|Katherine:||Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today on This Needs To Be Said. You’ve heard from other members of the Family Law Matters practice. Today, we get to meet, to me, a new person. She’s new to you as well. We haven’t had the opportunity to speak with her, attorney Colleen Robinson. She’s going to join us today, and we’re just going to get to know her, and find out how she came to be a part of the Family Law Matters team.|
Welcome to This Needs to be Said, How are you?
|Colleen R:||I’m great. How are you?|
|Katherine:||I am fantastic. I love meeting new people, and I know that we’re talking about serious information, with what you help people do in your practice, anything from divorce or separation or custody, but I want to know a little bit about you. A little light hearted, in the space of a heavy topic. Tell me what about Family Law Matters or even just becoming an attorney was the draw for you?|
|Colleen R:||Well, to be … Why I wanted to be an attorney starting from there is that I have always wanted to help people and taking that, and then along with what I think my own academic strengths are, which I’ve always loved reading and I’ve always loved writing, it just seemed like … And arguing, talking a lot, it seemed like a natural draw was to become an attorney.|
So that’s what started things, and when I was in college, I was actually in pre-med and I realized, my brain just doesn’t function that way, in mathematics and science, and I want to read, I want to learn more things, and I want to argue and help people.
|Colleen R:||So my desire to help people, wanting to be a doctor, is the same desire. I want to help people and get them through difficult situations being an attorney.|
|Katherine:||What brought you specifically to Family Law Matters, though?|
|Colleen R:||Well, that is an interesting story. Actually, they found me. I was eight months pregnant last year, and Gina found me, she found me through LinkedIn, I believe, and started contacting me. And we were supposed to meet up for lunch, and I was extremely sick and I unfortunately had to cancel, and right before I’m about to get wheeled in for my C-section with my son, Gina contacted me again, saying we’re really interested in talking with you and having you be a part of our team.|
And Gina and Beshoy just have this drive to get really diverse people working and helping their clients, and so, after I had my son, we all met up and it seemed like a really good fit.
|Colleen R:||So here I am.|
|Katherine:||How long have you been at attorney? Welcome.|
|Colleen R:||Yeah, I’ve been an attorney-|
|Katherine:||How long have you been an attorney?|
|Colleen R:||This December, it will be 10 years, which is hard to believe.|
|Katherine:||You have a young sounding voice. We do radio, so you can’t gauge a person’s age. I was like “Is she getting ready to tell me she just got out of college?” I said “No. She just had a kid, so she didn’t just get out of college.”|
|Katherine:||10 years, no, I wasn’t thinking that. Not because I know anything about you, but you sound young and like you have no cares, and nothing bad has ever happened in your world.|
|Colleen R:||Well, I’m a lot older than what you probably think I am, but I will take that as a compliment that I have a young voice.|
Now, you added a child, so I’m like “Okay, I’m not … We can never tell each other’s age. We can’t.” But, that is fun that you said that, I’m going back to you saying you started out in pre-med, and it was the same drive that you do with helping people in law, in divorce or custody battles.
It’s interesting that you got that far, and you were like “Okay, I still want to do the same thing, but it’s going to be in a different lane.” I haven’t heard anyone put it that way. It’s usually they have something completely different that they believe they’re supposed to be doing, not a variation of the same. So, that’s interesting.
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|Katherine:||And the way they pursued you is definitely interesting. That is fascinating to me, because you like to know that you’ve presented yourself well enough for people to be attracted to what you can do for them without having met you, and say “Hey, we’re persisting in wanting you on our team.” That would be a big compliment to me, so I’m going to have go out there and look at your LinkedIn page now, go see what’s going on.|
|Colleen R:||Please do.|
|Katherine:||All right. So where did you go to law school?|
|Colleen R:||I went to Cal Western down in San Diego, downtown San Diego.|
|Katherine:||Mm-hmm, and you talked about your pre-med, so would that be your undergrad degree? How does this work out for you? Myself, I’ve changed college tracks so many times, and my family’s probably surprised I ever even ended up with any degree, let alone two, because I changed my mind so much. So I’m wondering if yours was the same way. What did you receive your undergrad degree in?|
|Colleen R:||So, yeah, it has nothing to do with law. When I was in high school, I took a bunch of AP classes, so I had a lot of college credits graduating from high school. So my majors in college were French, actually, and International Relations, and I had a certificate in African Politics. So, it’s not even at all related.|
|Katherine:||You were still trying to help people though.|
|Colleen R:||That’s right, learning.|
|Katherine:||Still trying to help people, right, because you did diverse studies there. You knew where you were going, just not exactly where. That’s pretty cool. I wonder how many people, after hearing this interview, will say “I kind of did that too. I just thought it was something completely different.”|
|Colleen R:||Right. Yeah.|
|Katherine:||But you kept trying to figure out, “I want to help. Okay, this isn’t it.” I love it, I love it.|
Now, there’s something interesting about you, and it’s that you love hockey. Tell me about your love of hockey.
