His name was Russ. I remember his blue suit and burnt-mustard-yellow tie especially. In my 6-year-old mind, he was more powerful than God. I didn’t understand how, but I knew that because of this lawyer, I now had a dad.

Russ was the first time I knew what a lawyer was. He represented my dad in my adoption. I remember going into the law library at the courthouse and sitting toward the end of the long conference table. Mom and dad sat at the end of the table together, and Russ sat across the table from me. At the other end was the Judge, saying things I didn’t understand, but knowing that when he spoke, all the grown-ups in the room listened closely. I knew the Judge was important, but Russ was amazing to me. He was responsible for all of this happening somehow.

Twelve years later, I met Robert. Robert was my lawyer. I was fighting for custody rights to my oldest son. Robert was just as mysterious to me as Russ was, but for different reasons. He would meet with me every once in a while, and would call occasionally as well. When we went into the courtroom, Robert spoke words and phrases I didn’t understand, but that I knew were important. When we were done, I had a right to be with my son that not even his mother could interfere with. Again, I didn’t understand how, but I knew that because of this lawyer, I now had a son.

Seven years later, I stood at my swearing-in ceremony as a lawyer, understanding what Russ and Robert had done. I understood how, because of those lawyers, I had a dad and a son.

Because I’ve been the subject of family law proceeding and a litigant in a family law proceeding, I guess you could say I was made for family law work. Like many young people, I spent the first few years of my career working where I could to make a living. Since 2012, however, my focus has been on helping parents and children in family law cases. I know what’s like to be involved in these kinds of cases. Because of that, our goal is to help our clients move on to the next phase of their family life successfully. That’s what two lawyers did for me, and I now that I have the ability to help others, I look forward to doing for others what those lawyers did for me.

Jesse M. Marzen, Founding Attorney