Attorney at Law Magazine Palm Beach Publisher Rhenne Leon sat down with Cynthia Pyfrom to discuss her career as a lawyer and what she hopes to accomplish in the future.
AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become an attorney? What drew you to this career?
Pyfrom: I began working in the legal field as a receptionist back in 1997 and, over the years, worked my way up to a paralegal position. I worked in various law firms that practiced in several different areas of law. However, in 2005, I accepted my first job at a family law firm. I found that I truly enjoyed helping people. I believe the psychological aspect involved in family law cases really drew me to this career. I never knew I wanted to become an attorney until I was strongly encouraged by my then-boss to take the LSAT and apply to local law schools. It was happenstance and a continuation of my progression through the legal field. It was the next natural step.
AALM: What drew you to your current firm? How would you describe the culture there?
Pyfrom: I am currently a sole practitioner with my own firm and have been open since January 2014. Prior to that, I worked full time for a Boca Raton family law firm while attending law school in the evening division at Nova Southeastern University. What drew me to opening my own firm within eight months of being a licensed attorney was the desire to truly help people and provide empathetic and ethical representation. It can be very difficult to work under an attorney that does not necessarily have the same views as I do when it comes to representing clients during one of his or her most vulnerable and stressful life experiences. Since starting law school, I always knew I would eventually work for myself, so I could implement my own philosophy and represent clients in a way that coincides with my values and morals. I pride myself on being transparent, forthcoming, and honest with my clients. I do not promise a client an outcome, but I do guide him or her through the legal process with the goal of educating and empowering him or her to make decisions that work.
AALM: As a newer generation lawyer, what traits do you have that you think senior partners should adopt into their practice?
Pyfrom: Although I am a newer generation lawyer, I have been employed in the legal field for over 20 years. I believe that working in the legal field 12 years prior to going to law school gave me an advantage that many other sole practitioners lack in that I intimately understand the procedures and processes necessary to get the job done. They don’t teach you that in law school.
Additionally, being a child of divorce, and a divorcee myself, I can empathize with my clients and what they are going through emotionally. I believe senior partners should adopt a more empathetic approach in family law matters because clients require a percentage of remedial representation – not just litigation. Divorce can be a very difficult emotional experience and sometimes very costly. With empathy, senior attorneys can implement decisions and processes within their firms that make the client the number one priority.
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?
Pyfrom: I hope to grow my firm by hiring associates and other staff members to expand the firm’s ability to assist more clients and provide ethical representation. I genuinely look forward to providing a unique service in an industry inundated with options.