For Amicable Divorce Results
Lawlady, Inc. is the brainchild of Stefani Quane, principle attorney. I founded my Seattle firm on the principle that there must be a better way of practicing law. There are simply too many lawyer jokes, and from my personal experience, some of them are deserved. I think that there is a way to give good, smart legal advice and to honor the qualities of kindness and compassion. The clients that like my services best are the ones who appreciate my innovative approaches to problem solving, and my willingness to hold a vision for a fabulous outcome.
When choosing a law firm, you want to look for an attorney who reflects your values and works in a manner that is likely to produce a good result. I value peaceful solutions and think that if the lawyer bill is too high, you might not have gotten the best settlement.
I've been practicing since 1989. I trained as a new lawyer at big firms where I developed solid legal and litigation skills. Are you aware only 20% of the lawyers have grades adequate to get a job at a big firm?
I quit big firm litigation life to work at a smaller boutique litigation firm. I thought I would enjoy litigating more if I worked at a smaller firm. Litigation as it turns out was never right for me. I could see that a different (more amicable) approach would be more successful in many situations.
In 1997, I quit the law altogether. I spent six months exploring other career ideas such as getting a masters degree in counseling. In the end, I realized that if I practiced family law I could advise clients in a thoughtful, wise manner without an extra degree. It was exciting to donate my gray suits to Goodwill, as I created a solo practice based on holistic principles. My target clientele were people who didn't want a foreboding downtown law firm.
From the onset, I was interested in collaborative divorce solutions. As a newcomer to divorce law, I could see the devastation caused by unnecessary court involvement. Litigation is barely tolerable when the subject is auto accidents and workers' compensation claims. Pounding on people in court seems pointless when the issues are things like financing the wife's college degree, dividing holidays for the kids, or splitting the wedding gifts.
As an innovator, I drew lessons from the business world and offered services requested by clients: flat-fee services, paralegal hours, one-shot client consults. I'm not sure you are aware or not, but many attorneys will not represent two divorcing clients at once. I do. Sometimes this is a terrific form of representation. My talents as a leader in the legal industry were recognized in 2005 by Dan Pink, in his new book, Whole New Mind. He describes me as a symphony thinker, able to see the big picture and unify different points of view.
In developing my practice, I discovered collaborative law. At the time, no other attorney was practicing this method in Washington and I spent four years creating Washington's first collaborative law group Northwest Collaborative Law (now known as Washington Collaborative Law). That group has grown to over 60 members.
I believe that we are just starting to scratch the surface to the potential of collaborative law. It's an amazing process where a team of allied professionals are available to assist conflicted couples. You get the right level of intervention by the professional best able to give pertinent advise. All experts are shared so the costs are lower (you don't need to hire two), and both attorneys have a high incentive to reach settlement. They must withdraw if the process fails.
I stepped down from the leadership role at Washington Collaborative Law in fall 2004, to create a different group: Kithe Collaborative Divorce. We're a small team of allied professionals who train together in the collaborative law model so that client services are integrated and effective. No wasted time in transitions between professionals which means for good forward momentum and possibly reduced costs. At this point, we are the only cohesive collaborative team in the state with a focus on client services. The other three organizations are service organization.
Lawlady, Inc. is growing. In December 2004, we relocated to a Tudor house at 68th and Roosevelt, a few blocks from East-West Bookstore and Whole Foods. It was my dream for many years to offer legal services in a nurturing, home-like setting. I think you will find that our present address is a lovely backdrop for addressing your legal issues. If you have to have legal services, why not have them in soothing accommodations with easy, free parking?
The fall the project at Lawlady, Inc. is to produce two good divorce manuals to help clients who prefer to handle things themselves. We expect the first How To Book to be available later this fall. We are offering our first divorce and prenuptial classes this fall as well.
And finally: part of me is quiet and reflective; prone to shopping in the self-help and spiritual sections of the bookstore. My reading list is full of psychology, religion, and esoteric subjects like astrology. I adore yoga, nature, and gardening. I teach meditation. I think of myself as a sensitive, evolved person. As such, I was drawn to mixing ceremony and ritual into my practice of law. Where appropriate, I weave deeper meaning and symbolism into my work with clients. One of my favorite client comments about my services was that I gave good spiritual advice in addition to good legal advice.
I feel strongly that divorce is a significant life transition that deserves to be honored. Emotions can be high and thus it's important for the professional working with a divorcing client to be sensitive to the deeper issues at play. I try to acknowledge and honor the unfolding transformation. Divorce ceremony is one way that I use to facilitate clients have the best divorce experience that they can have. My work in this emerging area (divorce ceremony) was recently recognized by a writer for Penguin Press who is writing a book due out next summer on divorce ceremonies. I'll be featured in her work as a pioneer in divorce ceremony.
Lawlady, Inc. has three staff members: Lennie Rassmussen, my assistant; Gina Nunan, an attorny and bookkeeper; and Mark Gil, my office assistant and IT person. All believe in the importance of the high-tech, high-touch method of practicing law at Lawlady, Inc.
I often say that I love my clients. That's true. I feel it is an honor to serve clients and look forward to expanding my practice in 2006. I thank you for your referrals and patronage. May we have an excellent attorney-client relationship and may you find my legal community to be your home-away from home.
Stefani Quane • 1100 Dexter Ave North #100 • Seattle,
WA, 98109 • 206/932-9699 • email@example.com