MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.
Welcome to our next installment of MOMpreneur Monday, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.
Today’s featured Modern Boca MOMpreneur is... Concierge Attorney at Law, Pamela Higer Polani!
Tell us a little bit about your background and what inspired you to become a Boca Raton concierge attorney…
Years before it became popular, I decided to become a “concierge” attorney, offering the highest level of personalized attention and customer service to my clients. I built a law firm around my motto, “Live Life to the Fullest, While Helping Others Do the Same”, for several reasons. One of which was due to my (then) young sons. I wanted my work to revolve around my life, not for my life to revolve around my work.
Likewise, why should clients have to take time off from their busy lives and work schedules to accommodate an attorney’s timetable? I often travel to clients’ offices or their homes, wherever it is most convenient for them, to discuss their legal concerns. This helps me keep a flexible schedule, so I can volunteer at my children’s school during the day, since I know I will be working that night. It also helps my clients know they are a top priority to me.
Balancing parenting and work with “traditional” law firm hours and a set location was not feasible or practical. Since most law firms did not see an advantage in having a concierge staff member, I chose to create my own path.
So now, I maintain a very flexible work schedule, focused on my clients’ comfort levels and needs, rather than what corporate America mandates. With the advent of electronic filing of court documents, my transactional work is nearly all virtually-based. This allows me to work anywhere and anytime I am near a computer. The 9-5 concept is a dinosaur and we all know what happened to them!
What challenges have you faced with your business?
When I first decided to use “virtual” offices, other attorneys scoffed at me, thinking somehow Pamela Polani’s work product was less professional than theirs. Also, as a woman, I realized my gender and looks do not always work to my advantage, undermining the significance of my message. One client mistakenly took me for a legal assistant and asked me to “fetch coffee”. I explained that since I spent more time studying than learning to cook, the coffee probably would not match his expectations.
I have also found that many attorneys, including women, and judges address me less formally than my male counterparts. Rather than fight ingrained beliefs, I embrace who Pamela Polani is and use humor to often diffuse a situation.
What’s unique about your firm and why should MBMom readers consider becoming your clients?
Most people hate working with attorneys for several reasons and are wary for retaining our services. I work diligently to end their preconceived perceptions on several levels. I know cost and value are two different things; most people value what I can do for them, but the cost can be overwhelming. I let my clients know that, unlike other attorneys, Pamela Polani does not charge for emails, telephone calls or other communications to ensure they always feel heard and that I am accessible.
I often provide flexible billing plans and make my mobile number available to clients, so they can contact me, as needed. Last, I provide nearly 20 hours (at least!) each week towards pro bono community service to different local causes to help keep our community as amazing as it is! Building trust and respect for supporting non-profits is just one more way to ensure people understand attorneys are here to help, not hinder, them.
What exciting things are coming up with your community service work?
In just two years since its creation, the Boca Walk is the #1 Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the Alzheimer’s Association in South Florida. With over 3,000 participants, we’ve helped the chapter raise more than $1 million dollars! This year’s Walk is taking place THIS Sunday, September 25th, in Mizner Park. Please go to End Alzheimer’s for more information.
What do you, Pamela Polani, love about living and working in South Florida?
I was born and raised in South Florida. My family loves this state and its residents. I have watched, in the past several decades, the amazing changes and growth South Florida has experienced and am excited to see us become such a powerful community in our nation.
We truly live in Paradise and I am grateful every day to wake up and share the experience with those I love and treasure!
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