The Legacy of Transitions Legal

The Legacy of Transitions Legal

The Legacy of Transitions Legal

Despite the craziness of the past two years, I’m proud of how Transitions Legal has grown!

When I created this firm in 2013, I did not anticipate anything beyond being a solo practitioner. I figured I’d do the grind, day in and day out.

For several years, I had more than enough work to keep myself busy, but I didn’t know how to bring on somebody else. There were so many responsibilities involved with hiring and employing a team. It took some trial and error to figure it out, and I am now walking that line between practicing law and managing a firm.

The talented team of Transitions Legal law firm

In the early days of Transitions Legal, I did not envision what I have today. I’ve had to shift to thinking about, “Wow, I could be managing a firm!”

With the strategic marketing and branding that I engaged in, in close collaboration with my marketing consultant, Lynne Golodner, the firm grew rapidly. More cases came in, more than I could handle alone, and it became clear early on that I’d need help managing the workload.

Alisa Peskin-Shepherd, Transitions Legal

Today, I have a talented team that includes Zoe Fields, legal assistant and office manager, and Sara Gorman Rajan, associate attorney. Truth be told, I could probably hire another attorney if I had room in the office, but there is none.

My history as a lawyer began in the normal way that attorneys start practicing. I joined a firm and worked hard. I rose in the ranks. And then I faced a choice: I could go into practice with others and create something new, or I could climb the ladder in a large firm and eventually step into a managerial role there, or become partner, or both.

Long before I ever imagined Transitions Legal, I went into practice with two other attorneys who already had a firm established. I thought we’d gel into a small firm, but it did not happen quite how I imagined. We basically all practiced law on our own as solo practitioners sharing office space and overhead expenses.

There was no shared mission or values. We did not build a firm culture. We knew that we were partners, but we were not a firm.

And so I made the decision to start a firm of my own.

With steady marketing and consistent branding, and the courage to be different and imagine a new way of practicing family law, Transitions Legal has become known in the legal community and in southeast Michigan.

If I take a moment to step back from all the busy-ness, it’s pretty incredible. I’ve talked to other solo practitioners, and they say, “Wow, what you’ve built is really amazing.” I have to take the time to appreciate what I’ve built and give myself credit.

Transitions Legal is in an interesting phase. We are a true firm, growing, expanding, combining talents and perspectives. I am learning to delegate. With no female mentors to turn to and say, “How did you do this?”, I am writing a new chapter, telling a story that has not yet been told.

Despite all the turmoil that came with the COVID pandemic, my firm has grown significantly over the last two years. Finding and training a great legal assistant has freed me to focus on developing my practice. Now that I’ve added people to the team, the challenge is to make sure my mission and values are carried forward by the people working for me.

Ultimately, I hope to set an example of a woman leading a law firm. I want to be the role model I never had, for younger attorneys. I know all that they have ahead, the challenges they will face.

I’d like to be a reference for younger women attorneys coming up, to see how it can be done, to imagine a new and creative way of practicing family law.

I am setting an example for other attorneys in the field that even if you want to be small, you don’t have to be a solo practitioner. You can still grow. You can carve out a niche and be known for it.

When clients come to Transitions Legal, they walk in the door and feel a level of comfort, trust and compassion. This is a place where it’s not all about a transaction; it’s about a transformation.

Alisa Peskin-Shepherd and Transitions Legal Marketing Consultant Lynne Golodner kayaking during summer 2021

Alisa Peskin-Shepherd and Transitions Legal Marketing Consultant Lynne Golodner kayaking during summer 2021

My message is that family law and divorce can come with compassion, resolution and dignity, and always, respect.

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An Homage to Ruth Bader Ginsburg: the importance of women on the Supreme Court

An Homage to Ruth Bader Ginsburg: the importance of women on the Supreme Court

An Homage to Ruth Bader Ginsburg: the importance of women on the Supreme Court


When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last year, we lost a true legal leader. She sat on the federal bench for 25 years and in 1993, became the second woman ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Throughout her career, RBG as she was affectionately known, advocated for gender equality, women’s interests and civil rights. She was truly a pioneer.

A founder of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, she once said, “Women’s rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy.”

But RBG wasn’t just an advocate for women’s rights. She was an advocate for the rights of all people, and it is through that lens that her legacy is perhaps most powerful.

One of her early landmark cases was actually on behalf of a father who was denied Social Security survivor benefits after his wife died. She argued that gender distinctions were inherently unfair – in both directions – and successfully changed the law’s interpretation of and application to gender roles within families.

By being a strong voice, following her instincts and believing that she could contribute something that was missing from the legal sphere, RBG became an American icon. But why does that mean we need women on the Supreme Court?

It’s an easy question and one that many Americans may not relate to, as it feels so far from our daily lives. But it is crucial to understand how trailblazing women change the way our daily lives can be, when they dare to speak up, speak out and stand up for equal access and rights for women.

Women justices, chief justices and majority opinion authors in our nation’s courts can build large coalitions and share different, needed perspectives on legal issues. Studies reveal that women often foster more collaborative, cooperative environments than men. In a judicial context, this leads to greater consensus and moderation.

Justice Ginsburg wanted more women on our nation’s highest Court. In 2015, she spoke at Georgetown University and said she would not be satisfied until the Supreme Court featured nine female justices. She explained that no one questioned when nine men sat on the court. That answer emboldened Americans.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Legal scholars say that women bring different perspectives to court conversations. Although women were considered for the Supreme Court as early as 1930, it took until 1981 when Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to fill a Supreme Court seat. She was the only one until RBG joined her in 1993.

It’s not specifically “female” things that women bring to legal considerations. It’s the difference of voice and perspective and their unique experiences that need to influence decisions affecting the entire nation.

It shouldn’t be a question as to what gender decides law. If all people are bound by the law, then all people should have a voice in determining the details of that law. It seems pretty simple to me!

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