena Peterson (sisters).
High school: Contoocook Valley Regional High School
College/post grad degrees: University of New Hampshire (B.A.); Tulane University Law School (J.D.)
What is the best career advice you ever received?
“Do good work and success will follow.” I have found this to be absolutely true. In the context of the practice of law, the foundation of any successful career is great mentoring in the essential legal skills, as well as mastery of the underlying subject matter. I practice employment and labor law and have dedicated much of my time and effort to developing a comprehensive understanding of the many federal and state laws in my practice area. This hard work has allowed me to provide the most effective counseling and advice to my clients.
Why did you choose your profession?
While it may sound cliché, I decided to become a lawyer when I was a child. One of my grandfathers was a successful attorney and, at least when I saw him, he seemed happy and relaxed. Of course, what the 6-year-old me did not see was all the years of hard work that it took for my grandfather to build the successful career that he was enjoying during my childhood. While the reality of being an attorney is not exactly what I believed it would be when I was young, I have found that it is a good fit for my strengths and that I enjoy working with clients to resolve challenges and develop positive workplace strategies.
What motivates you to give back to your community?
I grew up in New Hampshire in a family that heavily emphasized the value of public service. I have attempted to carry that ethos into my adult life in my volunteer work by championing organizations, such as Child and Family Services, that strive to make New Hampshire a better place for everyone. As an attorney, a large part of my practice involves representing New Hampshire towns, cities, and public school districts. I enjoy and find it very satisfying to support and advise the local government officials and school district administrators with whom I work on a daily basis.
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
I would probably tell my 22-year-old self to lighten up a bit. During the summer before my senior year of college, I had the opportunity to study abroad. Although I had the chance to attend a tennis match at Wimbledon, I passed on it because I did not want to fall behind on my research. Lesson to my younger self — sometimes you just have to take a break and go to Wimbledon. Turns out, one day at a tennis match would not have mattered.
What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?
I love living in New Hampshire because you are only an hour from everything — the mountains, the lakes, the ocean, the city. New Hampshire could make itself more attractive to young professionals by continuing to invest in making downtown Manchester an after-work and weekend destination.
What would you like to be doing when you’re 40?
I genuinely enjoy my work. Therefore, I hope that when I am 40 I will still be providing labor and employment counseling and support to our local communities, school districts, and other public and private employers, and assisting them to develop and implement effective workplace policies and practices. It is not just about complying with the law, but just as much about helping employers to create and maintain positive workplace cultures. On a personal note, however, I am expecting my first child at the end of February and, thus, am about to embark on motherhood. When I am 40, hopefully I will have established a good balance between work and family life, and be in the position to take my 8-year-old to Wimbledon where I can encourage him or her to keep their career choices open.
What was your last major achievement?
Recently assisted one New Hampshire school district settle collective bargaining agreements with three separate unions.
Volunteer activities: Child and Family Services Manchester Regional Board Chair; Coordinator for Drummond Woodsum’s collective contribution to New Hampshire’s Campaign for Legal Services; Webster-Batchelder Inns of Court Executive Board.