Waldlaw Blog

Monday, December 31, 2007

Reflections for a New Year

What a difference a year makes! A year ago, I was a solo practitioner with a part time office on 24th Street in Noe Valley, a quiet San Francisco neighborhood. A year ago, I had yet to handle my first collaborative divorce (and, for those of you who have seen the movie "Juno," let me just state that the same attorney never handles both sides of a collaborative divorce -- to do so would be unethical). A year ago, I was just beginning to offer a full range of start-to-finish surrogacy services -- including egg donor and surrogacy agreements, as well as parentage actions -- that I had the expertise but not the time (as a part-time lawyer) to provide to clients. A year ago, my sons still shared a bedroom and our family spent loads of time attending elementary school functions. What a difference a year makes....

Thanks to our wonderful clients, colleagues, family and supporters, this year has been a year of unprecedented growth at Wald Law.

This week, I will celebrate my first anniversary as THE WALD LAW GROUP, in a downtown law office that I share with Deb Kinney, estate planning attorney extraordinaire -- and those of you who haven't visited us yet should come on by!

This week, I will celebrate my first year of working with attorney Paul Thorndal -- and we look forward to Paul spending 2008 growing our divorce/dissolution practice, including both negotiation and litigation, while I focus on our family formation practice (primarily adoptions and assisted reproduction work), collaborative divorces, and litigated parentage cases, adoptions and guardianships. This division of labor will allow our combined years of experience and expertise to be put to best use.

This year, in April, we will see the implementation of the Hague Convention on intercountry adoptions, which will change the way that international adoptions are handled around the world and, especially, here in the United States, and with profound implications for the ability of single people and gay couples to adopt abroad.

This year, the California Supreme Court will rule on whether the state government's refusal to allow same-sex couples to marry violates the state Constitution -- a ruling expected to have major implications for the national movement toward marriage equality.

This year, my older son will start high school, and my younger son will start 7th grade, as their exciting and relentless march toward adulthood continues. And this year, my partner and I will celebrate our 27th anniversary, meaning that we will have been together for more than half of each other's lives -- a source of continuing amazement, pride and joy.

This year holds so much promise, and also so much to be concerned about -- the continued war in Iraq, continuing economic challenges for so many here at home, on-going concern about the impact of our modern society on nature and the environment -- and, of course, this year brings us a national election that could effect all of these things and so much more.

So, as we leave 2007 behind and move into 2008, I wish all of you reading this blog -- wherever you may be -- peace and comfort, your share of happiness, good health, and something to make you proud in the New Year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Holidays from Waldlaw!

It's that time of year again.... My family, being a mixture of Jewish and Christian, celebrates almost any holiday that comes our way. When our children were little, for one year we tried celebrating both Chanukah and Christmas with gifts, and one year convinced us that this wasn't a good plan. Our older son was born in mid-November; our younger son in January -- so for that year, there were birthday gifts in November, then 8 nights of Chanukah gifts, then Christmas gifts, then birthday gifts in January again.... By the end of January, we had convinced our children that they were entitled to presents every few weeks regardless, and February and March ended up being pretty bleak months of "where's my next present" mayhem. We learned from that experience.... So now, Chanukah is the festival of light that it started out as -- we light candles every night, eat latkes (potato pancakes), sing songs. The kids fight over whose turn it is to light the candles, and don't even remember that once there were presents. We gather with Jewish friends to share the warmth of good food and company, and each year our children make a donation to a charity of choice as a way of giving thanks for what we have that others don't. And then comes Christmas.... We, as many of you, are caught up in the whirlwind of out-of-town family arriving; last minute shopping; planning menus; wandering the neighborhood looking at lights. It is, truly, a magical time of year -- and if we can avoid the malls, it is a joyful holiday. I hope that all of you find a way to celebrate this holiday season that reminds you of all the blessings in your life, whatever they may be. From all of us at Waldlaw, we wish you a wonderful, restful holiday season and look forward to sharing a healthy, happy and productive 2008.