Season 1, Episode 015
In this episode of Legally Blissed Conversations, we are joined by Christina Previte, CEO and Co-Founder of NJ Divorce Solutions and host of the Divorce Happy Hour Podcast and the Wake Up Call Podcast. She’s practiced law exclusively in the area of divorce and family law since 2004. In 2022, Christina will begin journalism school as she follows her passion for storytelling.
Christina’s hope is that anyone who is searching for more meaning in their lives can find their place and fill the space where they can leave a meaningful mark on the world.
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases, it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Suzi: So I’d love to welcome everyone to the legally bliss conversations podcast and especially love to welcome Miss Christina Prevot. Christina is the CEO and co founder of New Jersey divorce solutions, a law firm dedicated to helping people divorce peacefully and amicably. Christina is also the CO hosts of the divorce Happy Hour podcast, and host of Wake Up Call podcast, where she interviews badass people about how they got where they are. So welcome again, Christina, thank you so much for being here. And I wanted to say that wake up call podcast really was the inspiration for legaly blast. I was like, Yeah, I lose. Like I want to do something similar but not exact. Like I really want to focus on female lawyers, and giving them an opportunity to tell their stories. And I know that’s really a lot of what you do with a wake up call. And but then I was like, I want Christina to be able to talk about her story. Because I haven’t seen an episode where you’re, you know, you’ve really put put some of the juicy tidbits out there. So maybe I can pull some from you today. But welcome again. I’m so happy you’re here. Thank you so much.
Christina: Well, thank you for the compliments. Thank you for inviting me. I appreciate it.
Suzi: Yeah, yeah. So I would love to know, why did you go to law school? Why did Christina become a lawyer?
Christina: Oh, gosh, feels like it was such a long time ago. You know, I think looking back on things, I think something was pulling me towards that. We can always say that everything looks you know, in hindsight is 2020. But at the time, I really wanted to do something challenging. I just wanted to do something where I knew that when I was done, like, Oh, my God, I can’t believe I did that. And for me, I don’t know why at the time, that was law school.
Suzi: Did you go directly to law school out of undergrad?
Christina: I didn’t I when I left undergrad, I kind of was a little lost. Like I think a lot of people are what I thought I wanted to do sort of turned out not to be really what I wanted to do. And unfortunately, I wanted to be a psychologist, I thought that that’s what I wanted to do. And then I decided I didn’t want to do that. But once you get out of undergrad with a liberal arts degree, you kind of have nothing and everything all at the same time. You can write like, you can do anything, you have the degree, but there’s nothing specialized. So I sort of drifted for a while I ended up working as a financial aid advisor at a college, which actually turned out to be pretty good experience. But you know, at the time, it kind of feel like it was just a placeholder until I figured out what I wanted to do. And then I went to law school two years later as a part time student.
Suzi: Okay. All right. So how was that experience for you?
Christina: Well, I did not love law school. I have heard this expression that if you love law school, you’ll hate practice. But if you hate law school, you’ll love practice. And I sort of found that to be true. Because I feel like I really wanted to do something hands on practical. And as you know, that’s not really what you do in law school. You know, it’s academic, you’re learning things from a book. And I was anxious to get away from that. But I was grateful to be there. I felt lucky to be there. I felt lucky and grateful to be at law school.
Suzi: Yeah, I kind of had the same experience experience I didn’t I did not love the experience of law school. So okay, so you went to law school part time? Did it take you four years to get through? Because arrangement?
Christina: Yes, it took four years and I forget the expression of first year they scare you to death the second year they work you to death the third year they bore you to death right so I don’t know what the hell the fourth year
Suzi: maybe they just boring you the fourth year also.
Christina: Yes, you’re you’re so ready to be done. By the fourth year. You’re just like, you’re looking at your watch like this needs to be over.
Suzi: You’re like I’m over this So do you go work at a law practice or at a law school or hang your own shingle?
Christina: No. So I, I kind of had the foresight at the time to realize, hey, you know, if I get an internship for a judge, my fourth year, they’ll probably just hire me as their clerk when I get out. Yeah, and that’s exactly what happened. I did an externship at law school, so I got credit for it. And that’s exactly what happened. I learned the job. And the judge hired me and I so I kind of did like almost you could consider it a two year clerkship.
