This week in Things I Wish I Knew, Joleena Louis makes the difficult decision to delay starting a family to focus on growing her solo law practice.
While a wedding anniversary should be an exciting topic, I dread discussing it with others because they will inevitably ask that annoying question: “when are you going to have a baby?”
The question in itself is not the problem, the real issue is the look on their faces when I say I am focusing on my solo law practice right now: Pure judgment.
I’m Not Ready For Children Yet
Lack of desire for children is certainly not the case; having a baby is something I am looking forward to for the future, but right now, I’m just not ready to take that step.
My husband agrees with me and understands my viewpoint. We want to be financially secure, and we certainly have to be ready to move out of our one bedroom apartment. Right now, I am working on keeping the momentum going with my law practice.
My client base and my referral network is growing, and I have started to obtain the type of clients that I really want to represent. Having a baby at this point would certainly slowdown that progress.
Plans Can Go Out The Window
At that time, we knew we would have to delay those plans for a multitude of reasons, the biggest being financial uncertainty and the next being that I wanted my practice to be in a place where I felt I could balance my career with the demands of motherhood.
Advice From Other Solo Attorneys Was Confusing
Like everything else, I turned to the advice of other solo attorneys and received very mixed responses.
Some said to get pregnant before starting my practice as it would be easier to adjust to working around the baby since it would already be there. Others said to give it a couple of years until my practice is more established and I have the ability to hire help. A few recommended to get pregnant whenever my husband and I felt it was the right time for our situation.
Treating My Practice As My Baby
I realize that there is never a perfect time to have children and frankly, I am not getting any younger. However, my career and my practice are also very important to me and it is what I want to focus on right now.
Children are a big step, and my husband and I both want to be ready when the time comes to make that decision.
Children require free time, so before you have your first, you’ll need to get your practice organized.
Get started now with our free eBook: “Organize for Success”
Joleena Louis is a matrimonial and family law attorney at Joleena Louis Law, a ﬁrm she founded after leaving a boutique matrimonial ﬁrm in Brooklyn. Joleena is a client in Law Firm Suites’ start-up program in Downtown, New York. Her weekly blog series Things I Wish I Knew… explores her thought process and experiences in her transition from small law ﬁrm employee to successful solo practice entrepreneur.