Meet Allison, a history nerd and bookworm taking a Montessori approach to helping families in crisis

Name: Allison Boschert 

Location: Denver, CO

What do you do?

I am an attorney and the founder of Boschert Law, LLC. I currently have a virtual family law practice. I offer family law services and parenting coordination and decision making (PCDM) services mediation on demand for high conflict family law cases. I offer unbundled services statewide and litigation in the front range. About 50% of my cases are unbundled and/or flat rate and my goal is to increase this percentage! I offer drafting, advice, and lawyer on call services.

I initially started my legal career as an associate at a family law firm. I didn’t feel good about charging people as much as we did to get divorced. That’s one reason I offer unbundled services – it makes legal help accessible to the underserved middle market. It’s not only cost effective for the client, but it’s also beneficial for them emotionally, psychologically, and financially in the long run because they don’t build a dependency on lawyers and the courts to resolve their family problems. And by doing these things, I’ve created stronger, happier relationships with my clients which in turn means they are more likely to pay and refer people to me.

I decided to leave the firm and start my own practice for many reasons – feeling stifled, hating the billable hour, enduring the negative carryover effects it was having on my personal life,  not being able to help people in the way I wanted to, receiving texts from supervisors at 3 a.m. and being expected to respond, and being handed a trial with just 24 hours notice. The combination of these things led me to hang my shingle.

What is a typical day like for you?

I wish I had a regular schedule but I don’t. I make sure that I’m handling deadlines and case work first. I have then been enjoying networking and doing research and webinars on marketing. I’ve also recently joined a few mentoring circles which have been helpful.

What do you like most about what you do?

I like helping people. It feels good to help someone over the course of a case and to get a good result for them. The careers I had prior to going to law school – teacher at a Montessori school for ages 3-6 and insurance agent – allowed me to help people through crises and I find it emotionally rewarding. And I especially like cases involving kids.

I use a Montessori approach to family law. In Montessori school, the education meets the child where the child is, and I feel like that’s what you need to do with family law. You can’t just hammer people into your templates and expect it to work.

What other activities or organizations are you involved with?

In addition to the various bar associations and groups I participate in locally, I am also a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the Denver Metro Interdisciplinary Committee. I am trying to get back into being more involved with Phi Beta Kappa and the American Montessori Society.

What inspired you to join the legal profession?

Being a lawyer is something that was always in the back of my mind. I’m a history nerd and many of the historical figures I like were lawyers. But it wasn’t my go-to. I went to undergrad with the intention of being an architect and then ended up with a history degree. I was then supposed to be a history teacher at the college level and had a scholarship lined up for grad school and backed out.  I needed more time to figure things out. The more I thought about law school, the more it made sense. I started law school at age 30 and it took all the things I liked from my previous professional jobs and combined them into one!

How do you define success?

Generally speaking, I define it as making change for the better. If I can help people with the skills that I have on a daily basis, even if it’s small, and then sleep at night, that is success.

What is an example of a big challenge you have had to work through and how did you work through it?

One of my earliest litigated cases dealt with an issue of comity out of a divorce in Sudan so I had to learn Sharia law as it’s implemented in Sudan. It was not easy because there are not a lot of English resources for that. But I made it through the case and got the result the client wanted.

What has been your proudest moment professionally?

Starting my own practice.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I am a bookworm so I read and read and read! I also like gardening, cooking and being outdoors. And although I don’t play baseball, I really enjoy the sport. [We then proceeded to talk about Allison’s garden, which sounds AWESOME! In its prime, it has zucchini, 12 varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, and a couple of varieties of beans, lettuce, spinach, and potatoes. And she’s hoping to expand it next year. She also has flowers????]

What’s your go-to wellbeing activity?

Reading! If you give me a shady spot on a warm day with a subtle breeze and a book, I am content. And if you throw tea in there, even better! [I then learned that she has over 100 different kinds of tea!]

I like to read history, psychology and fiction, especially right before I go to bed. I also like self-help books, including Brene Brown’s books and podcasts.

What is one thing about you that you think people would be surprised to learn?

People are always surprised to find out how old I am. They always think I’m a lot younger! Also, I have a wry sense of humor and enjoy cartoons such as Adult Swim. Bob’s Burgers is my favorite.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the legal profession, what would it be?

I would eliminate the billable hour requirement! It’s the source of so much lawyer burnout, stress and substance abuse, and if a lawyer doesn’t have a good balance in their life, how can they be a good advocate? The cons greatly outweigh the pros.

What is one new thing you are hoping to learn from others in this community?

I love innovating and learning how to use tech to create efficiencies for my firm and clients. I like learning ways to better practice work/life balance and to be human and an attorney at the same time. And ways to challenge the status quo, because the status quo sucks (lol).

And what is one thing you are looking to share with others in this community?

I don’t know that I feel developed enough in this way yet but I hope to inspire and help others find the courage to chart their own paths, to follow their gut and do what’s right for them. And if the practice of law isn’t what you want it to be, then make it what you want it to be! I still have a lot of imposter syndrome going on but I’ve been blessed with a lot of good mentors the past nine to twelve months and I want to be that mentor for people and be someone who can help other attorneys find their way.