I am visiting my hometown in California this weekend and staying in my childhood
room. During the day, I watch the ocean tide rise and fall. Each time I come home, it brings
back memories of being the oldest of seven children with a father who had his own high
expectations and ideas about my path. For many years, he either dictated my life choices or
expected to have a say. I longed desperately to chart my own course for my life but did not
By 2016, I had completed law school and had a series of jobs in law, feeling dissatisfied
by how I observed law being practiced: high billable hours, lack of concern by partners about
clients, outdated practices regarding technology, and poor work/life balance. I decided to
make a change and go back to school for my Masters in Business Administration.
Toward the end of my program, in April of 2016, my phone rang and my life forever
changed: My mother told me there was an accident at the house and my father was dead. No
warning and it was over – I was 33 years old and he was only 57 years old, leaving me, my six
siblings, and our mother to grieve.
I knew I had to pick up the pieces and get strength and resilience from this tragedy or
else it would take me down. One thing that was fortunate, is that my parents had seen an
estate planning attorney years before my father’s death and they had an estate plan. Estate
planning was always an area that I had some interest in but my father’s death made it tangible.
I learned why it was so important firsthand and how unpredictable life can be.
After 4.5 years of growth and meditation to work through the loss, I emerged on the
other side empowered in knowing myself and my purpose. It dawned on me that rather than
run from such a horrific tragedy, I needed to own my story. I decided to take the grief and loss I
felt and transform it into a positive, as a basis for helping other families plan for and grieve for
the eventual passing of their loved ones.
When I committed to building my law firm, I knew that I wanted to do things differently
– genuine help for families in need, as I wanted our family to be treated after the loss of my
father. No dusty law books, inefficient practices, and traditional stuffy “the law firm of X
partner, Y partner, and Z partner.” I had emerged from personal refection enlightened and
idealistic. I now knew my life’s purpose to make an impact and my desire to do things
But what to name my estate planning law firm to symbolize my own personal growth
and new approach to law?
I named my firm “Evolved Legal.”