Suzi: Okay. So what was that experience like clerkship being a clerkship? I loved it,
Christina: it so it was for a family law judge, I knew that I wanted to do family law. And it was where I grew up. I grew up in Middlesex County in New Jersey, and I felt right at home, I fit right in. I absolutely loved it. I still look back on that time is that was up other than the fact that you didn’t get paid very much. It was one of the best jobs that I ever had.
Suzi: That’s interesting that you knew seems like pretty quickly that you wanted to go into family law.
Christina: Yeah, looking back on that I’m sort of like, what was wrong with me?
Suzi: What was it like? What was wrong with you at the time? No, I’m just kidding.
Christina: No, it’s a fair question. I mean, I, you know, I didn’t have the easiest childhood growing up. And I think because of that I had maybe a high tolerance for for crisis and perhaps even dysfunction. And anybody who has spent any time and family one knows that there is a lot of that going on. Yes. So it seems I don’t know. It’s, I don’t know how but at the time, it seems sort of glamorous. I mean, you know, how they make divorce look in movies and divorce lawyers. Yeah, they just make it look so glamorous. And I don’t know, I guess I just thought that that’s what it would be like.
Suzi: It really wasn’t like that party song. Right? G L. A. M?
Suzi: So after you did your clerkship? Did you at that point, go to a law firm? Or did you start practice?
Christina: I did, I went to a law firm that was, you know, had a good reputation in our community. What are some of the top, you know, top, they put the sort of finger quotes, lawyers were there. And I thought that would give me really good exposure to high net worth clients and really digging in on more complex legal issues. And it did. But what was a little different about it sort of had a big frontality. So I literally had an office, it was a small office with no windows. And I had to be there from I want to say it was 830 to 630. Like, those were my hours, I had to punch in and punch out. And we it’s not that you couldn’t leave for lunch. But you were not encouraged to leave the office for lunch, they would pass around a menu every day for you to order your lunch, which was sort of the implication that, yeah, you’re going to be working through lunch. And I don’t mean to badmouth anybody, like if for any of those people that would be watching this, I value the time that I spent there. But it just wasn’t a good culture fit for me. I, I just I didn’t take to it. I was only there for a few months. And I don’t know, I did get the exposure to the legal issues. And I learned some wonderful things from the partner that I was working for. But I think long term, it just wasn’t a good fit for me. So I ended up somewhere else at a smaller firm four months later, and I stayed there for eight years.
Suzi: Wow. Okay. So that’s Did you have a mentor at that firm that you kind of worked with?
Christina: If I could really characterize him as a mentor, because, you know, one of the reasons I felt like it wasn’t a good fit for me is because he kind of just was in his office all the time. And I was in my office all the time. We didn’t work together much. And, you know, he later said to me, and I respect him being honest about it. He said, You know, I just I just realized I don’t I don’t want to train a baby lawyer. No, because that’s what I was at the time. Right? Yeah, it’s fair. And I get it, because I get it. Now. You know, I’m really not in a position where I want to do that either. But I did still learn a lot of things from him just by watching him do his thing. And you know, there were other wonderful attorneys there at the time, too, that I did learn some things from. So that’s sort of how it worked out.
Suzi: Yeah. And then you’re like I’m out of here. You went to another firm that you were at for eight years. At that, during that experience. I How quickly were you ready to, I guess, kind of like bail and ultimately start your own practice? Did like, Did those wheels start turning quickly? Or was it kind of later on?
