Those of you who follow me on social media may have noticed a change in logo and law firm name. While I quietly tried to make the transition to my new "next, big thing" I soon recognized that nothing I do is quiet. I have no inside voice. Ask my sisters who have no problem shushing me in public and reminding me, "that's not a whisper, dummy."
Alas, I am proud to announce the dawn of The Fraser Firm, Attorneys at Law, LLC. And by "attorneys" I pretty much mean me, but my amazingly talented lady lawyer friend and colleague, Luisa Fuentes is also joining me, of counsel, in this new venture. My former lady lawyer partner has chosen to pursue her real estate practice on her own, in a new space, and we wish her well in those endeavors.
We have a new logo and symbol, designed by my super talented lady boss friend, Jennifer Dahl Domaracki of Dahl House Designs. And we some new practice areas - Injury Law, Family Law, Child Advocacy Law, Municipal Court and Criminal Law. Our main focus continues to be providing effective advocacy for the members of our community.
I love, love, love working with the ladies in my office. They are super smart, funny, fun, compassionate and hard working. Coming in every day is a pleasure that I look forward to each morning. We are a great team - everyone chips in to make sure whatever needs to be done for our clients, gets done and whatever needs to get done for the office gets done.
But the lady boss struggle is real. The "any boss" struggle is real, actually. There are times when I'm like, "man, I wonder what the boss would say about this?" and then I remember, that's me. Crap. I have to run payroll and pay the vendors and utilities. I have to buy the equipment and furniture and plastic spoons we never seem to have enough of and the copier paper. I have to create the marketing plan, execute it and pay for it. And I have to run a law practice. I need an adult. This is crap.
Over the years, I have been relatively successful in creating partnerships through my establishment of WEN (the Women's Entrepreneurial Network) as well as my relationships with other professionals and lawyers throughout the country. Something that has really motivated me to tighten my belt even more and keep going as a lady entrepreneur are those connections, many of whom have really come through with tremendous advice, support and case referrals.
Starting a business from literally nothing (although I did manage to bring my really good stapler from the old firm, so I did have that) has been the most difficult and stressful thing I have ever tried to do. It's expensive and is requiring far more sacrifice than I was willing to acknowledge or able to foresee at the outset of this adventure. Having no financial safety net is no picnic either. Banks don't lend to risky endeavors like personal injury law practices. They just don't.
So as I struggle to accept that manicures and pedicures are actually luxuries and not necessities and that I may have bitten off just about as much as I can chew here, I am still inspired not to "sell out" and join another stuffy, big firm. My vision for an all woman trial law practice was and still is an important goal. There aren't enough of us out there - or perhaps the opportunity to be a trial lawyer while still being a mom and ninja warrior at some other guy's law firm isn't a viable option, as I found. I believe we have to create our own opportunities and make our own way. So that's what I am attempting to provide with my firm; a platform for lady trial lawyers to start something new, that's all their own.
I suppose if it was easy, everyone would be doing it and The Fraser Firm wouldn't be all that special. But we are special and we have something special here. That much I know. Our struggle will be soon celebrated in a year or so when my vision has truly come to fruition. For now, we will eat Mac n Cheese, drink store brand seltzer and work harder than we ever have to make the dream a reality.