Early in his career, Mike Boulette questioned his decision to practice family law. “I spent the first few years of my practice with my head in my hands thinking, what kid grows up saying that they want to be a divorce lawyer? And now I'm a divorce lawyer—talk about societal unpopular roles,” he said.
However, now after almost seven years as a lawyer, the Messerli & Kramer attorney has pretty much become the opposite of what he once had feared. He enthusiastically shares his insight for news stories on family law updates. He’s worked on proposed family law legislation. He blogs at the website family-in-law.com and regularly speaks at CLEs and conferences. In short, he is happy to share his passion for practice.
“I started thinking that it might not be the area of law, it might be how I'm viewing the area of law.”His paradigm shift opened up a whole new way to think about family law. “I started thinking about family law not as the dregs of legal practice, but as a practice area that mattered in ways that some of the bigger, more flashy areas of the law might not...I could get behind that,” he said.
Advice Boulette received from a mentor helped him make this adjustment, “Find what you like to do and slowly make it bigger.”
In addition to writing and discussing areas of family law, one of Boulette’s favorite parts of being a lawyer is teaching, “I really enjoy that pedagogical aspect of what I do. So, I'm going to try and find excuses to do that and do more of it. But I think that so many of us don't seek that out because we want someone to come find us and tell us that that's ok,” he said.
Boulette noted that the HCBA is a great way to get involved with other things in your practice, “If you think there is important work to be done, the bar is happy to be a launch pad for you to go do it,” he said.
Boulette first started showing up to New Lawyers Section meetings. His involvement gradually snowballed. He most recently served on the HCBA Finance and Planning Committee and was the HCBA New Lawyers Liaison to the MSBA.
This initiative has paid off for Boulette. He’s a recognized name in the legal community, and he was recently awarded the Minnesota State Bar President’s Award.
Sometimes success really does come down to doing what you love. “It's amazing how many opportunities pop up when you just go try things because you like them,” he said.