Christina: Well, at first, you know, I never really thought about starting my own firm, I didn’t start out my law career, thinking, I’m gonna have my own firm. It’s not that I didn’t want to, it just wasn’t really something that was on my radar at the time. I just wanted to learn how to be a lawyer, and a good lawyer. So that was important to me. And over time, I did that. And then at some point, you know, I still, sometimes when I’m alone with myself, try to think about where that shift was. I can’t exactly pinpoint where that was. But I think every associate gets to a point in their career when they don’t feel like they need the mentoring quite as much. You know, you just get to a point where you feel like, you start to notice, I don’t need to ask as many questions like, What do I do with this, you just kind of know. And I think when you get to that place, you kind of feel less like you need to be at a firm, at least if you have that entrepreneurial mindset, which I think I do, I had that seed in me, I just didn’t know what at the time. And I started to kind of, you know, do the math in my head, which I think every associate does, it’s like, okay, well, this is how much I get paid. This is how much I bill, this is how much they billed me at. So you know, my boss is making like, X amount of dollars per year, you know, you start to do the math. And yeah, and you’re sort of like, okay, well, I don’t really want a, I kind of got tired of, you know, having to work the long hours, you know, ask permission to go on vacation, like, like any job, you know, like, you need to have your vacation time approved, and you have to be in the office, and it’s not nine to five, you know, you, you get up and leave a five as an attorney. That’s not cool. Like anybody’s worked at a law firm knows, you really, you can’t that’s frowned upon? We’ll just right? Yes, I just got tired of that. And I thought this is not what I want my entire career to be. So, um, so I just felt like it was a good time for me to go out on my own, I wasn’t gonna go work for someone else. So it was either I stay here, or I go out on my own. And I chose the latter.
Suzi: So were you excited about that? or scared or all the above?
Christina: I guess I was, I guess I was a little scared. I mean, I think the fear always and I know this from talking to other people who have done it is you’re always afraid you’re not going to get any clients. Like even though you’ve already calculated I only need five clients, I only need to build like 10 hours a week to just to, you know, make what I make now. You’re still afraid you’re not going to get those clients. But it didn’t happen. I did get the clients. And, you know, I think once that happened, I thought Why didn’t I do this sooner? And I always tell people, you that’s what you’re going to think because I think that has been most people’s experience that I’ve spoken to is they do think that is I don’t know why I was afraid. I should have done it sooner. But I think in some ways, I probably should have been more afraid than I was. Because even though we do the math, right? And you know, you’re and you start to thank God I’m getting so taken advantage of you know that he’s making like 10 times what he pays me. There’s some truth to that. But what you don’t see as an associate is you don’t see all all the other things that go into running a firm, and, you know, payroll, and management and marketing and just know keeping the building in order and your insurances and payroll taxes. There’s so many things, there’s a long list of things and you don’t see all that. So I definitely, you know, to be fair to my old boss, you know, yeah, he was making money, but I get now that he was doing a lot of other things too. And there were a lot of other responsibilities.
Suzi: Right? There’s a lot that goes on with with respect to keeping the lights on in like these big firms especially. So when you started your own practice. Did you bring over any clients from the firm that you’re you’re we’re at, or were you kind of starting from scratch?
Christina: I, I didn’t leave my guy on the best terms I wanted to. But you know, it’s sort of an age old story that when you leave oftentimes your partner, whomever you work for, they’re not happy about it, right? Sometimes a battle ensues, and I really, you know, I respected the gentleman that I worked for. He taught me a lot I learned a lot there, and I really did want to leave on the best terms possible. And I tried to do that didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. And I had actually offered to stay on and finish the cases I had on a per diem basis, which I thought was pretty generous. I don’t know anybody else who’s done that. And he declined. And so predictably, most of my clients followed me. So I kind of, you know, I already had this automatic book of business. Oh, good. Okay. Yeah,
Suzi: yeah. So I think it’s a good piece of, of wisdom, they’re just looking back on it, as you know, don’t assume that it’s actually going to be unlikely that when you say goodbye to your firm, that it’s going to be on great terms, like it happens, but it’s probably kind of the exception to the rule.
Christina: Yeah, it is. It is. It’s unfortunate. But I think, you know, I think the partners sort of, I don’t know, in some way, it’s like, they feel like they own you, you know, like, they think they own the clients, which we know is not the case. They’ve, you know, I see the sentiment a lot that, you know, I groomed you, you were here for all these years, I taught you everything, you know, you know, you’re being so ungrateful by leaving, like, that’s kind of the sentiment. And I don’t know, I you know, I didn’t see it that way. I know, it was my own perception. But I didn’t see it that way. I was grateful for the time that I spent there, you know, still have much gratitude for all the things I learned there. But you know, you will evolve and you grow as a professional. And it just was time for me to leave. And I hope that when, as I experienced that associates leaving because I have, you know, I hope that I’ve been able to remember what it was like when I was leaving someone. And, you know, be more gracious about it.
