Terri Pepper is the CEO of TerraLex, a prestigious global network of law firms. Before her role at TerraLex, she held various positions in the legal industry, from strategy and marketing consultant to the head of operations for a national law firm.

Terri is a recognized figure in the legal community, having chaired the Law Firm Marketing Summit and co-chaired the Futures Conference of the College of Law Practice Management. She holds an MBA from the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business, is a fellow in the College of Law Practice Management and is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Outside of her professional commitments, Terri dedicates her time to volunteering during her global travels.

Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow profile.

How has the pandemic changed you?

At the time the pandemic hit I also faced a series of other personal challenges, including a health issue and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis for my mom. I realized that I needed the space and opportunity to truly, once and for all, balance work and life. I also realized that if this was true for me, it was also true for my employees. I decided to follow my energy flow rather than the clock to be productive at work and encouraged my team to do so as well. It was important for me to role model this behavior so that people believed that it was sincere. To this day, this is how we operate – get your work done and meet your goals, but also take time to balance family demands, exercise, relaxation and anything else needed to live your life. Our productivity as a team soared and it has helped with retention of a superb group of professionals who need no micromanagement to get their work done. A real game-changer.

Any advice to women about succeeding in the workplace?

I have so much advice to share because I learned much of this the hard way. In my top three are:

  • Work on resilience and perspective. Learning to not take things personally and to reframe situations so you can deal with them is live changing. I remember a great book that I read many years ago that helped with this called, “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life.” I was also coached and mentored by Dr. Larry Richard, now of LawyerBrain, who helped me understand my tendency towards low resilience and how that was impacting my success. Yoga has also helped me learn to detach.
  • Don’t try to act like someone else – be authentic. Sometimes we feel if we act like someone else we see who is successful then we’ll be successful too. But that only works if it’s authentic. For instance, if you see someone is a great motivational speaker, but that’s not your strength, then find something that is a better fit for you.
  • Be a continuous learner – You must stay relevant and current to be successful as a leader. That means reading, listening, studying, going back to school and doing whatever it takes to help your organization (or yourself) understand and leverage the contemporary opportunities and challenges.

What is a surprising/fun fact about you?

I am a Certified Health Coach and yoga instructor. I use these skills to volunteer around the world. For example, I spent a few weeks in South Africa, working in an impoverished township to teach yoga, meditation and breathwork to people whose lives carry more stress than most of us could ever imagine. In India, a taught a resilience workshop to a transgender support group. In Kenya, a spent a day learning about Food4Education and touring their facilities. They feed 150,000 school children every day. I’ve also recently started Intentional Wellness by Terri and hope to offer coaching and other services when I retire in a few years.