Better APC:
Sam Mazzeo & Olivia Phillips

Better APC | Behind The Mask Inverview

Sam Mazzeo (founder + managing partner) &
Olivia Phillips (attorney) at Better APC

Meet the team of lawyers who help you and your business be better than you were yesterday.


What’s your message to your community?

SAM: We (hopefully) will never have to live through this experience again so be sure that when you look back, you are proud of how you spent this time. But, also, if you need a few nights crushing pints of ice cream on the couch, give yourself that grace, too.

OLIVIA: Times are tough, but so are we. Let’s keep wearing our masks and practicing good hygiene to keep our communities safe, marching and advocating for our neighbors and dismantling systems of oppression, and sharing resources and helping each other out wherever else we can. It might not always be easy or fun work, but it will be worth it.


How can the community best support you?

SAM: Refer folks to us and share what we put out online and on social! We’re working really hard to create free and/or affordable resources to be helpful with the societal and pandemic issues we’re seeing right now.

OLIVIA: We opened our doors at the beginning of March of this year, right before the pandemic hit. We had planned on getting our name out there through in-person events and networking, but those plans shifted! So please just keep us in mind if you or someone you know needs legal help for their business. We offer free 30-minute consultations. And follow us on Instagram or our other social accounts and share what we share!


What has been your creative escape during COVID?

SAM: Our firm is built and thrives on community and in-person events, so it has been a creative thinking exercise to determine how we can best support our communities and use our social as a voice during this time. Going from hugs and handshakes to zooms and livestreams!

OLIVIA: My creative escape during COVID changes pretty much every week! Cooking is my usual creative outlet and probably the one I’m most consistent with (a girl’s gotta eat), but I’ve also broken out my dusty knitting needles, taught myself a few basic embroidery stitches, jumped on the gardening bandwagon, and my next project is to learn how to cut wine bottles into drinking glasses!


What has COVID taught you about connection?

SAM: There truly are different types of connection. I’ve found it incredible how I’ve been able to rekindle friendships and connect with people on a spiritual, personal, professional, and community level digitally. But, at the same time, there is no substitute for in-person, social and touch connection.

OLIVIA: I think it’s taught me what it’s taught a lot of people: FaceTime and text are great, but they’re no substitute for real human connection. I need the in-person experience, like a real fist bump instead of an emoji of one!


What place in your neighborhood are you excited to get back to? Why?

SAM: Every live music venue in SD. I miss live music more than anything else.

OLIVIA: Some of my good friends have a restaurant down the street from my house in North Park, Et Voila French Bistro, and I really can’t wait to get back there. I love sitting at the bar when the big street-facing window is open, chatting with my friends behind the bar and people watching with my family. And obviously, the food and drinks are delish. I don’t even have a go-to meal there because literally everything I try becomes a new favorite.


If you were to write a book about 2020 so far, what would the title be?

SAM: America 2020: We swept it all under the rug, now the rug is on fire.

OLIVIA: Oh this is tough. Even though this has been a really disappointing, hard year so far, I’d probably try to make it a funny read. I enjoy dark comedy, so maybe something along the lines of: “And Just When It Couldn’t Get Any Worse: The Year of COVID, Killer Hornets, and TikTok Dance Challenges.” I don’t know, that’s the working title!


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