Suzi: Yeah, yeah. And when you started your own practice, what was your biggest obstacle?
Christina: God, my biggest obstacle, I have to say, I, I guess maybe it’s a little hard for me to remember, I’m sure at the time I was terrified. My biggest obstacle at the time was probably just learning to really be a business owner. And that’s something I talk about a lot of my podcast is, I’m interested in hearing people’s experience, when you realize at some point, I’m not just a lawyer, now, I’m a business owner. So you have to really learn how to think as a business owner, and be a business manager, because that’s what you’re doing. You can’t just be a good lawyer. It’s not enough. And I think when you first go out on your own unless you’ve had the the opportunity to really see someone else managing the business aspect of things, which I did a little bit. You you it can be a rude awakening. Right? You don’t know what you don’t know. So that was a transition for me learning really, that I have to pay attention to business. It’s not just about being a good lawyer.
Suzi: Right? So you had a co founder, right? With New Jersey divorce solutions? Did does that I don’t know who that person is. But do you all, sort of complement each other? And would you recommend like, if you do go out on your own to do it with a co founder or a partner who maybe complements you?
Christina: Well, when I first went out on my own, I was so low, you were so okay, yes. And I think I want to say did that maybe about a year and a half? And so I do recall the challenges of being totally solo is that every single decision falls on you. That’s scary. Yeah. You know, looking back on things I, I ended up getting business coaching, which really changed things for me, I would recommend that to anybody, whether you’re solo or have a partner is get business coaching, you need it because you don’t know how to run a business. And ultimately, though, I did partner up with John Laughlin, er, and we had a case together. That’s how we met and we became fast friends. And the stars just aligned properly, that at some point he was leaving where he was. And I think maybe he preferred to have a partner and I was recognizing that it would be nice to have a partner someone to kind of share all of these responsibilities and decision making with so we partnered and that’s when we created what is now New Jersey divorce solutions. And what I would say to people about having a partner is it can be wonderful. If it’s the right person, it can be terrible. If it’s not the right person.
Suzi: It’s like a relationship. Right. You know,
Christina: it is a marriage. It really is. I mean, and there are legal entanglements and you have to Really make sure that this person that you’re partnering with, don’t just do it out of convenience. You know, don’t just do it because oh, well, I don’t want a partner I don’t, I don’t want to be solo, I want a partner and oh, hey, you need a partner to let’s be partners. Don’t do that. So many people do that. And you know, much like getting married, there are certain things that you should discuss before you do that, to make sure that you are compatible, that you’re going to be making, you know, compatible decisions. Like, for instance, that’s something I see people fight over all the time, is money, and how much work each one is doing. You know, if one of you, if it’s your goal to back out of practicing law and focus more on other things, but one of you really wants to practice law and you want to build 200 hours a month, you guys need to be on the same page about that. Because if you’re not, at some point, there is going to be resentment, because one is going to feel like he or she is doing more than the other. John and I have had growing pains, you know, we did not have those talks before we partnered. So and I can say this all in hindsight. And we, you know, we’ve had our share of differences. But thankfully, we’ve gotten to a place where we were able to work them out. And I found we found that what ultimately ended up working best for us was to have very clearly defined roles, you know, you do this, and I do this. And because we’re both very independent, right, like, that’s why we went on our own, we didn’t want to have a boss or feel like we had a boss, and you just cannot have two people making all of the same decisions. You know, it doesn’t work, at least it didn’t work for me. So once we were able to really identify our respective responsibilities, things really started working very smoothly at that point. So that’s what I would recommend to people.
Suzi: I love that. So did you all do a kind of a written agreement?
