What gets Kendra Thomas out of bed in the morning? This family law attorney at Thomas Law Offices helps families through stressful processes. They affect everyone involved, whether it be parents or children. She’s bold, both within the courtroom and beyond it.
A Few Exceptional Talents as a Family Law Attorney
Kendra is sometimes juggling dozens of cases at a time as a divorce and family law attorney. From an early age, she’s had an incredible capacity for retaining and sorting large amounts of information. That ability helps her manage her hectic workload. She’s diligent, capable and willing to go to great lengths to assist her clients.
Even so, everyone needs some form of stress relief. For Kendra, that relief comes in the form of daring ventures like skydiving and karaoke. These activities allow her to let loose, but they also give her a unique perspective in the courtroom. They give her the confidence to perform her job at the highest level.
Family Law and a Concierge Program
Thomas and her firm, Thomas Law Offices, specialize in divorce and family law. However, they also offer a Concierge Program for high-net-worth individuals. This service gives clients the ability to call on Thomas Law for any legal matter. They’ll put together a team of experts that specialize in whatever legal matter is at hand.
Listen to Kendra’s story Here.
Click Here to Read the Transcript
Intro Speaker 0:00
From Los Angeles, this is the Echelon radio network.
Jerri Hemsworth 0:02
So this is Jerri Hemsworth on the Echelon Radio Podcast and today we’re talking with family law attorney Kendra Thomas, Thomas Law Offices. Oh my god, I am so thrilled to have you opposite me today. I can’t even tell you.
Kendra Thomas 0:30
Thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to be here.
Jerri Hemsworth 0:40
We have done an article on you for Echelon Professional Magazine. And when I was reading your material, I was really, really impressed with you as a person, you as an attorney. And I’ve known you for years, and your reputation as an attorney, Family Law, especially dealing with nasty divorces and children, is really impeccable. Tell me about your practice today. What is your practice about? What makes you get up in the morning and go through amazing feats during a week?
Kendra Thomas 1:31
So you’ve heard about my week? Yeah. Um, so let’s see the practice right now. We are handling divorces all levels, divorce and paternity cases, anything family law we handle. As you know, I’m certified Family Law specialist. I’m also a certified mediator. So that means that I mediate cases, but I also handle them inside the courtroom, I litigate them if necessary. What gets me up in the morning is just a desire to get everybody through kind of those rough patches, we firmly believe that everyone should have you know, another chance that happily ever after. And that when these relationships, you know, end, there needs to be the best way forward. So it’s a matter of getting people either through the family law court system, or helping them with their paperwork or whatever it looks like to kind of get them through the other side. A lot of my practice is dealing with parties who are going through either divorce or paternity. But also a significant part of my practice has also been being court appointed in minors counsel cases, where we actually go in and represent the children who are kind of embroiled in these family law cases as well.
Jerri Hemsworth 2:38
I have a feeling that’s a side of family law that many people don’t realize, there is a ton of work. And you and I were just chatting that you touch an enormous amount of cases in a given week. And tell us a little bit about how many cases approximately you might touch in a week.
Kendra Thomas 3:02
Sure. So it’s possible to touch over 100 cases in a week. And by touch them, I mean, we’re looking at there is a significant amount of email traffic that comes in, there are phone calls, there is of course, the court appearances. And you may have many court appearances a day. But it’s a matter of taking on the cases where you can really you know, know the case, get into it. And to where if an email comes in, you have the ability to respond as quickly as you can without necessarily needing to go back to the file, and really just a lot of hand holding. But there is a significant amount of contact. In the minors counsel cases you deal with the parents, you deal with the parents, attorneys at times, you also deal with your child clients, depending on their ages, they may reach out to you via email or phone—
Jerri Hemsworth 3:49
Independently, on their own?
Kendra Thomas 3:50
Exactly. And then if there are collaterals, outside people who are associated with the cases, maybe their therapists, maybe their school teachers. And then on top of that, you know, when you’re even going through the regular divorce system with adults, you have experts, you have other people who need to weigh in where it’s really important to keep in communication. So there can be a lot of moving parts that you’re constantly juggling to stay abreast of the cases as they happen in real time.
