We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Oden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I leapt without a parachute, believing that I would figure things out.
After giving birth to my daughter in 2016, I struggled with postpartum anxiety. I was hanging by a thread, crying on my way in to work because I didn’t want to leave my daughter, crying on the way home from work thinking about the workload I was leaving behind. 12-hour work days with an infant at home weren’t working for me.
But then one day my boss took me to lunch. It was about a month after returning to work and boy was I struggling. I remember him sitting there telling me about the additional things I needed to add to my plate in terms of networking and rainmaking activities for the firm and it was like something in me snapped.
I began to explore my options and chat with other female attorneys – most of who mentioned they would love an overflow attorney. Someone to step in and take on assignments when they were too busy.
So, I did something I never thought I’d do. I quit my cushy law firm job after being back for about 3 months. I took a temporary position at another firm with more flexible hours while their associate was on maternity leave. And I got my independent contractor agreements in place.
In October 2016, I started my law firm and it was the scariest most liberating thing I’ve ever done. Since that time, I’ve moved away from most of my Of Counsel work (which is a fancy way of saying I was doing work for other firms but not employed by them) and have grown my own case load.
But taking the leap was the best thing I could have done to allow me to build a business around my life – and not the other way around.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’ve been a licensed attorney for over 10 years now and I’ve practiced family law since becoming licensed.
As a mediator, collaborative law, and consulting attorney assisting families through legal separation and divorce, paternity, and post-judgment modification proceedings, I firmly believe that alternatives to the traditional court divorce process are both beneficial to families and less costly. Because at the end of the day, your family will be there for the rest of your life – your divorce attorney won’t! So, my focus is on handling matters outside of the courthouse.
About 6 years ago, I stumbled into the online space after having my daughter. I was learning about personal development and running a business as a mom and I began to connect with other female business owners. The second they found out I was an attorney, they began to email and message me with legal questions about their businesses. When I recommended they connect with an attorney, most of their responses were that working with an attorney was too expensive or too overwhelming. And I decided to “flip that script” and make legal both affordable and accessible.
Now, I also work as a legal consultant, helping online freelancers and service providers protect their online businesses and brands legally with custom contracts and policies (or legal templates that they can customize for their unique businesses) and federal trademark registration.
I’ve built a unique practice – and I love it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would probably hit Disneyland and California adventure, an Angels baseball game, stay at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach and make sure to visit the tide pools. We love to be outside, enjoying the sun, and all that Southern California has to offer.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod was the very first personal development book I ever read back. After leaving my old firm in 2016 it helped me develop a morning routine that I still swear by to this day. By focusing on getting my mindset right in the morning, I set myself up to be more productive day throughout the rest of the day.