Keystone Law Firm NEWS February 2018

Trust Matters What My Wife Taught Me A Lesson They Don’t Teach in Law School FEBRUARY 2018 (480) 418-1776 | KEYSTONELAWFIRM.COM

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my wife. I’m not just saying that to sound

Everything was so uncertain; my mind was spinning. Was it worth it? Should I drop out? Could I stay the person Nicole had fallen in love with and still pass the bar? Yes, but it was going to require a major reversal. Having now worked alongside many different lawyers, I can say the problem I faced is a common one. Many let their profession define their personal life. With my wife’s help, I decided to flip this on its head. I am Francisco first, for better or worse. The person I am determines my career as a lawyer, not the other way around.

romantic — she’s the one who helped shape my

outlook on how I practice law. The roots of Keystone’s customer-first philosophy can all be traced to an argument I had with her back when I was earning my law degree. When I started law school, I was having the time of my life. I had to work full time while earning my undergraduate degree, so for once in my life, I was able to focus solely on school. I relished it. I dove headlong into my coursework, learning all the tricks of the trade. Unfortunately, many of the skills that make you a good lawyer also make you a terrible husband. Two months in, my wife called me out. We had been having a small argument, and I automatically began cross-examining her,

This is the reason I struck out on my own and founded Keystone Law Firm. The culture I encountered in school was just as pervasive in the big firms. I didn’t want to spend my life in those stuffy, mahogany- paneled practices, which are too arrogant for their own good. I believe in a more down-to-earth, human approach to law. I share this story with every employee we take on at Keystone because its message is what sets us apart. called me out. I’d like to tell you the course correction was instant, and I’ve been striking the perfect work- life balance ever since. But Nicole’s called me out plenty of times since, though less in recent years. She’s been an incredibly patient partner, and I couldn’t have gotten where I am without her honesty. I’d like to say that I got my act together the night after my wife

analyzing and defining every word that came out of her mouth. She told me I was becoming “one of those lawyers,” and she wasn’t going to have it. Her words hit me like a freight train. I felt sick. It was like looking in the mirror and barely recognizing yourself. Normally, I’m a pretty introspective guy, but I had no idea how much I was letting my studies bleed into my personal life. The legal culture in this country can be ruthlessly competitive, needlessly analytical, and overly confrontational. If these traits were already starting to rub off on me halfway through my first semester, what was I going to look like in three years?

-Francisco

There were a lot of sleepless nights after Nicole called out how I’d been acting. This was still early in our married life. The twins hadn’t even been born yet.

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