Christina: We didn’t really that’s another thing I would highly recommend, right, which I’ve learned from our own mistakes is do that you don’t treat your relationship like it’s a business relationship, because it is it is a business relationship. And don’t forget that. Even though you may be friends, maybe you’re even related. You have to treat it like it’s a business because it is a business,
Suzi: prenup. postnup
Christina: kind of, I mean, there’s gonna be sticky things that pop up here and there. And, you know, I always say that the written agreement isn’t necessarily because, you know, you’re worried someone’s, you know, maybe going to screw you over or something like that, although it happens, like, let’s be realistic, those things happen all the time. But I think it really just clarifies things for both of you know, what are our respective responsibilities and obligations to each other? Make sure you’re on the same page about it, don’t guess don’t assume. Yeah.
Suzi: And then if there, if there is any confusion, you can go back and look at that agreement. Right. So it’s not like it’s as subjective. It’s not like you’re having a subjective argument or taking these subjective positions. You can go back I’m like, Okay, this is what we agreed to, right? You try to try to, you know, tailor how you’re going to go forward based on what is actually been written in that agreement. So I think that’s some fantastic advice. Let’s take a quick pause for a message from my sponsor, prominent practice.
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Christina: Yeah, and, you know, there’s also practical things that I didn’t think about either until I had consulted with an attorney, and you know, hire an attorney to advise you because somebody who does because that area of law because they’re gonna see things that you’re not even thinking about, like, for instance, what do you do? What happens when one of you wants to pull out of the business? Right? Now you should have some guidance as to what’s going to happen there. What happens if one of you dies? You know, right, we all know we’re gonna die. You know, those are just a few examples. And it’s just, it’s the responsible thing to do as a business owner and for your, your family, for sure to address those things.
Suzi: Yeah. So you have gone through this process with your partnership. And you started the divorce Happy Hour podcast, you’re the co host of that. Is John D. Does he co host that with you? Or do you do that with him?
Christina: He does, he co hosts. We initially started that out as CO hosting every episode. But then over time, it sort of has evolved where sometimes he’s doing it, and sometimes I’m doing it. Okay. But we’re, we’re making some changes in the firm that are coming very, very soon. Okay. Talk about that a little bit. But yeah, so we’re, we’re going to be ramping up the podcast to be a little more active in the very near future.
Suzi: Okay, I can’t wait to hear about that. So what was your inspiration for starting that podcast? You know,
Christina: I, I don’t even know like this one. You’re asking me this question. Because I couldn’t think back on it. It all just happened organically. You know, it wasn’t like it was necessarily planned. I remember there was someone that I’m still friends with her name is Nadia, she was selling ads, I guess, or like airtime for a local radio station. And she came by, and she was trying to sell us ad space. And at the time, I was just then really starting to be very interested in Journalism and Broadcasting and things of that nature, you know, doing something like on the radio or in front of a camera. And so when she came by, I said, Hey, you know, I’m not interested in an ad. But are there any opportunities to be on the radio? So she said, Well, yeah, you can buy space, you can buy like airtime. And so John, and I had been talking about doing the podcast, and it just came, this opportunity just came by at the right time. So we started doing the show on the radio on the radio, that’s really cool. It was so fun. I loved it, we’d actually go to a local studio. And yeah, you know, we felt like big time, like, wow, we’re in a real studio. And we’ve started live streaming and on Facebook, and it just grew from there.
Suzi: Was that a good business development generator for you all?
Christina: You know, it was I gave us a lot of visibility. And I always tell people about advertising, because this is something I hear a lot. And I, again, a lesson I learned to, in my travels, is people think, Oh, I’m not going to buy that billboard anymore, or that print ad because nobody, I didn’t get anybody from it. Because you’re waiting for someone to call and say, Hey, I’m only calling because I saw you right there on that board. That just doesn’t really happen that much. Right? What they do, and you know, they see when a lot of different places because they don’t see one time then call you right, like, you know, pay attention to your own buying patterns.
Suzi: You probably see something a bunch of times, seven times I say like seven impressions before like clicks was a concern. Yes.
