Over the ten years that I’ve been a female...
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.
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.
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
My message is that family law and divorce can come with compassion, resolution and dignity, and always, respect.
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