Jerri Hemsworth 4:18
And, and we were just talking about your ability to organize in in your head and in your systems. And that’s, I believe, from talking with you, that this is hardwired in you. I even threw out the, you know, photographic memory. But you didn’t know as a child that you had this capacity to organize and sort and retain this information. But you had you just mentioned that how beneficial It is for doing what you do. So as a child, you didn’t realize that you had this ability, but you were obviously very smart. How does it benefit you today? And what you do right now?
Kendra Thomas 5:13
You know, that may be the nicest thing anyone’s ever said about my brain. But no, I definitely function in a different way. And as a child, I realized that I took in information differently, I just didn’t really realize what that was. Now, I think it’s a matter of realizing that I have the ability to take in large quantities of information and retain large quantities of information may be a little different than my counterparts or a little different than my colleagues. It’s a huge asset, because a lot of times when you’re in a situation where you’re receiving some so much information from different sources, being able to get a handle on it, being able to communicate on it can be very, very helpful. And there are also times when you need to be able to argue documents without necessarily having them in front of you or knowing exactly where to go to in a file or in an electronic file. During COVID, everything went electronic. So really being able to be on top of: Okay, I’ve seen that document before here are the contents, maybe even before you’re able to pull it up and verify that what you’re remembering is correct is is definitely an asset.
Jerri Hemsworth 6:22
Absolutely an amazing trait. And definitely not every not everybody has that. I know I don’t and I don’t think Brian does. Although I wish I had that. Kendra, I’m going to switch gears. Where did you grow up?
Kendra Thomas 6:40
Really? Could you tell that I’m not Californian?
Jerri Hemsworth 6:44
No, no, honestly, I couldn’t. That’s why it’s such a joy. Where did you grow up?
Kendra Thomas 6:50
So I am actually born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Gorgeous. You know, and I’m sure I think we’ve discussed the Banff resort, which was not too far away from where I grew up. Yeah, it was absolutely beautiful. But believe it or not, despite the fact that Canada is so similar to the States, it was still a bit of a culture shock when I ended up down here.
Jerri Hemsworth 7:16
Yeah. Because you didn’t come straight to California with your family. Where did you move to from Canada?
Kendra Thomas 7:21
Well, I’ve been all around. Yeah, I’ve been absolutely all around. But when I ended up in the States, I ended up in Missouri. A small town in Missouri.
Jerri Hemsworth 7:34
I know Missouri. I know a little bit about Missouri. I have family that lives there. That must have been an interesting transition for you.
Kendra Thomas 7:42
Oh, yes, on so many levels, developmentally, socially, all all of it. And it’s one of those things that I think you bring that experience and you bring it forward in terms of it shapes who you are, but it also gives you perspective, when you’re working with so many families into that they too bring their different experiences into a situation. So yeah.
Jerri Hemsworth 8:05
And how did you get to California?
Kendra Thomas 8:09
My family had already moved here and I stayed in Missouri. I ended up in California because I came to law school out here.
Jerri Hemsworth 8:16
Where’d you go to law school?
Kendra Thomas 8:17
Jerri Hemsworth 8:19
Yes, I’m an undergrad of Pepperdine.
Kendra Thomas 8:22
Yes. That’s That’s right. So you have the same fondness for the beaches, I’m assuming.
Jerri Hemsworth 8:26
Yeah, you know, but when you’re there, and you’re studying your ass off, you really don’t appreciate what you’re looking at. And where you’re at. I know for me, it took going back after I graduated to go ‘Why did I rush this? Why did I not pay attention?’ Because the education I found there is so intense. And your nose is in a book or you know, in meetings and working, that you really don’t take in and breathe and enjoy the environment. But it is stunning.
Kendra Thomas 9:02
That’s very true. Very true. Good for you.
Jerri Hemsworth 9:06
I know something about you. I know a couple things about you.
Kendra Thomas 9:13
Jerri Hemsworth 9:14
Oh, no, this has nothing I…Well, I think this has to do with your dad. Your dad, I would say, not knowing your father, had an adventurous spirit. And he took you along for the ride. And you did something and you have a hobby that surprised the bejesus out of me. And Brian, and I think will surprise anybody listening. What is the most outrageous thing you do that will surprise people?
Kendra Thomas 9:54
Well, that feels like a very loaded question. But there were two hobbies. So my dad was a marathon runner. So he got me into running. Actually we did our first full marathon together. He did his in Honolulu. His second marathon was my first, LA before I went on to do one in Alaska. But he also, he reached a certain age and realized he wanted to go skydiving. So he did his first jump. And then his second jump, he said, Honey, we need to do this.