Christina: And I think that’s true, because you keeping and over and over again, and maybe even in different places, like maybe they see the podcast, you know, when they see us, they see a video on Instagram, and then they see us in a newspaper, and then maybe they pass a billboard, and they see us and all these different places. And then eventually, when they’re ready, we’re already sort of they’re in their subconscious mind. And then the next time they see you, like I’m gonna call them. So I think that’s where it has value. And we have had people, numerous people, you know, more than more than, you know, a couple where it’s sort of a thing, where they’ll say, Oh, I love your podcast and listen to it all the time. Or, you know, I I heard you on the podcast, and I just I love you guys. And so it has its value there.
Suzi: So there was hadn’t been some impetus for wakeup pa podcast. So how did how did this happen? I need to know like kind of what your inspiration was. Was it organic as well? You’re just like, I love this podcasting thing.
Christina: Why not do it was it was I loved it. I loved the radio show. I loved the podcasting, but I was really interested in expanding the kinds of conversations that I would have. I didn’t want to limit it. To just talking about divorce and legal topics, so I thought, well, I’ll just start my own podcast, and I can just interview anybody about anything that I want. Yeah. And I sort of say, I’m like, I’m just a naturally nosy person, you know, and I think, various curious, I’d prefer that. And I think you probably know from your experience with your own podcast is that you can sort of get away with asking people questions on your podcast, that maybe you wouldn’t be able to ask them in another setting. Right? Yeah. They just sort of expected, you know, because you’re interviewing them. But when you meet someone at a dinner party or a bar event, you’re not interviewing them. Right? So if you start asking them, just these rapid fire questions about different things, they’re gonna be like, Who is this weirdo? You know, why is she asking me all these questions? So I, that that was sort of, you know, what, what sparked it? Yeah. And I just love it, and I just kept doing it.
Suzi: So you’re like, I can be weird and curious on my own podcast I can do I mean, that’s kind of the beauty of the podcast, right? Like, you can kind of do whatever you want with it, which is scary at the same time.
Christina: And, you know, there’s, there’s no pressure to, you know, to get like a million downloads, right? I mean, if you were hired by a major network for a show, I mean, first of all, you’d have to be somebody known and recognized for them to even do that. But even then, when you get on the show, you have to have ratings are not going to keep you around. But with a podcast, anybody can do it, right? Like, and it doesn’t matter. If you have a million downloads, it doesn’t matter. If you have two downloads, if you’re enjoying it, and you’re getting something out of it, then you can keep doing it. And so it kind of takes a little bit of the pressure out of it. And for me, was like the perfect forum for me to just talk to people and hear their stories.
Suzi: So what’s next for your podcast?
Christina: I don’t really know, I’m still doing it. You know, I was religiously pumping out episodes every week, sometimes more. And I think I slowed down a little bit on that. And I’m just being a little more choosy about the guests that I invite on. You know, before I felt like there was just this obligation like that I publish every week. And now I’m sort of like, taking some time to reflect Like, who do I really want on the podcast, you know, like, what kinds of stories or experiences are people do other people maybe want to hear from? So, also, I’m going back to school, I was accepted into Columbia University for journalism program.
Suzi: Okay. Congratulations. Thank you adulation so so let’s talk about that. When it what is this? When’s this gonna start sounds like journalism is, is a thing that you love?
Christina: Yeah, it is, you know, I feel like, you know, you’re asking me, where’s the podcast going? And I don’t know what’s gonna happen school. Yeah, I mean, that’s where it’s going. And I realized that, you know, this isn’t just something that I want to do as a hobby. I mean, I would do it as a hobby forever. But, you know, it’s growing into something bigger, where it’s not going to just be a hobby. No, it’s going to be a career, a new career. And I’m very excited about that. And I don’t know where it’s gonna go, I’m going to school with an open mind, I am very much looking forward to learning, learning from the best in the industry. And just seeing what happens, you know, seeing where, where things go.
Suzi: Okay, Ithink that that’s such a cool perspective, right? Like, you’re just kind of like how you’ve approached many things. Like very organically, like very open minded, you’re just kind of open and you’re like, not taking a rigid approach. Like, let’s see what happens when I go to Columbia. So what semester will you be starting? We’re in spring of 2022.
