After graduating law school, Paulter was in a quandary on how to jump-start her legal career with a husband who traveled extensively, and a daughter in daycare. Her solution was to start her own firm, Paulter Law Firm, PLLC. Though starting her own firm has had its scary moments, it has been an invaluable way to remain active in her kids’ lives from the big moments to the small ones.
Quote: “I am often distracted by the job while at home….However, I have the freedom to go on field trips, attend classroom parties, stay home when one is sick, or just take an attitude adjustment day…. Wouldn’t trade that for any amount of money.”
What is your name?
Law School attended and year of graduation.
Barry University- 2012
Name, location(s) and URL of Law Firm.
Paulter Law Firm, Orlando, FL https://paulterlawfirm.com/
How long has your firm been in operation?
Summarize your work experience, if any, prior to opening your firm. Both as a lawyer or prior to becoming a lawyer.
I was a Regional Loss Prevention Director for a major retail chain
Why did you decide to start your own law firm?
Out of neccessity. When I came out of law school I had a 4 year old in daycare and my husband traveled extensivly. Noone wanted to hire a 1st year associate who had to leave the office by 5:00.
What practice areas does your firm concentrate on?
How large is your firm?
Do you practice full time or part time?
How many children do you have and what ages are they? 11 year old boy (Alex) and a 4 year old girl (Elena)
Has becoming a mom influenced your decision to start or continue to operate your own law firm? If so, how?
What is your marital status?
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?
It has effected our marriage. My husband doesn’t understand the daily pressures that come with being an attorney or running a business.
What are the pros and cons of law firm ownership as a mom with respect to attaining work-life balance?
I am often distracted by the job while at home. I have had to train myself to not check emails because it only takes one email to alter my mood. Suddenly I’m snapping at my kids and being angry with them instead of the person who sent the email. However, I have the freedom to go on field trips, attend class room parties, stay home when one is sick, or just take an attitude adjustment day at the local themeparks when the pressures are too much. Wouldn’t trade that for any amount of money.
What are the pros and cons of law firm ownership from a professional standpoint?
It can be scary and lonely.
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 rarely use child related activities as an excuse for changing my schedule. I feel like “mom” are already seen as less professional and garner less respect from male attorneys and childless colleagues. I don’t want to play into that stereotype.
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 have not (to my knowledge).
Would you recommend to other women lawyers who have children to consider starting a law firm – and what advice would you give them?
YES! As stressful as it is at times, I can bring my kids to the office during breaks, attend school functions, and be more active in their lives.
You can find more Mom Owned Law Firm Interviews by clicking here.