By Laurie Rowen
From Celebrity Lawyer To Rockstar Lawyer for Moms: Meet Lisa Pierson Weinberger
Lisa Pierson Weinberger spent her legal training years representing A-list celebrities at a fancy Hollywood law firm. When she went out on her own, she wanted to use the skills she developed assisting celebrities with their staffing needs to help others with their own important staffing needs. Lisa’s clients might not all be celebrities, but she delivers celebrity service as she assists with arguably the most important of legal issues – who we trust to come into our homes and join our lives and families. With a law firm called Mom, Esq., we simply had to learn more. Lisa agreed to spend some time with us to tell us all about Mom, Esq. Meet Lisa Pierson Weinberger…
Laurie Rowen: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us today, Lisa! Please tell us a little bit more about your background and how you ended up where you are today.
Lisa Pierson Weinberger: After graduating from The UCLA School of Law, I spent seven years practicing at the well-known entertainment law firm of Greenberg Glusker, working as an employment lawyer with many of Hollywood’s A-List celebrities. Once I became a mother, I realized that I wanted the kind of flexibility in my schedule that is not consistent (or realistic) with big law firm hours requirements and client demands. It wasn’t long before I realized that I could use my skills and experience as an employment lawyer to help others like myself–the parents I was meeting on the playground, at music class and at my mommy groups. I found that even the most thoughtful, organized and resourceful parents simply didn’t know to consider the legal issues that affected their families once their children were born–or didn’t know where to go for the answers. I wanted to create a place where these parents would feel comfortable asking questions, parent-to-parent, and get straightforward answers from someone who understands employment law. So, I combined my two loves and carved out my niche practice of Mom, Esq.
Laurie: How did you start your firm, Mom Esq.?
Lisa: When I worked at Greenberg Glusker, my clients were very well-known and affluent individuals in the entertainment industry. As such, my job involved counseling on matters related to large domestic staffs—nannies, housekeepers, tutors, chefs, gardeners, trainers, butlers, drivers. However, the truth is that the issues and concerns are all, essentially, the same whether you’re dealing with a full staff or a single nanny. When I went out on my own, I decided to use my experience (advising on the hiring process, background and drug checks, wage and hour issues, counseling, discipline, and terminations, and preparing employment applications, timekeeping records, offer letters and employment agreements, confidentiality agreements, arbitration agreements, termination letters, and severance and release agreements) to help the kinds of families who couldn’t afford big law firm rates, but who wanted solid legal advice. I decided to fill that niche and it has been a huge success. At the same time, I wanted to help women with matters relating to their maternity leave benefits and reinstatement rights, so I am a one stop shop for employment-related parenting questions. I get to help moms and dads all day long, and it feels great.
Laurie: What has been your greatest challenge in practicing law?
Lisa: Without a doubt, my greatest challenge has been to find a way to have my profession enrich my life without becoming my life. Particularly once I became a parent, I simply wasn’t willing to miss out on my kids’ childhoods – yet, I still really wanted to work. It has been that give and take that has taken the most amount of time, energy and thought. And truthfully, I think it is an ever moving target.
Laurie: How do you balance your career with being the mother of two children?
Lisa: The only way I have been able to balance my career with motherhood has been to be my own boss. Having control over my own schedule is the way that works for me. If I want to be at my son’s preschool in the afternoon, I can make that choice and then work later in the evening after my children are asleep. Not having to answer to anybody else allows me to find more hours in the day to be everywhere I want to be.
Laurie: What advice do you have for an attorney who would like to start her own practice?
Lisa: First, go for it! It will be harder than you think, but you can do it. One of the hardest parts about being a solo practitioner is not having anyone else to bounce ideas off of when you are presented with a challenging issue, so I would highly suggest finding other attorneys who practice in your field and developing a relationship whereby you can use one another as a resource to discuss developments in the law or to help one another out. These relationships often turn into referrals, as well, so it’s also good for business.
Laurie: What advice do you have for young female lawyers who are striving for more balance in their lives?
Lisa: I think that all lawyers must have a realistic understanding of the expectation where they work. If someone works at an international law firm with large billable requirements and large bonus payments to match, the expectation is that he or she will be very available to clients and partners regardless of what may be happening in their personal lives. Smaller or more flexible opportunities may come with smaller paychecks, but a better quality of life. The big money can come with a price, so I think all lawyers are wise to consider what kind of work/life balance is possible in different organizational cultures.
Laurie: Do you think you have faced different challenges being a female lawyer?
Lisa: Certainly. Older male attorneys are often quick to take younger female lawyers seriously. So it’s just that much more fun when you can outsmart them.
Laurie: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. We wish you so much success with Mom, Esq!
To read interviews of other lawyers who have been featured on our Legal Success Series, please visit these prior blog posts:
- Legal Success Series: Meet Rahsaana Allen
- Legal Success Series: Meet Alison Triessl
- Legal Success Series: Meet Kathlynn Smith
Lisa Pierson Weinberger
Mom, Esq. is a unique law firm dedicated to the needs of parents and parents-to-be. Founded by a proud mom and experienced employment lawyer, Lisa Pierson Weinberger helps families properly employ domestic help (including baby nurses, housekeepers, and nannies), and works with women to maximize maternity leave benefits and assists with back-to-work issues such as reinstatement rights, lactation rights, and the negotiation of flexible schedules. For more information, visit http://momesquire.com/home