Jerri Hemsworth 10:26
And you’re like, Uh, huh? Were you like, Oh, yeah, let’s do it? Or were you like, mmm?
Kendra Thomas 10:30
Oh, I was a little on the fence with it until he was like, Hey, we need to face our fears. And so let’s do it. So we did, and I jumped. And it was scary, but it was liberating. And for someone who needs to have so much control in life, and in their day, it’s a very, very freeing experience. So it is something that that I enjoy. And you started at about what age? I believe around 19. Yeah, yeah. Late teen, and now I am older than that. Older. But no, it’s something over the years. Over the years, though, it’s one of those things it’s definitely you know, kept me sane and had had an impact in terms of allowing me to release and just remember him every time I do it.
Jerri Hemsworth 11:22
And not just here in the States. You have what over 150, 160 jumps? That is correct. But the majority of them are where?
Kendra Thomas 11:33
The majority I did when I was abroad. Yeah.
Jerri Hemsworth 11:37
Yeah. And and here, you’ve done 40, 50 jumps or so around California out in Paris?
Kendra Thomas 11:45
Jerri Hemsworth 11:48
The freedom, the letting go. Do you feel anxious and eager to experience that? Or every time you get up in the plane, are you like, Oh, God, I have to do this, or I need to do this. How? What does that experience when you’re about to jump? How do you feel?
Kendra Thomas 12:07
I think that’s the wonderful thing about it. There is no consistent feeling for me, it really depends in terms of what I have going on in my life. So there have been jumps where I feel nothing. And I get up there and it’s time to do it. And okay, let’s just do it. And then as soon as you take that step, you feel the you feel the energy surge. And then there are other times when you have the anxiety that you’ve had during the week. And the second you just let go, it all goes.
Jerri Hemsworth 12:36
Really? Like a windshield wiper?
Kendra Thomas 12:39
Absolutely. So it’s very much a…I experienced the jump as I’ve kind of experience what I’ve either got going on, or what I’ve experienced recently.
Jerri Hemsworth 12:50
Perspective, I bet it gives you a great amount of perspective and respect for what life is about.
Kendra Thomas 12:57
Jerri Hemsworth 12:59
Another little tidbit about you is you love to perform. Singing, acting?
Kendra Thomas 13:07
I am an avid karaoke individual. And in my undergrad, my other major was theater. I was actually going to, at least in my brain, I was going to be this amazing Broadway star. That didn’t happen.
Jerri Hemsworth 13:23
Still, there’s still time.
Kendra Thomas 13:26
We’ll see. We’ll see Jerri, God Willing.
Jerri Hemsworth 13:29
Kendra Thomas 13:30
But yeah, I definitely enjoyed tinkering around with it. You know, occasionally I will perform with friends, love to sing love to dance, just love, love all of it. And those skills also helped me in the courtroom, I think.
Jerri Hemsworth 13:42
Well, and that’s what I want to bring back is what you learn from skydiving, and performing on stage. And to dive into what you do and your passion for helping people through difficult, difficult times. How do those interact for you?
Kendra Thomas 14:03
I think the biggest lesson that I’ve learned from all of it is sometimes the only way through is through. And I need to remember that with my clients also is that many times you take them as you find them. To the extent that you find someone who’s going through a difficult you know position in their life, they may be difficult to deal with, they may be focused on something else. You take them as they are and this too shall pass for them and for you. So many times when you realize the difficulty they’re going through, the best you can do is just hold their hand, understand, and say you know what, you’re about to step off the plane or you’re about to go in front of the audience. You’re about to do whatever it is, but we’re just gonna get through it, the best way we can get you through it.
Jerri Hemsworth 14:51
That’s a very good point that you are probably very able to identify with the fear that’s inside of them about what they’re about to do, and you can relate, and like you said, hold their hand and say we’ll do this together. Very valuable, very valuable.
Kendra Thomas 15:09
And of course, it depends on the client and the experience. But also, even if you’re about to embark on your worst performance or your worst dive, it is only going to last relatively a brief amount of time. You are still going to have everything that happens from that point forward. So sometimes all you can do is get through and then refocus. But it’s definitely an experience that really makes you value. Okay. If we don’t want to live in this moment, we don’t have to.
