Reagan Riddle, partner and board certified family lawyer with Armstrong Divorce and Family Law in Dallas, is our guest on this week's show! Reagan talks about starting your own firm, finding a mentor, and how to not take losses personally.Her firm/practice:Started the new firm with partner Rebecca A
Upload Date: Jul 05, 2021
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Reagan Riddle, partner and board certified family lawyer with Armstrong Divorce and Family Law in Dallas, is our guest on this week's show! Reagan talks about starting your own firm, finding a mentor, and how to not take losses personally.Her firm/practice:Started the new firm with partner Rebecca Armstrong two years agoAll family lawWanted to create a different environment for employees and utilize technologyCurrently all female law firmDo things like bring in masseuses to give massages to everyone after a big trialModeled their firm almost more like a tech firmClient-focusedGotta have both the business-owner hat and the lawyer hat on all the timeIf you are thinking about starting your own firm, you should do it!Good to have a friend to do it with so you can ask each other questions, split the admin work, etc.Family law hasn't slowed down over the past year; and things are even busier nowCourts did a pretty good job of clearing dockets using Zoom/Teams/etc.saved clients moneyhoping this continues post-pandemicthough nothing is settling right nowDad's groups were pushing for the family code to switch to an equal possession schedule as the presumption for what was best for the child (HB 803 - died in committee)Advice for lawyers in practice:Find a mentorhelps you grow your own ability/skillshave someone to bounce ideas off ofgreat to have an outside perspectivekey to have someone within your firm, though you could also have someone outside your firmJump in when given an opportunity, even if you don't feel readyDon't take it personal when you don't get everything you want at trial or you feel like you've lost; you don't get to pick your facts and you have to try your best to put those in front of the court in the most effective waySometimes the judge won't agree, and there isn't anything you can do about itShe used to come home feeling defeated in those circumstances, but doesn't anymore and you shouldn't either!(Reminds Daniel of the James Howard episode when we talked about this)Show a desire to learn, get better, and grow; be hungryGet involved in the community/charities/etc.Can't get sucked into all of the emotion of the client; you have some level of empathy, but can't feel as though everything is happening to you. You can't help them if you are in the same emotional level as they are.Advice for lawyers lateralingdemonstrating experience in the areabouncing around from firm to firm is a red flagthis could me more of a family law issue; it makes them think you just don't like family lawyou have to be personable and communicative; lots of time on the phone with clients and opposing counsel; can't be too shy/quietagain this may be more family law-specificFinal thoughtsDon't miss out on the fun/joy of being an attorneyThe opposing attorney is not an enemy; you will likely see them on multiple cases, at bar events, etc. so build/maintain those relationshipsRapid Fire QuestionsTrait or characteristic you most want to see in an associate: eagerness to learn and participate / proactiveWhat habit has been key to your success: being good with people; talking/understandingFavorite app/productivity tool: RemarkableThe first entry on the interest section of your resume: New mom so none! / Food (Go check out The Charles in Dallas!)Favorite legal movie: The RainmakerThanks again to Reagan Riddle for joining us on this week's show!