Three Things You’ll Learn:
1. Decide what you want out of the practice of law
2. Ask for help when you need it
3. Have a support group to back you up
There Are Options
Born and raised in the Dallas area of Texas, Duane Coker is now a Family Attorney & Shareholder for Coker, Robb & Cannon in Colorado, where he lives and works with his wife.
As a Marketer and a Lawyer, Duane acknowledges that it would have been easy for him and his wife to get out of shape, only focusing on work. He shares that they now make a healthy lifestyle their priority. They have participated in triathlons together and frequently run or cycle.
Having been married to his high school sweetheart for over 30 years, Duane feels he has an advantage working as a family law attorney. He always lets his potential clients know that there are other options other than getting divorced, which many of his clients find amusing.
“When you're sitting there telling them [potential clients] about all these options to get divorced, you should tell them that one of the options is actually to not get divorced.” (14:06)
You Don’t Know, What You Don’t Know
Duane went through the process of getting his Board Certification in Family Law, explaining that it was one of the hardest tests he has ever taken. However, he learned one very important lesson through this:
“The better you get at knowing what you don’t know, is really the key.“ (19:26)
Duane knows it is a learning process for all new attorneys and it is not an issue in the beginning as long as they are willing to learn and acknowledge their knowledge gap.
Working together has never been a source of friction for Duane and his spouse, stating that they avoid talking about work outside of the office.
“I have always worked to live as opposed to living to work.” (22:43)
Duane never intended to be someone who was consumed by his work and built this work/life balance into his business from the start. He closes down on Fridays and brings on help whenever there is too much work for him to deal with himself.
Duane wants an identity outside of work and refuses to be the lawyer who lives and dies at their desk.
Leaving Room For Creativity
Duane loves mediations and the room that is left for creativity in Family Law. Finding the common ground between two people who are on completely different sides, is what he truly finds most rewarding.
Although Duane once struggled with representing clients who seemed to only want to inflict pain on others, he quickly realized it was his duty to guide them to a healthy mindset and framework.
He now focuses on ensuring his clients come to an agreement, not forfeiting what they want but by approaching the issue with a clear and level head.