|Colleen R:||Well, I grew up in New England, so, in New England, you played hockey, period.|
|Colleen R:||Everybody played hockey.|
|Colleen R:||I mean, I lived in a very tiny, tiny town in Vermont and even in that town, we had our own ice hockey rink and just about everybody was up there on Saturdays or Sundays at 5:00 or 6 o’clock in the morning doing practice or you have a game somewhere that you’re traveling and it’s …|
|Colleen R:||Negative 10 degrees, and so everybody played hockey and you started at a relatively young age. I started when I was in middle school because I played basketball before and then I had a variety of knee injuries and my parents were like, “No more.” But … So I, yeah, I played ice hockey, it was a religion up there and-|
|Colleen R:||I lived in Canada for a little while too and, as you can imagine, it’s even bigger in Canada than it is in the US.|
|Colleen R:||And even in New England, so, yeah, I played through college.|
|Katherine:||Now, is there any connection between your love of hockey and you becoming a lawyer? I want to say a lawyer instead of an attorney. Is there any connection between hockey and being an attorney?|
|Colleen R:||Well, I think there is. I mean, one is that it’s hard work, as you can imagine, and being on a girls’ team, when I played, it wasn’t as popular as it is really now because we had to travel a lot just to play.|
I moved to Arizona and in Arizona, it certainly wasn’t popular, so we were … I found a girls’ team in Arizona when I was in high school and we traveled all over the United States just to play and to play other girls’ teams.
So one, it’s a lot of hard work and dedication and you’ve got to be aggressive sometimes and you’ve got to stand your ground, and I think you need to do that being an attorney as well. It’s also working … It’s a team. Even if you’re in a smaller office or you’re in a larger office, it’s a team, it’s team work. You’ve got a variety of other professionals that are helping you and your client and you’re trying to achieve the same goal, or goal, you know, it works both ways, making the analogy with hockey or whatever your client’s goals are in the law.
So it’s just learning how to work as a team and appreciate what everybody’s role is and moving forward and trying to have a good time as well.
|Katherine:||Wow. Now, you did mention that you have a son. Do you have any other children? Tell me about your family a little bit.|
|Colleen R:||I have a … I have two kids and I have a … Oh, I should say I have three. So I’ve got two little boys, they are two and a half and almost one, and I have a step son who is eight and a half.|
|Colleen R:||So we have a house of boys and lots of testosterone.|
|Katherine:||Oh, boy. I know what that’s like. I’m a mother of all boys myself. So this sounds like a blended family.|
|Katherine:||I have a blended family myself. Co-parenting has been a big topic, even as they are adults now. Now, with you all at Family Law Matters helping people with diverse family issues, how does your family, if it applies at all, help you with your practice or with your work that you do at the practice?|
|Colleen R:||Well, I think since having a family, these issues that my clients come to me with, they become more real, because now I can … I try to imagine being in that same situation, confronted with the same kind of issues that they’re going on with my own family, so it becomes a much more tangible and relatable, and then trying to find a solution that’s realistic, I think, too.|
Like So anything from just understanding pickups and drop offs, like that whole nightmare that that can be and the coordination of schedules and coming up with realistic goals or outcomes to some of these problems that surface throughout a divorce proceeding or custody situation, so I think it’s just become a much more real situation for me and then it helps … It’s certainly helped me try to come up with solutions, either that I’ve been able to work out through my own personal life or just helping clients figure out how to resolve some of the problems that arrive.
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|Katherine:||It does. Throughout this interview, you’ve shown different interests, different things where you’ve explored something different than yourself, just to understand it better, but now that you’re walking in the shoes of some of your clients, it makes it more real but I like the fact that you were willing to say, “I want to help but I’m going to need to understand different cultures or different backgrounds, different geographies, in order to be able to do that effectively.” Because if I think something’s a problem, that may not be the problem. I’ll give you a great example of some volunteer work I did some years ago. We were going to take toiletries to the homeless community. We called them neighbors at the time, I don’t know what the politically correct name is now, however neighbors was the name that we were going by for that … The population.|
So we go down there, we’ve got … I mean, in my mind, you know, let’s take blankets, it’s cold outside, and I’m taking literally a blanket off my bed, because I didn’t camp or anything, so I didn’t know anything about outdoor living. So we go to give these toiletries and I don’t bring the blankets, it’s just an idea, and as I’m talking to the neighbors, I said, “I’m thinking about bringing blankets, you know, would that have helped?” And they said, “No, actually, if you would have brought trash bags, because we don’t have a place to put our things, and in the morning our things are wet, and not because it rained all the time.” And I was like, “Wow.” I thought way too not like them.