Christina: Yeah, I start in the fall, it’s a Fall Start only. And it was sort of fortuitous the way even the application process happened for me, because I’ve been thinking about it for a few years. And each year that would go by and pass the deadline. You know, I think, I don’t know how am I gonna do that? How am I gonna go to school on, run a firm and do all these things? And so finally, I had to take advice that I give other people all the time, you know, what are you waiting for? Just do it. And there were two weeks to spare until the application deadline. And I had to submit you know, various materials and essays and letters of recommendation and by some miracle got it all done with In those two weeks, and then two months later, exactly to the day got my acceptance letter. So I just feel like it was meant to be. It just happened when it was supposed to happen the way it was supposed to. And I start in the fall, and actually starts late August, okay. And in the meantime, New Jersey divorce solutions is sort of winding down. Because John and I have started another business. It’s called net squire. And it will provide, yeah, it’ll provide sort sort of like a plan words like internet, Esquire, I love it. And thank you. And it will provide online mediation services for divorcing couples, and online document preparation for divorcing couples. And it’s been something that we’ve talked about starting for a long time now, we just never really got it off the ground. And, you know, the timing was right. And it took more of a priority for us. And I think we finally gotten to a place now where it will fill a gap in the legal services that are presently available for people to get a divorce, have a professional do their paperwork, you know, give them some limited legal advice. And do it for one affordable flat fee without lid heavy litigation, because there are people that need that there are people that want that. Not everybody has to be, you know, Kramer versus Kramer. I know, that’s a really old movie, I don’t know, watching that. But, you know, War of the Roses type divorces, there’s always going to be a market for those. But there is a market for people other than that, too, you know, people that are relatively amicable when I say amicable, I don’t mean, you know, best friends, you know, holding hands, but are committed on some level to not having a divorce. Hopefully, I can curse that looks like a shit show. Right? I don’t mean, just doesn’t have to be that way. And I would really like to change public perception about divorce and how it’s supposed to be. I mean, it can be a shit show, if you want it to be. Yeah, but there’s plenty of people that don’t want that. And I want to create a place for them. Hmm, where it doesn’t have to look that way. And it doesn’t have to be hugely expensive. Because people should keep their money for themselves. They shouldn’t have to give lawyers 10s of 1000s of dollars and be left with you know, nothing. When it’s all done.
Suzi: This is a really cool concept. So how will this this will be available in New Jersey? I presume? Yes, y’all are barred there? How would that work outside of New Jersey? Would? That would do the would the parties have to be located in New Jersey for them to be able to use this?
Christina: Well, I mean, it is online, but because we’re only barred in New Jersey. And you know, there’s obviously rules about practicing law in other states, we would have to we could only represent people where there would be jurisdiction in New Jersey. So if there’s jurisdiction to file your complaint for divorce in New Jersey, then we can do that. We do have a long term plan to branch out into other states. But we’ve got to you know, once we get New Jersey down and HMI, then we can start talking about branching out into other states.
Suzi: So this, this is gonna allow you to it sounds like instead of doing more, it’s like hands on family law and divorce, it’s going to allow you to really kind of dive into your journalism program.
Christina: Yeah, I mean, we’re, it’s going to be limited to mediation. And for people that have already reached an agreement, because you know, not every divorce is terribly complicated. You know, sometimes we get calls a lot for people that say, we already kind of know what we want to do. We just don’t know how to get it done. We don’t know how to do the paperwork. And that’s largely who this is designed for. And, you know, drafting a settlement agreement and just whatever pleadings you need to get you divorced is not a terribly time consuming project. So our attention initially is that we’ll be doing that work and then as we grow, eventually hiring other people to do it, so my work will be rather limited. Right? And you because you know from litigation, Hey, you don’t you can’t do that part time. You know, you can’t tell a client don’t have an emergency on Monday between three and five. You know it There’s emergencies all the time. So the nature of the business is very different. And it will allow me to have more time to dedicate to school and other projects.
