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Business and the Beach: #inmyMM with Lawyer Cayce Greiner

May 01, 2016 | Filed in: Woman of the Week

Each week, we take a look into the fascinating lives (and closets) of our favorite customers. Here, San Diego-based lawyer Cayce Greiner talks us through her average day, which might start with a morning dip in the Pacific, followed by a client presentation five states away, or an occasional jaunt to the California Supreme Court.

I WORK as special counsel at a law firm called Tyson & Mendes in San Diego. We have offices in four different states, soon to be five. I have a hybrid role—I do a lot of conflict case work, and I also do client services and marketing. If a client is going to get a lot of exposure from a case we’re working on, I’ll step in and help them handle it. I travel a lot to represent the firm to clients, and if a client has a concern, they come to me.

I LIVE in an apartment two blocks from the beach in San Diego. It’s my sanctuary, especially since my travel schedule can be hectic. It’s the first place I’ve ever lived alone, without a roommate or a partner, and I splurged on a king-sized bed all to myself. Sometimes I sleep on it diagonally.

I WEAR a lot of clean lines and color, and my clothes need to be comfortable enough to wear for 12 to 15 hours a day—some of which might be spent on a plane. Business attire in San Diego is definitely more casual than what I wear to visit our East Coast clients. It’s just a more laid-back culture here, and honestly, I’m so grateful that I don’t have to be in a full suit with nylons every day. My boss tends to wear colorful suits and ties, so whenever I’m presenting with him, I’ll wear something bright so that I stand out. Sometimes we discuss our outfits ahead of time, mostly as a joke, to make sure we’re not too coordinated—the first time we presented together, we both wore purple and blue. Fortunately, he’s been wearing a lot of orange lately, which isn’t really in my repertoire. Sometimes I’ll add funky pieces of costume jewelry that my grandmother gave to me. I think color brings a nice energy to a presentation. It wakes you up.

Cayce Greiner

“When I’m traveling, I always pack color. I try not to default to black.” Cayce in the Toi dress in deep sage.

I STARTED OUT not having any idea that I’d become a lawyer. I grew up in Denver—my family moved there from Dallas when I was in middle school—and I studied political science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. During my senior year of college, I interned as a registered lobbyist at the Colorado State Legislature, which got me interested in law as a career path. I applied to law school and wound up going to the University of Hawaii, which seemed crazy at the time. It was a huge leap of faith, but Hawaii wound up being even more amazing than I hoped. I stayed after law school and clerked for a judge there for a year. Looking long term, though, I knew I wanted to be closer to my family in Colorado, and San Diego seemed like a great blend of what I loved about both places.

I began doing clerk-type projects with Tyson & Mendes before I even had my license. I was paired with one of the senior associates at the firm, who was handling a lot of trials at the time, so I got to work on some complex cases pretty quickly, and when I got sworn in I was assigned to his team permanently. Then, in 2014, I moved back to Colorado with my then-fiancé to be closer to my parents. The relationship didn’t work out, and I wasn’t as excited about my new job there as I’d hoped. I had kept in touch with my former boss at Tyson & Mendes, and they had an opening that happened to be a great fit for me. It was tough to leave my family again, but they completely supported my decision to come back to California.

Cayce Greiner

“For days when I’m just in the office, I like to be comfortable.” Cayce wears the Annabel dress in midnight blue.

WHEN I WAS LITTLE, I really wanted to be a model—which is sort of embarrassing, but it’s true. I was in pageants when I was a toddler, and I just loved it. I was the national Tiny Tot of 1988, when I was three. The trophy was taller than I was! My talent was singing, and I remember learning the songs with my mom, and feeling so beautiful onstage. Then I got really into sports when I was five or six, and my attention turned to that instead.

MY WARDROBE is about half workwear, half workout gear. On weekends, I’m usually in workout clothes, whether I’m doing errands or having brunch or actually exercising. I also have a couple of items that I only wear when I’m traveling to New York or other cold-weather cities—a big, heavy peacoat, and hats and scarves. There’s obviously no need for them in San Diego, but I travel so much that I need clothes for every climate.

I DON’T KNOW how to surf. I’ve tried, and it’s pretty comical. But I love being in the water, even when I’m falling on my face. I do open-water swims at the beach with friends on Friday mornings, and it’s one of those pinch-me moments when I’m in the ocean and I’m like, “I can’t believe I get to live this life.”

Cayce Greiner

Presentation-ready: Cayce wears the Davis top in honeydew and the Noho skirt in charcoal.

I AM CONSCIOUS OF not showing skin. I’ve always been pretty conservative in my style, even in high school, when girls wore daisy dukes and crop tops. Now, if my skirt is above my knees, I’ll make sure my shoulders are covered, and if I’m in a sleeveless top I’ll wear pants or a longer skirt. Being a young female in this industry, it’s really important to me that people are listening to what I say instead of paying attention to how I look. It can be hard to be taken seriously sometimes, so I want to stack the cards in my favor. I know a lot of my friends feel the same way.

Cayce Greiner

Cayce’s courtroom outfit: the Williamsburg skirt, the Angelique jardigan, and the Davis top in ink drop.

I ADMIRE my great-grandfather, Morris Cayce Nance—my parents named me after him. He was born in 1895 and went from Mississippi to Texas in an actual covered wagon to start a farm. He adored his wife, my great-grandmother, and they raised three incredibly strong daughters, one of whom is my grandmother. He worked so hard to build a life for his family, and it’s an honor to have his name.

I TREAT MYSELF by going to the beach. It’s my happy place. It’s so decompressing.

MY GO-TO MM PIECE is the Tory dress in olive. I recently wore it to give a speech and meet with clients in Sacramento, and I felt so polished all day.

California Lawyer Cayce Greiner Cayce Greiner

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