Work-Life Balance, Family Law, and How to Develop a Team with Elise Buie

How do you treat your team? Do you give them instructions for every single step of their day, or do you push them to take the initiative and plan their tasks for themselves? The best way to develop a team can be similar to raising a child. It's better to let them learn from their mistakes than to make things easy for them all the time.

In this episode, Elise Buie joins us to discuss how you can develop a team and let your children thrive and grow. When helping them gain ownership over their role and responsibilities, you can allow them to delegate their tasks to others. You have your strengths and weaknesses, so you hire people to complement your expertise. Your employees can benefit from this, too. 

If you want to know more about work-life balance and raising your team, then this episode is for you.

Three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Understand that the core of learning how to develop a team is letting people thrive and grow on their own — not obsessive control.
  2. Learn the importance of knowing your role and strength.
  3. Discover the ways delegation can create success in addition to helping you and your team become more productive.


Episode Highlights

How Elise Started with Family Law

  • Elise shares running a virtual law firm since 2015. When she was divorced, she had six children with her new husband. 
  • In her experience, divorce is not the main cause of damage to children. It’s the family conflict. 
  • You can set up a system with your ex-spouse to support your children. Listen to the full episode to hear how exactly Elise created this system. 

Divorce Is More Than Just a Legality

  • Every family has different dynamics. The primary caregiver to the children is not the same in all cases.
  • In divorce cases, it’s important to look for the best interest of the child.
  • Look at the specific way the family operates and do not succumb to cultural and gender stereotyping.

Elise: “Women are working more and more, both people are working more and more. And I think that dads are doing much more at home. The laws are not really keeping up, nor is the mindset.”

  • We need to see this as a new beginning and chapter. Both parents should work together and not see each other as a threat to their place in their child's life.

Elise: “[Women] become much more possessive of their children in this way that somehow by sharing that love it's going to diminish their role. Understand that the more you share with the dad, the more you support the dad’s role with the children, your children will love you even more because it allows them to have a much more fluid, easy-going situation.”

  • Attorneys should not make agreed settlements into wars. There needs to be more communication and understanding of the whole situation.

Family Dynamics and Team Development

  • There are parallels between family dynamics and how to develop a team. Your staff will undergo development over time, just like how children grow up.
  • To develop a team, you need to provide training and opportunities for them to grow. The same goes for children. Hand-holding them every step of the way will not help.
  • How can children and employees learn if you constantly create paths of no resistance in front of them?

Elise: Some parents enable their children in a way that is very unhealthy… Where they're literally getting in front of their child, creating these paths of no resistance. And I'm not in favor of that. And I don't do that for my team, either. I do want people to be independent and accountable, and I want people to live in integrity.”

  • For Elise, one of her greatest joys is helping her team reach their goals, even if the goal is outside the company.

Train Your People to Develop Your Team Better

  • For some, pouring hard work into employees who will leave is a waste of time. Look at this as an opportunity instead of a detriment. 
  • When you have employees, this will force you to learn, organize, and create systems. Ultimately, learning to develop a team will teach you a great deal about running a law firm.

Moshe: “Hiring somebody and needing to delegate work to them is the best education for you as a firm owner. Because you're going to very quickly learn that you need to be organized with what you're doing in order to be able to facilitate somebody else to be able to do that. And it's going to force you to create systems.”

  • There is only so much you can do as an owner. Training people and helping them thrive will make a strong company. 
  • With a team behind you, the company can take on collaborative solutions and ideas you have never considered before.

What Is Your Role?

  • In every company, there is a visionary and an integrator. The former has all the ideas, and the latter implements these ideas. 
  • When entrepreneurs start, they are commonly either of these two roles. However, if you want to grow your company, you need to separate these two roles.
  • There’s a third role: technician. Technicians just do the work. 
  • Find out what your strengths are. Then, develop a team that complements your abilities.

Elise’s Vision and Purpose

  • For Elise, it’s not just about setting up a successful practice. It’s also about disrupting the Family Law practice. This vision and purpose keep her elevating her services. 
  • Divorce should not create trauma for generations of children. It can be healing and peaceful for everyone. 

Elise: Divorce does not need to psychologically destroy an entire generation of children. We need to make the divorce process a process that brings wholeness and healing, not just warfare and destruction.”

  • For Elise, her vision also includes helping mothers with flexible work schedules.
  • Also, lawyers aren't necessarily the most emotionally intelligent people. There needs to be a communication tool that helps both the family going through a divorce and the lawyers involved.
  • Law firm ownership and operation can be more flexible. Tune in to the full episode to find out how.

Growing Your Company

  • Growth can be different for everyone. It depends on your needs. 
  • Most of the time, there are fiscal restraints. When your company is making more money, then you can delegate more tasks and resources. 
  • Delegation is a way you can increase your company’s productivity and effectiveness.

Elise: “Teaching your team to delegate is liquid gold. It is the key to so much success.”

  • You can hire virtual assistants for every team member to help them spend time on the more important tasks. 
  • Successful people know how to leverage time and money. Part of that is knowing how to develop a team. Listen to how this works in the full episode.

Success Takes Work and Time

Elise: “When we're looking at opportunities, we ask ourselves, is this furthering what I want to do? Does this activity bring me to my next goal?”

  • Running a law firm is hard. It takes a large amount of time and investment. 
  • You need to be clear with your “why” to keep you going.

Elise: “If you don't have that ‘why,’ you find yourself in a funk. But when you have that ‘why’ concrete in your head, you're golden. And even though it's hard, it's invigoratingly challenging; it’s not life-sucking.”

  • There is no such thing as an overnight success, just years in the making. 
  • It takes a lot of dedication and grit to take action towards where you want to be consistent.

Elise’s Advice on Taking Action

  • Learn to quiet the negative voice, the “mean girl,” in your head. 
  • Elise encourages you to put that voice under cross-examination and understand its origin. 
  • When we’re in doubt and start questioning ourselves, it prevents us from taking action. 
  • Action creates clarity, and it’s the only way to get results. 

About Elise

Elise Buie is the owner and Family Law Attorney / Guardian ad Litem at Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC. She assists families in every aspect of their case, from the initial comprehensive consultation to the final divorce decree filing and everything in between.

Elise is an active member of the Washington Bar, King County Bar Association, the Snohomish County Bar Association, the Washington State Bar Association, the Washington Women Lawyers, the National Association of Women Lawyers, the AFCC, and the American Bar Association. 

Her specialty includes Co-Parenting, Domestic Violence, Child-Centered Divorce, High-Conflict Dispute Resolution, Parallel Parenting, Substance Abuse issues, Power and Control Issues, Family Law, Prenuptial Agreements, Substance Abuse issues, Child Custody,  Collaborative Law, Parenting Plans, Small Business including Contract Preparation, Spousal Maintenance, Mediation, Collaborative Law, Guardian ad Litem, Co-Parent Communication Coaching, Juvenile Law, and Contract Reviews. 

Are you interested in Elise's work? Check out her website and get resources on co-parenting and divorce for free! 

You can also reach out to Elise on LinkedIn, Twitter, and email ([email protected] and [email protected])     

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