Suzi: So you are definitely someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, right? Like I can tell that you’re you’re an entrepreneur who happens to have a law degree. And you are going to have a journalism, you know, degree and how many years how long does it take to get to the program?
Christina: It’s going to be two years because it’s part time. They do have an accelerated program. That’s only nine months. But I that’s a very intensive and I don’t think I would have been able to do that with Matt squire.
Suzi: Right? Well, I’m so excited for you. And I want to be really mindful of your time. So do you have time for maybe like one or two more questions?
Christina: Yeah, I’m good. This is all I’m doing today.
Suzi: For more hours, no. So I do always like to know what kind of isn’t extra people like in their career, but we talked about that. But I would love to know, like, if you could look back, or if you could write a letter to yourself, when you first got out of law school, when you were just a little baby lawyer, you could give little Christina a piece of advice, what would you tell her?
Christina: I would just tell her, you know, don’t worry about things so much. I should really be like my 80 year old self telling my 40 something year old self now, right? The same thing. But and I would say this to anybody, just don’t worry so much about things, you know, I’ve, I’m seeing the value as I get older, and I’ve had a lot of coaching, just, you know, follow your desires where they take you, you know, your goals and the things that you feel like, Oh, I’m really interested in that. I’d love to do that. Don’t say no to those things. And and just don’t worry, everything’s going to be okay. It’s all going to turn out the way it’s supposed to. And it’s going to be fine.
Suzi: The universe will provide.
Christina: Yeah, it’s really true. Yeah.
Suzi: This has been so much fun. Christina, I really have appreciate your time. I’ve learned so much. I think one, you know, great piece of advice you gave to is like, why wait, if there’s something that you want to do, you know, maybe you’ve been out of law school for 10 years, 15 years, or maybe even 20 years. And there’s something like you have a passion, like, go for it. If you wanna go to journalism school, go for it.
Christina: Yeah, I just posted Facebook wisdom, I call it yeah, there’s this little postcard, it says it’s never too late. And you’re never too old. Of that. Yeah, I’m living by that.
Suzi: On that note.
Christina: Thank you.
Suzi: Thank you. Thank you so much for hanging out with me. And I would love to connect with you again, in a few months, especially like after you start school, I’m sure it’d be so busy. But I think journalism is something that I’ve been interested in as well at some point. And I would love to know how your experience is going in a few months. I’m sure it’s gonna be amazing. You’re gonna kill it.
Christina: Excellent. Thank you so much. I appreciate the encouragement and good luck with your podcast. I think you’re doing great. I love what you’re doing. And I can’t wait to see where you land. Maybe we’ll see you at Columbia one day V.
Suzi: I would love it. Who knows? We’ll see maybe you’ll be a professor like you just you never know, right?
Christina: You never know I don’t right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens. But I think what I want to do is make documentaries. Ah, but we’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll see where my interests take me. But I’m, of course very interested in women’s issues and shining a light on things that are happening in our world that people just don’t necessarily see. Like, my favorite topic is the Harvey Weinstein reporting that Ronan Farrow did. It was brilliant. I read that book, but isn’t gonna read it. It’s an incredible book and issues like that, like the Jeffrey Epstein story. just fascinated by those kinds of stories. So anything that’s you know, women’s empowerment oriented is probably going to be you’re gonna see that coming from me.
Suzi: Oh, I’m so excited. Where can people find Christina? Oh, well,
Christina: thank you. Yes, best place to find me and you know, see what I’m doing and find any links is on Instagram. I’m at the prev so that sort of, yes, is sort of my nickname. Yeah. Um, that’s where it starts, you know, can pretty much see everything I’m doing there and reach out to me if anybody has any questions or, you know, wants to learn more about what I’m doing with the podcast.
Suzi: Thank you so much.
Christina: Your Thank you for having me. You do a great job of it.
Suzi: Thank you so much for hanging out with us today on legally bliss conversations. If you love This episode and you want to hang out with other inspiring and light gold female attorneys. Be sure to join the legally bliss community at legally blessed.com And be sure to follow me on Instagram at Susie Hixon. See you next time.
Finding Your Place and Filling Your Space in the World, with Christina Previte