Lauren E. Martin is an attorney in Tustin and Chino, California (in Orange County). Her practice includes estate planning, probate, trust administration, and trust litigation. She graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara in Political Science and earned her J.D. from Whittier Law School. Immediately after law school she did pro bono work with the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and did some criminal and federal appellate work. We are excited for you to meet Lauren!
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love meeting with families every single day. I consider estate planning and estate resolution to be the true family law. Unlike breaking families apart, estate planning gives me the opportunity to really get to know the interpersonal dynamics involved in wealth preservation, asset protection and business succession planning. I love helping parents prevent future conflicts between their children. I love helping children protect and preserve the health, wealth and dignity of their aging parents. I love helping small business owners pass along their hard-earned talents and books to their loved ones. In short, I love the people I get to help every day, even in the midst of tragedy.
Has your path in law differed from your original expectations? If so, in what way?
I've known I wanted to be an attorney since early in high school, but never dreamed I'd own my very own practice! Even when I went back to law school after a career in public affairs, I wasn't sure I'd begin practicing for many years. I started school with an 8 month-old son, and finished law school with a total of three children. It was hectic. I wasn't planning on working until all three were in grade school but life has a way of throwing us curve balls. Like many, I think I spent many hours in class dreaming of becoming a prosecutor but always knew I wanted to be more involved with my clients' lives over the span of many years. I also knew I wanted to avoid the grind of billable hours as much as possible. So in the end, I think I've ended up right where I always wanted to be.
What are your future professional goals?
I'd like to make a gradual shift so that my base of clientele come from Orange County. I'd also like to help Legal Aid Clinics and the Courts with their ongoing efforts to provide pro-bono estate planning services for the elderly.
How do you juggle your personal and professional lives?
I don't juggle well. That's the truth! As a single mother, I struggle with the daily demands of parenting three young children while launching a practice. Motherhood is my top priority and so I've focused a lot of my energy on strengthening family and church ties to assist me when I'm unable to be there for my kids. I've been sure to partner with attorneys who also focus on the family. That allows those in our firm the flexibility to be with our families and attend school events, sporting events, and church duties as much as possible. The key is cooperation and delegation. I don't believe I can do it all, and I don't even try.
Tell us about your family.
I have a 7 year-old son, 6 year-old daughter and 4 year-old son. All three are wonderful and love coming to explore different courthouses with me when we go on family vacations. They love running the halls of the Santa Barbara court house most of all. My oldest plays guitar. My youngest breaks guitars.
What advice would you give to other women either interested or already working in the law?
I definitely encourage other women interested in working in the law to pursue their passion vigorously. Women have a unique ability to empathize with clients. Furthermore, in a profession historically dominated by men, it is wonderful for female attorneys to share war stories and mentor one another so that we can become stronger professionally. I'd also encourage women to ask other women how they have chosen to balance their personal and professional lives. No two women handle their loads the same. It's helpful to have a variety of perspectives when determining how best to manage the stresses of family life with this rigorous profession.
Any final thoughts? It's a blessing to be part of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. I can't say enough about how much the attorneys have mentored me, encouraged me and uplifted me.
Learn more about Lauren's practice here: www.trustandprobatelawyer.com