Welcome to the next installment of MyShingle profile series featuring Mom-Owned Law Firms — where we celebrate mom lawyers who have chosen to own, not loan their talent. Today, we profile Brandy Porter, the owner of the KDH Law Firm in Fairburn, Georgia. Brandy is one of our newest solos — her firm is just 3 months old — and she’s also a mom to four kids. You can view our past profiles here.
Money Quote: It is important to me that my kids see me working hard, succeeding and living out loud.
What is your name? Brandy Porter
Law School attended and year of graduation. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, 2016
Name, location(s) and URL of Law Firm. KDH Law Firm, LLC, Fairburn, Georgia, www.thekdhlaw.com
How long has your firm been in operation? 3 months
Summarize your work experience, if any, prior to opening your firm, both as a lawyer or prior to becoming a lawyer. I was a customer service manager prior to becoming a lawyer, then practiced misdemeanor criminal law, and personal injury law.
Why did you decide to start your own law firm? I wanted to be able to set work hours that allowed the flexibility to spend time with my kids. I also wanted to be in charge of my what types of cases I worked on and to create a brand of myself and work independent of a big law firm. It is important to me that my kids see me working hard, succeeding and living out loud.
What practice areas does your firm concentrate on? Criminal Defense, Personal Injury and Family Law
How large is your firm? 1 person
Do you practice full time or part time? Full time
How many children do you have and what ages are they? 3, 12, 13 and 14
Has becoming a mom influenced your decision to start or continue to operate your own law firm? If so, how? Being a mom is a huge motivator for starting my own law firm. In big law I wasn’t able to attend sporting events or school activities with my children. I definitely want to be able to spend more time with my kids.
What is your marital status? Married
If you are married, what role has your spouse played with respect to your practice and mutual family obligations and conversely, what impact has owning your firm had on your marriage and role as a mom? My husband has been a huge support with my practice. He chooses to stay away from the firm and the business but is great at picking up my slack around the house. He is a great networking partner and he understands when I lock myself into a room to work. He keeps the kids occupied and remembers to feed them when I forget.
What are the pros and cons of law firm ownership as a mom with respect to attaining work-life balance? Pros- 1) I get to set my own schedule which means I’m extremely productive in smaller amounts of time. 2) I work from home so I’m usually home when the kids get home and get to cook and hang out with the kids in the evenings. 3) I am a lot less stressed at the end of the day. 4) No long commutes into the office, so if I have a sick kid I can just zip out and pick them up, get them home and settled and I’m back to work without missing a beat. Cons- 1) I find myself working late nights or early mornings to make up for the daytime hours that I have dedicated to my family. 2) I worry sometimes that I am not dedicating enough time to the family because work is always near. 3) It’s hard to turn the work off, I mean, it’s right in the next room so I can easily slip into Lawyer mode at a moment’s notice.
What are the pros and cons of law firm ownership from a professional standpoint? Pros – I work for myself!! Yay!!! Cons- I work for myself!! (who’s going to pay the bills this month?)
How open are you with colleagues and clients about your family? Do you tell them about your kids? Do you ever use child-related activities as an excuse for changing your schedule, and if so, are you open in sharing those reasons? I try not to use the kids to change scheduled appointments. I am diligent about scheduling around the kids’ schedules and because they know I am working for myself, they understand that once my schedule is set, it likely won’t change.
What was your worst or funniest child-related scheduling mishap? I am pretty good at having an easily accessible backup plan so I haven’t run into this yet. (cross my fingers)
As a mother who owns a law firm, have you ever encountered discrimination from colleagues or judges or been taken less seriously or treated with less respect? How did you respond? I’ve encountered this as a woman lawyer but not because I am a mom.
Would you recommend to other women lawyers who have children to consider starting a law firm – and what advice would you give them? I absolutely would recommend other women mom lawyers consider starting a law firm. The flexibility is freeing. The work life balance relieves so much stress and makes parenting easy and fun again. My only advice is to have some money in the bank before she begins. Money is an awful stressor and will damper the immediate freedom of working for herself.
If you can, share the name of (or if possible recipe for) one of your family’s most reliable, easy go-to recipes: Stouffer’s Lasagna
See more Mom Owned Law Firm Profiles