East Nasty of the Week: Rachel Schaffer

When this runner had the idea to form a running club for local lawyers, she decided to ask Mark Miller for tips. After she found out that Mark was interested in turning East Nasty into a nonprofit organization, she offered to help him in return for his advice. Fortunately for East Nasty, she kept her promise and helped the club gain nonprofit status last year, which is one of the many reasons why Rachel Schaffer is the newest East Nasty of the Week!

Rachel in action at the Country Music Half

Rachel, who is “SO New York all the time,” was actually born in Richmond, VA, but moved to upstate New York when she was two years old. An only child, Rachel was (and still is) extremely close to her parents and a very large extended family. The family would spend their summers at their cabin in the Adirondacks, a tradition Rachel still looks forward to with a visit each year.

In high school, Rachel was a bit of a band geek, actually, more of an “orch dork,” which is geek speak for orchestra member. Music was such a big part of her high school life that she was in orchestra and the marching band. Her love of music continued into college and influenced her to study music at Northeastern University in Boston, where she earned a degree in Music Industry, and oh by the way, one in Business Administration – she actually triple majored (Music, Marketing and Entrepreneurship) and earned two bachelor’s degrees and graduated summa cum laude. Quite obviously, Rachel is one smart chick.

Rachel knew from the age of fifteen that she wanted to be a lawyer and set her sights on law school (because she needed another degree). She was accepted to Loyola in New Orleans and made the move from up north to down south. Rachel loved New Orleans, but didn’t know what true local love was until she had the opportunity to spend the summer after her second year of law school in Nashville, working for an entertainment lawyer and for Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Greater Nashville. After one week in Nashvegas, Rachel knew she would move here after graduation. Exactly as she predicted, Rachel packed up her car and law degree and headed for Nashville the day after graduation. Two years later, she is still as excited to be here as she was the day she arrived.

Rachel started running after her first year of law school. Feeling like all of the studying, southern food and mardi gras-ing was catching up with her, she decided to get in shape. Her first runs were slow, but she eventually worked up to running 3 miles. It wasn’t until she moved to Nashville that Rachel began adding mileage and became serious about running. She credits Vanderbilt trainer and avid runner Johnny Pryor for “teaching” her how to run and helping her improve her form by running barefoot around the track. The no shoes thing worked, and by the end of her first summer in Nashville, she was running the Percy Warner 5.8, (a favorite route of hers, not mine). She returned to NOLA the next spring to run the Mardi Gras Half with her mom and was hooked on racing.

Remember the running club for lawyers? Yeah, that never happened, because Rachel got sucked into East Nasty before she had a chance to form her own club. Though I have no doubt she would have earned a “Lawyer Nasty of the Week” write up, East Nasty is glad she gave us a try! After helping East Nasty earn nonprofit status, Rachel was asked to join the East Nasty Board of Directors (oh yes, East Nasty is offish enough for a board). Since her involvement in East Nasty, she has run the Country Music Half and the Mardi Gras Half again (and shaved 24 minutes off her original time).

Rachel (far right) as an official East Nasty for Life.

Rachel with Allyson Price, a stick and a well deserved beer after the Mardi Gras Half.

Rachel owns her own law practice in Nashville, Schaffer Law Firm, PLLC. Her practice focuses on entrepreneurs and start-ups, including nonprofits.  Rachel tries to produce a one-stop-shop for small businesses, providing all the legal services they will need in the life of their business under one roof.  She is an entrepreneur who helps entrepreneurs!

In addition to running and keeping East Nasty legal, Rachel enjoys being active through hot yoga, rock climbing, kickball and crocheting. She also enjoys her two cats, Rock and Roll.

This summer, Rachel plans to coach the Potato to Tomato group and train with NRC for the 11-mile Stump Jump. She will begin training for the Huntsville Marathon (her first 26.2) in August. After that, Rachel would like to begin competing in triathlons and ultimately do a full Ironman for her 30th birthday. (I went to Chattanooga for my 30th, so I’m sure it was almost the same experience.)

Be sure to congratulate Rachel on her induction into the East Nasty of the Week blog of fame. Her work is proof that East Nasty Running Club is more than just blood, sweat and beers. It’s a community!

- Erin Burcham Taylor

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10 Responses to East Nasty of the Week: Rachel Schaffer

  1. Jayson says:

    She was there last night at the potato-to-tomato, ensuring we signed our waivers!

  2. Well slap my butt and call me Biscuit! Congrats, Rachel!!

  3. Rashell-Rashell! Congrats on ENOW! You contribute so much to the club and to our community. See you on the roads!

  4. Congrats Rachel! After reading your bio, I feel we are somewhat leading parallel lives! I work for the Arts & Business Council (Vol Lawyers for the Arts), was “sucked in” to east nasty several years ago, have had Johnny Pryor’s awesome coaching when training, and am doing tri’s this summer and the Huntsville Marathon in December! I bet I’ve seen you many a time at wed runs, but hopefully I’ll actually meet you soon :)

  5. Congratulations on ENOW! Cool history and glad the lawyer running group didn’t work out. Sounds like the only thing that hasn’t and that’s really great!

    Wonderful write up too, Erin!

  6. Many Nasties, myself included, have Rachel to thank for getting them out there and running when it would be easy to stay home. You can’t resist her strategy of telling (not asking) you to meet at Shelby at 7am!

  7. Sarah says:

    Congrats Rachel!! Thanks for running with me during training for my first half marathon!

  8. cheytown says:

    mucho deserving! Congrats, ENOW!! Rashell-Rashell is an amazing person. (btw, who’s the hottie next to you in the last picture?? lol). Well done, Rach!

  9. Congrats ENOW! You deserve this nod…and love a couple of us got to get close to ENOWness by sharing a picture with you :)

  10. [...] The group meets in Shelby Park on Mondays at 6pm and Saturdays at 8am. For more details contact Rachel (rachel@schafferlawfirmtn.com) and/or Mike [...]

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