Magnolia is a partner with LoPreto+Levy, LLP, a boutique law firm in New York City with an emphasis on matrimonial law. Magnolia's background as a litigator, together with her understanding of the difficult and emotional transitions concomitant to separation and divorce, enable her to advise clients on all aspects of family law including pre- and post-nuptial agreements, divorce negotiation and litigation, equitable distribution, spousal and child support, and custody, access and visitation issues.
A trained mediator, Magnolia endeavors from the outset to effectively and efficiently achieve the best results for her clients without the need for court intervention. When a negotiated settlement is not possible, Magnolia is a tenacious and passionate advocate for her clients with experience handling complex financial and custody matters from inception to conclusion.
Those paragraphs above are what Magnolia does, but we dive into so much more in this episode. Magnolia shares how she:
- Came to do this work,
- Learned to trust, leverage, and nurture her intuitive instincts,
- Unexpectedly found herself starting her own law practice as a totally risk-averse woman and what helped her make the leap, and
- What helps her keep it together as a working mom.
This episode is not to be missed.
Learn more about Magnolia and her work at LoPreto + Levy, LLP here.
Listen to the complete episode in any of these fine places:
Selected link love + resources from the episode
- Connect with Magnolia on social media: Linkedin | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- New York Women's Bar Association
- Kickass Theme Music: “Things Are Getting Better” Written by Rishi Dhir. Performed by The High Dials.
- Stay in the loop about future Le vital corps Salon episodes: Twitter | Facebook | The List (sent twice monthly including helpful health + lifestyle information)
Quotes + selected highlights from the episode
All of this wisdom is from Magnolia herself (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:06:57] Part of what I do is not only divorce, but I do pre-marriage planning, which includes prenuptial agreements. That for me has a particularly personal side because when I was 12, my mother married my stepfather, and she signed a prenuptial agreement, and she signed it without reading it, without having representation. She signed it the day before her wedding and basically didn’t know what she was signing.
[00:10:47]: My mother is remarkable in many ways. But in particular, she really is a warrior. What I mean by that is she doesn’t allow self-doubt, or pity, or depression to creep into her view of the world.
[00:15:18]: I really view myself as a counselor. My clients largely are in crisis because, when the end of their marriage comes, they are filled with questions and emotions. So my job is not only to counsel them on the law, but also hold their hand, and listen to them, and hear what their concerns are, and see if I can make sure that they feel heard, but also kind of steer them in the right direction.
[00:20:26]: [On how to select the right lawyer] I think it is largely driven by personality. I think that’s how you find the right lawyer for you. It’s 90 percent personality. You find somebody who feels good to you, who feels like they’re a truth-teller, who makes you feel secure, and that’s how you find the right person.
[00:26:03]: You’re not going to be able to control everybody and everything, so sometimes you have to step back. You say what you need to say, and you step back, and you let it play out, and you deal with the hand that you’re dealt.
[00:27:51]: I think communication and not allowing the resentment to build up is critical. I think being honest about the way you’re feeling and honoring that, and whether or not it’s rational or irrational, communicating that to your partner is good for a number of reasons.
[00:40:58] All I could say is I knew in that interim period—I mean, I worked straight through—that I had not found what was right for me. It was hard because I was at one place for less than a year and another place for less than a year, and on your resume, that can look—there’s the fear that jumping ship too soon may look bad. But there is something to following your instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. It’s important to be able to pivot and land in a place where you’re going to be productive.
[00:46:39] I think it took me a while to leave the firm where I grew up, and that really was—it was sort of listening to my instinct about the fit not being right. And I remember struggling with this and talking to a friend of mine from high school who used that phrase that I had said before, which really stuck with me, which was, “Leap and the net will appear.”
[00:54:04]: I think having a bunch of balls in the air prevents me from suffering burnout. If I was doing one thing all day, all the time, I’d burn out. Who wouldn’t? If I left my house at 8:30 in the morning, took the subway to the office, sat here and did my job until 8:00 or 8:30 at night, and went home, I think I’d probably be pretty unhappy. There have been points in my career where that’s what I did, and I was pretty unhappy.
[01:07:05]: Do you know what I say? I use the phrase, “The universe is conspiring in your favor.”
[01:11:33]: Sometimes you really have to sort of go to the deepest, darkest place in order for you to understand what it is you want and for your priorities and desires to be crystalized, right?
[01:23:39]: When it seems as though the rug’s being pulled out from under you, it seems as though your relationship isn’t working the right way, your job doesn’t feel right, you have control and power. You have the ability to remove yourself, either by communicating, by leaving the job, and that you really have to listen to what your instinct says. Because that gut, that second sense, is going to ultimately, I believe, guide you to where you need to be.
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