I have known Linda for a couple of decades, and her positive outlook is a real asset to her business. It has been my pleasure to now call Linda not only a friend, but also a business associate. Please read my interview with Linda below and remember she is here for us, in our time of need.
Please tell us your mission or vision statement and how you got it?
I previously worked for attorneys and thrived on the puzzle solving and courtroom drama. But once I had children, it tore me apart to see people spending their hard earned money on what were so often just “things” and, more often, egos. I wanted an option that would allow people to have much of the same assistance as from a lawyer, but without the tone that so often comes from attorneys, as an attorney’s job is more to do what’s best for his or her client, not necessarily the family as a whole. Also, I wanted option for people who could not afford an attorney.
How long has your company been in business? 1989
Did you always know that you wanted to be in this industry?
Actually this industry didn’t exist when I startedt. When I opened Divorce Packet Processing there were no other non-lawyers in Tucson providing legal assistance directly to the consumer. And just a small handful in the Phoenix area. While the law did address the unauthorized practice of law, there were no criminal sanctions against same. So it wasn’t illegal…but nor was it legal. And as the number of non-lawyers grew over the years, many attorneys started to worry they were losing their monopoly on the legal system. So they tried to shut us down. But after much public outcry, in a true David beats Goliath, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the industry of legal document preparers be created. And I was appointed to the 4-person committee that helped draft the rules that have governed this industry since 2003.
What do you see as an area of growth in the upcoming years in your business?
I do see the potential for people doing their entire divorce online, from getting the papers prepared to filing them with the court. (Although the court has yet to work out the latter.) I already prepare some forms online, but honestly it’s hard to create truly custom documents without meeting the person and talking with them about their situation and wants and needs. Plus, going through a divorce is and will always be emotional. Not only are people not thinking straight, but they’ve enough to deal with without also having to deal with the papework. Not to mention I believe there will always be the need for some hand holding, which you just can’t get online.
What makes your business or the way you do business different from others like it?
First, I’ve been doing this longer than anyone in Tucson. And because I understand the history of the law (whether how the child support guidelines were developed or how we came to our current “custody” statutes), I understand not just what the law is but why it is. And why it may not always apply. Second, I only do divorce. So I do one thing and I do it right. I don’t see how other firms can profess themselves to be experts in everything. Third, I’ve been divorced myself. So I understand what people are going through. But I’m also quite happy now. So I think I can show people there’s a light at the end of the tunnel
What message via your business do you try to bring to others every day?
I guess exactly that – that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! I do think many other firms just look at a divorce as papers….I see it as people.
If you had one wish for your business, what would it be?
Honestly, to have more business! No, not that I want more people to divorce. Rather, I just want more people to know about this option. And how important it is to have assistance. Too many people think they can go online, find some forms, and do it themselves. But not only do they often get the wrong forms (as each state and even each country has its own rules), but very often, people end up making mistakes. And ones they might not find out about until later. And end up paying more in the long run for them.
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