Mom-Owned Law Series: Cynthia Batchelder, Towson, Maryland Family Law & Mediation Attorney

Welcome to MyShingle’s series celebrating Woman-Owned and Mom-Owned Law Firms.  This profile features Cynthia Batchelder, a family law attorney in Towson, Maryland. 

What is your name? 

Cynthia A. Batchelder

Law School attended and year of graduation.

University of Baltimore 1995

Name, location(s) and URL of Law Firm.

Batchelder Law & Mediation, LLC in Towson, Maryland

https://www.familylawsettlements.com/

Summarize your work experience, if any, prior to opening your firm. Both as a lawyer or prior to becoming a lawyer.

Prior to starting my own firm, I worked as a family law litigation attorney for other firms in the Baltimore Metropolitan area.

When did you start your firm?

January 3, 2018

Why did you decide to start your own law firm?

I decided to start my own law firm so that I could focus my family law practice on alternative dispute resolution rather than litigation.  My firm’s focus is to help families resolve their family law conflicts by using alternative processes such as mediation and Collaborative Practice.

What was the reaction you received from family, friends, colleagues, law school classmates, judges, etc…when you announced your decision to launch?

I have received nothing but support from people in my life since I am doing what I am passionate about.

What practice areas does your firm concentrate on? 

Family Law, Divorce, Mediation, Collaborative Divorce, Children’s Representation

What size is your firm? 

I am a true solo.

Do you practice full time or part time? 

Full time

What makes your law firm unique and different from any other law firm in the world?

My focus on minimizing the drama that is typical in family law disputes.

How many children do you have and what ages are they? 

Two children: 18 year old son and 15 year old daughter.

Has becoming a mom influenced your decision to start or continue to operate your own law firm? If so, how?

Yes, being a mother has influenced my decision to have complete control over my own schedule so that I can be available to my children when they need me.

If you are married/living in a committed relationship with a partner, 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? 

Having my own firm has improved my ability to be supportive of my family and husband because of the flexibility it allows me.  I am also a happier person, and you know the saying, “happy wife, happy life!”

What are the pros and cons of law firm ownership as a mom with respect to attaining work-life balance?

For me, it is mostly all “pros.”  I love being able to schedule my own cases in a way that allows me to be flexible for our family’s needs.  The only con is that I feel I have to work when on vacation since I am not earning income if I am not working.

What are the pros and cons of law firm ownership from a professional standpoint?

The main adjustment has been weathering the ups and downs of having “busy” times and “slow” times in the business.

In your opinion, has the pandemic changed your colleagues’ attitudes towards parents – particularly moms – in the workforce?

I believe that people are truly seeing what rock stars mothers can be when challenged with something like working from home during a pandemic and supporting their children’s needs at the same time.  

Please share a parenting mishap or embarrassing kid moment that another parent who practices can relate to

Child running into a client meeting and announcing that he needs to use the bathroom.  Thankfully, the client was also a mother and was quite understanding.

Please share a story about an opponent or colleague who grossly underestimated you (whether due to youth, limited experience or just being a woman or parent) or an awesome victory that you achieved

I have always looked younger than I am, and so when I was first practicing in my 20’s I looked like I was a teenager.  At a domestic violence trial, I had an opposing counsel question whether I was an active member of the Bar during a lunch break because he could not believe that I was old enough to be an attorney!

In your view, what role does law firm ownership by mom lawyers play in advancing gender equality in the legal profession?

Law firm ownership allows mom lawyers to excel in the legal profession and have a better work-life balance. 

Let’s pay it forward – share your best advice or most powerful lesson learned with other woman mom lawyers who may be thinking about starting a firm or have started a firm but are going through a rough patch.

Although there will be times when you feel nervous about your decision, you will never regret being your own boss.