Patricia Alexander: Civility In Practice

Patricia Alexander
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Attorney at Law Magazine Palm Beach Publisher Rhenne Leon sat down with Patricia Alexander of The Law Offices of Patricia Alexander to discuss her professional history and her family. 

AALM: When did you decide to become a lawyer and why?

Alexander: I’ve always been interested in the study of people and laws. In college, I majored in social psychology. I lived in several states and overseas in Europe and enjoyed learning about different societies and cultures. I think law is a natural progression because the law is unique in that it touches every person and citizen in society in some way.

AALM: What have you found rewarding about being an attorney leader in the community and how are you involved in the legal community and local community?

Alexander: I have dedicated over 20 years of service to the legal community and to the local community and children and families. Locally, I am immediate past president of the South Palm Beach County Bar Association after close to 15 years of committee service and board leadership. I have served as committee chair for various committees of the family law section of the Florida Bar. Bar service is extremely rewarding, not only in the work and contributions I was able to provide to the people of Florida but also because of the dear friends and colleagues that I have made throughout the years. I always think it’s important to lead by example, especially when it comes to service and mentoring. I hope that I have played a small part in mentoring new attorneys to empower themselves to become active participants in service to the legal community as well as the community at large.

AALM: What do you find challenging about your practice. How do you overcome those challenges?

Alexander: The most rewarding part is also the most challenging part – helping clients through the most difficult times of their lives. Family law is a unique area of law because the clients are going through one of the most emotionally taxing times of their lives. With all the emotions that come along with the clients, it’s essential that the lawyer separate from the emotions and stay clear headed. This is important not only for the lawyer to effectively represent the client, but also for the lawyer’s own emotional health. This is a skill that I’ve learned that comes mostly with time and experience.

To balance my day, I make sure to separate my personal life from my work. Simply, when I’m at work, I focus on my client work and my business; when I’m home, I focus on my family and personal life. In the practice of marital and family law, there is always a fire to put out. That is the nature of this practice. Balance includes taking care of oneself to best serve my clients.

AALM: What was the beginning of your career like? How has it evolved over the years?

Alexander: I went to law school when I had very young children. After law school, I started out in the practice of adoption and surrogacy law. I was passionate about it because I made a positive difference in many lives. I became interested in marital and family law and soon founded my own family law practice which allows me to serve my clients in the way that they deserve to be served and gives me the flexibility to handle every aspect of my practice and business.

AALM:When did you decide to become a lawyer and why?

Alexander: I’ve always been interested in the study of people and laws. In college, I majored in social psychology. I lived in several states and overseas in Europe and enjoyed learning about different societies and cultures. I think law is a natural progression because the law is unique in that it touches every person and citizen in society in some way.

AALM: What have you found rewarding about being an attorney leader in the community and how are you involved in the legal community and local community?

Alexander: I have dedicated over 20 years of service to the legal community and to the local community and children and families. Locally, I am immediate past president of the South Palm Beach County Bar Association after close to 15 years of committee service and board leadership. I have served as committee chair for various committees of the family law section of the Florida Bar. Bar service is extremely rewarding, not only in the work and contributions I was able to provide to the people of Florida but also because of the dear friends and colleagues that I have made throughout the years. I always think it’s important to lead by example, especially when it comes to service and mentoring. I hope that I have played a small part in mentoring new attorneys to empower themselves to become active participants in service to the legal community as well as the community at large.

AALM: What do you find challenging about your practice. How do you overcome those challenges?

Alexander: The most rewarding part is also the most challenging part – helping clients through the most difficult times of their lives. Family law is a unique area of law because the clients are going through one of the most emotionally taxing times of their lives. With all the emotions that come along with the clients, it’s essential that the lawyer separate from the emotions and stay clear headed. This is important not only for the lawyer to effectively represent the client, but also for the lawyer’s own emotional health. This is a skill that I’ve learned that comes mostly with time and experience.

To balance my day, I make sure to separate my personal life from my work. Simply, when I’m at work, I focus on my client work and my business; when I’m home, I focus on my family and personal life. In the practice of marital and family law, there is always a fire to put out. That is the nature of this practice. Balance includes taking care of oneself to best serve my clients.

AALM: What was the beginning of your career like? How has it evolved over the years?

Alexander: I went to law school when I had very young children. After law school, I started out in the practice of adoption and surrogacy law. I was passionate about it because I made a positive difference in many lives. I became interested in marital and family law and soon founded my own family law practice which allows me to serve my clients in the way that they deserve to be served and gives me the flexibility to handle every aspect of my practice and business.

AALM: How do you personally try to help women following in your career path?

Alexander: I work hard to support fellow women. Unfortunately, there is gender bias which must end. I mentor young women lawyers as much as possible and teach them that they must empower themselves. Empowerment does not mean that the practice of marital and family law has to be cut-throat. It’s more effective to advocate zealously for your client while remaining professional and polite. I always invite lawyers and law students to contact me with any questions or for advice. Women lawyers, especially those in solo practices, need a support system in place. I’ve learned that it is better to ask for advice rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. It’s a lot faster too!

AALM: Do you find that as a woman you face any challenges that men don’t?

Alexander: Yes, there is still inequality and women lawyers still face challenges in the job market. Generally, women are still stretched for time. For women who have families, work doesn’t end when we leave the office. We take off our work hats and put on our other hats. Women have to delegate more, take time out for themselves, pamper themselves more.

AALM: Tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to learn.

Alexander: I survived a major earthquake while in Greece.

AALM: How do you balance your home life and work life?

Alexander: Haha. It’s still a challenge, and a daily struggle. But luckily, I have had the support of family to do so. Without their support I would not have been able to have balance. I praise single mothers with no support system. They are the true heroes. Also, owning my own business allows me flexibility to schedule my week the way I want.

AALM: What accomplishments are you most proud of achieving?

Alexander: My children. My son is an engineer who married a smart and caring surgeon. They both work together to care for my first granddaughter who was born this past year. My daughter followed in my footsteps and became an attorney as well. She followed her dreams and works every day defending the indigent accused as a public defender in Palm Beach County.

My law practice and my service to the local community and to the children and families of Florida. Every day, I make a significant difference in a person’s life.

AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Alexander: I am an amateur chef and baker. My favorite recipes are those handed down to me by all of the women before me – my mother, grandmothers and aunts, as well as my husband’s mother and aunts. When I follow a family recipe, it reminds me of the wonderful memories of family and holidays. Thus, cooking for me is from my heart. I love southern wildlife and enjoy going to nature preserves with my daughter throughout the south. I love vacationing in the Greek islands.

AALM: What traits do you think make an attorney exceptional?

Alexander: In family law specifically, the exceptional lawyers are the ones that, despite the drama involved in the clients’ lives, are still able to practice and communicate respectfully and with civility to clients, opposing counsel and the court. I believe that this is not only an effective way to advocate for your client, but a healthier and more successful way to practice as a marital and family lawyer.

 

TRENDING ARTICLES

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

You have successfully subscribed!

X