It’s My Firm’s Five-Year Anniversary. I Guess You Could Say Things Are Getting Pretty Serious. Cheers to Five Years!

By Tonya Graser Smith

No, seriously, five years ago this summer, 10 years into practicing family law, I achieved a goal I set for myself in law school. I opened my own law firm.

For my clients going through divorce, reflecting on an anniversary is bittersweet. For me, reflecting on anything personal is … well, a little too personal. It’s not about me; it’s about the clients who trust me to stand by their side and represent them when they’re going through one of the toughest chapters of their lives. And that’s why I’ll keep this short. Here are the top five reasons I’m celebrating the five-year anniversary of GraserSmith, PLLC.

  1. The longest I’ve worked anywhere is GraserSmith – at least as a lawyer. I worked at the Gap for five years in high school and college, and at that milestone, corporate gave me a Tiffany bracelet that I still wear once in a while. Instead of jewelry, I plan to celebrate with cake this time! GraserSmith’s offices have always been in a cozy old house on East Boulevard that my young children love to call “the yellow building.” I feel at home here, and hope my clients do, too. Our office is next door to a pre-school that has raised up some sweet little people over the years. School walks and fire-drills have been a cheerful office window view over the years. And if I time it right, I get to “spy” on the kids playing outside while I heat up my lunch in the break room.
  2. Like anyone starting a business, I didn’t know what I didn’t know at first. But I figured it out and quickly realized this: You never know which of your work or life experiences will prepare you for future work or life experiences. In my case, working for my college sorority after I graduated gave me many of the skills needed to run my own business. You can read more about that right here. I was mentoring a law student recently and mentioned to her that “soft” skills such as attitude, motivation, flexibility and manners are the most important skills I use every day in my legal work.
  3. Owning a business, or your life, for that matter, means owning your vision for it. My vision for GraserSmith will always be helping people divorce with dignity so they can peacefully move on to their “new normal.” Integrity, dignity and grace are important to me – and I think to my clients, too. My vision is also that…
  4. GraserSmith will always be a specialized, boutique law firm with that homey feel. I have one associate attorney now, and Kate Kovats is fabulous. We are committed to making sure clients enjoy working with us – as much as possible given the nature of why they come to us in the first place. We want our clients to rest assured that they have a strong, smart, kind and energetic team on their side. The goal or vision isn’t to be huge but to play a huge part in helping clients get to where they need to be.
  5. I’m lucky. I get to do what I like and like what I do. Growing up I knew I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know until college what that might look like. If you don’t like what you do, or don’t like it anymore, one piece of advice: Spend time reflecting on what you loved as a child. You can read more about that here.

Meanwhile, I’m going to keep doing what I like and liking what I do and setting goals for the next five years – and beyond. Cheers, y’all.