|Colleen R:||Right, Right.|
|Katherine:||Because what I thought was important was not important. It was not valuable to them. So then you have a better understanding of how about I just ask the person I’m helping, you know, “How can I help you?” Especially in the situation that you mainly live outdoors or you don’t know where you’re going to be from day to day, so how can I think for you?|
So it was almost a mistake, because I bring them this big old bulky blanket, where are they going to put it? Now they have the hassle of carrying that around. I wasn’t thinking.
|Katherine:||Someone on the team came up with the emergency blankets, so they’re like pocket sized and folded up and they can take them and cover up with … Which I said, “Thank you for saving me.” Because you don’t know other people’s situations until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, or at least researched it.|
|Katherine:||So that’s what became real to me, and I just… I’m, loving this interview. I’m not just saying that. Because when you all come on, seriously, when you all come on as attorneys and you talk about your belief systems, Gina has been on and talked about, you know, the Christian values of the company and this is important to people who are afraid to come to attorneys thinking that you’re not like me, you don’t have my problems, you can’t understand what I’m going through, you just want my money.|
|Katherine:||And not one time have, you … And we have had different attorneys from your practice on the show and not one of you have come across like the sharks we have imagined you to be.|
|Katherine:||And I get excited more when I realize, you know, it’s a … It’s a sigh of relief, and while it still is uncomfortable to go through things that, man, that says I’m a failure, I didn’t do that well or, you know, I’m feeling emotional and that behavior’s spilling out, I can feel those things but I also can reel it in and somebody understands that people go through things and this is how you get through those things, to actually ask for help, the right help, so that you don’t say, “Well, I thought … Well, if I’d …” You know, “He said he would pay this bill.” Or, “She said she’d pick him up.” Or, you know, none of that, you’re able to get it organized, take the emotions out of it and you have real people who want to help you. Their desire, each one of the people who have come on here, have said the same thing, “I want to help. I want to help people and I take my knowledge to do that and I study in this area so that I’m an expert in this area and can help with those problems.”|
So I am not kidding you, I am enjoying you being here. But I’ve said what I love about your practice. Tell me what you love about the practice that you’ve become a part of, Family Law Matters.
|Colleen R:||Well, what drew me to Family Law Matters is that it truly is a different type of law firm and I moved across county lines and going to a different court system to the one I’m accustomed to, it’s where my colleagues are and my network is down in San Diego County, and I’m here in Riverside, because it was so different and it’s different from just about … My bosses are extremely different, they care not only about the clients, they care about their employees, which goes very far, and so everybody enjoys and likes being here and working here and that’s carried out in our attitude and what we’re doing, trying to do for our clients. So it just goes hand in hand. But I’m so impressed with how this is just a different law firm and that goes from how they are trying, we’re trying to keep up with technology, so everything’s accessible to clients. We have an app that’s coming out so they can see what’s going on behind the scenes, and they can interact with us on multiple platforms.|
From the billing structure, we have a membership billing structure versus getting paid by … Getting charged by the hour, by the minute and that’s what I think a lot of people going through any sort of legal situation is their biggest angst, is when they get their attorney bill and it’s like, “They charged me for a 30 second phone call.” And it’s … They have to … “They charged me for 12 minutes.” And so people really feel like they’re getting nickeled and dimed, and to a degree they are, because that’s just how the practice, the billing practice in the legal field is, and here we do it so differently that clients don’t feel that way and they have control over the situation and then they’re not … They don’t feel like they’re prevented from calling their attorney because they don’t want to get charged for it.
|Colleen R:||Because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients call like, “I hope you’re not charging me for this because I’m going to get off the phone in, like, 30 seconds.” So … Or they just don’t call you and then things have exploded to a level that it’s harder to fix.|
|Katherine:||Yeah. Because they don’t want to make it worse, you think, “Listen …”|
|Katherine:||Yeah. You start counting up the cost. You do, you’re already in a difficult situation, of course, you just don’t want to make it worse but we end up having to make it worse because we don’t know that we can trust, but with you all coming on the show and sharing on your blog, you all give the confidence that people can contact you.|
Our time is up, I’m so sorry. I hope that we get to talk again soon, Colleen.
|Colleen R:||No problem.|
|Katherine:||But if someone wants to make an appointment with you, let’s finish this interview with you telling them how to get in touch with you.|
|Colleen R:||Okay. They can give us a call. We have two different locations here in Temecula and also in Corona. Our Temecula phone number is (951) 587-0505 and our Corona phone number is (951) 267-7377.|
|Katherine:||Awesome. Until next time, have a super day. Thank you so much for your time today.|
|Colleen R:||You do the same. Thank you.|
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