Jerri Hemsworth 15:41
Same thing for running your own law firm, I imagine.
Kendra Thomas 15:46
Many of those moments I don’t want to live in, Jerri.
Jerri Hemsworth 15:50
Any of us business owners, you go, let’s just move past this one.
Kendra Thomas 15:55
Exactly. There are some days you’re running around wondering who do I get my resignation to? Right? Like, it didn’t come with an instruction manual.
Jerri Hemsworth 16:00
Somebody calls and they ask for you and they say, ‘sorry, I just fired her.’
Kendra Thomas 16:04
Right! But seriously, though, I mean, absolutely. There those days. And it sounds like you can absolutely relate. But if you had to do it all over again, would you really do it differently? Right?
Jerri Hemsworth 16:16
Yeah, other than, you know, not as much credit card debt. Yes, I would do it all over again. Because it affords us the lifestyle that we choose to live, we have control. And I think that’s what’s important, we can take our skills and what we’re best at doing, and be able to, to drive our own lives, and be behind the wheel. That’s
Kendra Thomas 16:39
Yeah. And I think also, for me, it was really important to be able to practice law my way on my terms, and focus on the things that I felt were important in case as opposed to what other people felt was important in the case. Because, again, not all litigation, you can have the same fact pattern, but you have different people. So it’s not all the same case. So the same approach the same handholding the same nuance, is not going to be the same across the board. And many times when you’re working for someone else who’s calling the shots, they may or may not realize that.
Jerri Hemsworth 17:15
Yes, I understand 100% of what you’re saying. One last thing, before we go, there’s an element in your practice, that is a concierge. We wouldn’t call it a program, but you have the ability to be a concierge practice. Tell me a little bit about that.
Kendra Thomas 17:36
Sure. So for some of our higher, higher end clients, higher net worth individuals, they find us to be useful in not just their family law matters. And not just on standard retainer, as you would note with the family law firm. So what they do is they then bring us in to kind of spearhead their other legal issues, to deal with the other challenges that they face as part of our concierge program. And basically what that is, is it’s a fee that gives us the freedom then to basically tackle whatever your situation is, whatever your challenge, if we need to build a different legal team with different experts for you, we’re happy to do it. It’s really an interesting program that we’ve had a lot of success with. But it’s really something that allows us to be strategically creative, while tackling other issues that come up for some of our clients.
Jerri Hemsworth 18:34
I think it’s brilliant, because you’re able to pick other team members and bring them together to solve a single issue for a client. And you oversee it, your team oversees it. But there are so many different things that can come up in just day-to-day life for your clients. That’s got to be extremely gratifying for you.
Kendra Thomas 18:57
Oh, it absolutely is. How the idea was born was in family law. The beautiful thing and why love it, No two days are the same. No challenges are identical. So we would have clients who we would get to a certain point where you would normally sign off, and they would say, Hey, we bid on this really intimate, and forgive me if that’s not the right word or drives a difficult connotation, but it’s such an intimate journey that when we were through to the other side they’d say okay, what’s next? Well, what do you mean, what’s next? You’re divorced, congratulations. But now I have money, what do I do with it? Or I have this business idea. How can you help me with it?
Jerri Hemsworth 19:37
And you are an attorney and you’ve come into my life.
Kendra Thomas 19:40
Exactly. I have this relationship with you. How can we cultivate it to get me through to the next level? Okay. All right. Yeah. Or you would get the call at you know, 4 a.m. from a client saying I was just involved in a dangerous DUI situation or something like that. You just just deal with it, like, help me deal with this. And, okay.
Jerri Hemsworth 20:05
I can now understand after a very difficult process of going through a divorce or something traumatic like that, that you do, and the clients must really attach to you. Because you are so kind and kind-hearted and nice is something that we talked about. But boy, I wouldn’t want to be across the aisle from you in a court. You’re like what I would call a pit bull in court. But I can imagine, they don’t want to say goodbye to you, and you become an extreme asset to them. And I think you have become a great asset to me as a friend and just as a colleague in our business circles.
Kendra Thomas 21:00
Thank you. Thank you.
Jerri Hemsworth 21:03
I’m really blessed to know you. And I thank you for coming in today.
Kendra Thomas 21:08
Thank you so much for having me.
Intro Speaker 21:18
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