Blood, sweat and tears are cornerstones to building greatness, but often it is a leap of faith that creates the opportunity. Jill L. Coil has followed this blueprint in creating a practice that has a bright future.
“I’m not just an attorney,” Coil stated firmly. “I’m also a wife, mother, colleague, community volunteer, employer, leader and activist.”
These qualities and her leap of faith is what drove her to the place where she is today – the owner of CoilLaw LLC, a firm specializing in family law, and one of the few female attorneys in Utah to lead her own firm.
“I had worked for multiple successful firms,” she explained. “However, I was always looking for an opportunity that allowed my greatest strengths to flourish. I felt my passion and my drive were not allowed to reach their full potential. I was extremely busy but always looking for that path that would allow me to grow and thrive.
“I believe women really can do it all,” she continued. “We don’t have to be held by any limitations just because we’re moms, we have to pick our children up from school, or take our kids to the doctor when they’re sick.”
In late 2014, Coil decided to leave her previous position in order to launch her own practice. She was six months pregnant with her third child at the time and her husband was finishing medical school. Even though she knew she was taking a big risk by leaving the safety and stability of a big firm, she still felt that starting her own business was the right choice to reach her goals.
“I took that leap of faith knowing that yes, there was risk, but that I could depend on myself,” Coil said.
The New Firm
CoilLaw, LLC focuses primarily on family law but she offers criminal law services to clients who find themselves facing protective order violations, domestic violence and other similar situations.
“I wanted to focus my practice on one specific area so that people who hired my firm would know that they are getting an attorney who is very knowledgeable and experienced in that type of law,” she explained.
Coil feels fortunate that her clients followed her to her new venture.
“They all came with me when I opened my doors,” she said. “That showed a lot of trust in me, which was flattering and a boost to my confidence. It’s been an amazing journey.”
Her Journey and Passion
Of course, it’s no wonder that her clients have placed so much trust in her. Coil’s dreams of being an attorney began when she was just a child. While her friends played with Barbie dolls, Coil just wanted to play lawyer or judge. An internship in high school at the Third District Court only confirmed her career choice.
As an attorney now, her passion for arguing is rivaled only by her passion for treating her clients well and securing the best possible outcomes for their situations.
“One of the best parts of my career so far has been the relationships I’ve formed with my clients. You meet people and they’re in the most troubling times of their lives, and it’s really satisfying to be there for them and help in impactful ways.”
Coil recognizes that by the time clients reach out to her, they’ve already decided to divorce. So when she steps in, it’s to protect them and their family.
“The decisions made during a divorce can affect a person not only in the present, but far into the future,” she explained. “I want to help so that they have enduring outcomes after the divorce.”
Fighting for Her Clients
For divorce proceedings, Coil has handled cases big and small. And while typically the cases are settled prior to trial, a small portion make it to the courtroom.
One of Coil’s recent cases fell into that statistic. It was a high-income divorce case and the wife expected a large alimony with the expectation that she wouldn’t have to work. Coil felt a judge would agree that it was unreasonable and rather than settling on an exorbitant alimony, she took the case to court. She won, saving her client hundreds of thousands of dollars over the upcoming years.
In a pro bono case, Coil represented a single mother of several children who didn’t have much money. The mother was trying to do her best, but her ex-husband refused to pay court-ordered child support and alimony. According to Coil, he even had the audacity to lie to the court about his income. The court found in the mother’s favor and ordered him to pay.
“She really wasn’t getting what was fair,” Coil said. “It’s heartbreaking to see these cases. The verdict was proof, however, that the system works. They saw through the lies and validated the struggles this woman had to endure due to her ex-husband’s actions.”
Coil strives to go above and beyond, putting her all into every case – and it shows not only in the results she secures for her clients, but in the many glowing testimonials she receives and the awards she has been honored with. In the past year alone, she was named one of the 10 Best 2015 in Client Satisfaction from the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys and was an honoree on Utah Business’ Utah Legal Elite list in the up-and-coming category.
The Future of the Business
In addition to the awards, Coil’s client base has expanded so quickly since opening her doors that she has already recruited two more people to the team. In addition to her legal assistant, Sela Nock, she hired Luke Shaw, an associate attorney.
“As a team we’ve been able to grow and strengthen our client base and services. It’s been really prodigious,” she said.
As her practice has grown, she has been compelled to build a beautiful new office space in Sandy, Utah. The building provides enough space for the firm to continue to grow. She has also designed the office to offer a variety of facets including a mediator and counselor space for clients.
She is also working on building relationships with other family law attorneys in the community. “I try really hard to get to know my colleagues by reaching out to them and encouraging mutual respect,” she explained. “Ultimately, I believe this will benefit my clients as well as strengthen the industry.”
Owning her own practice gives Coil the structure and flexibility she needs for her family work-life balance and she’s grateful to be where she is today. It was definitely a leap of faith, but one that was the right choice.
“In 10 years, I see myself leading the best family law firm in Utah, where people refer clients to us because they trust that we will do exceptional work for them. With the right situation, dedication and spirit, women really can have it all. And I don’t plan on stopping here. This is only the beginning.”