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Meet Ashley Peterson of Law Office of Ashley M. Peterson in Point Loma

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Peterson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Even from a young age, it was my dream to become a lawyer. I was surrounded by the legal world growing up since my father, grandfather, and uncles were all attorneys. In fact, I am a 4th generation California attorney, but the first female lawyer in the family which I’m very proud to report. I grew up in Hemet, California, a rural agricultural town near Temecula. During my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to help create the first mock trial competition team at our school. I was assigned the role of a prosecuting attorney on a criminal case. From that point forward, I was hooked on the law and set my sights on the path to becoming a lawyer.

I attended UC San Diego for undergrad and remained in America’s finest city for law school as a graduate of California Western School of Law. I truly enjoyed learning about the law and received a well-rounded, practical education which served me well in the beginning stages of my legal career. I met some of the most incredible people during my time in law school, many of whom I am still friends with and refer cases to this day.

After working in several different law offices and law firms after passing the BAR, I realized that law firm life was not the right fit for me. In the summer of 2015, I made the decision to open my own boutique law office as a transactional real estate, business and probate lawyer. It was both exciting and terrifying at the same time and kept me awake on many occasions contemplating if it was the right decision. After overcoming that initial fear of failure, I realized that I could do anything I set my mind to, and have worked hard to build a successful law practice that continues to grow each year.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest challenge for me in running my own law practice was learning that there was no senior partner to hold me accountable and that my success was completely dependent on the time and energy I put into my business. As other entrepreneurs will understand, when you own your own business, you will work harder on building that business than any other job you’ve ever had.

I certainly worked long hours in the beginning, and spend a majority of my time on business development and networking. I was determined to establish my law office as a trusted name in real estate by meeting new people, writing blog articles, and speaking on panels about real estate law. I also joined various legal and non-legal organizations and worked my way up to leadership roles in those groups.

This time spent on networking and building professional relationships largely contributed to my success as a solo attorney, and I am honored to say that most of my clients are referrals from colleagues, friends, and fellow industry professionals. One of the other major struggles for me was trying to find a work-life harmonic balance.

As a business owner, it’s easy to pour your heart and soul and all your free time into your business. Working as an attorney can be stressful at times, especially when you’re empathetic towards your clients and their stories. I made the decision to make exercise a priority in my life, whether it’s playing tennis, running, pilates, yoga, kickboxing or Barry’s Bootcamp classes.

Working out is what keeps me sane when work gets overwhelming and it’s a great stress relief. I am also an avid traveler and try to cross off at least one new bucket list destination each year. I firmly believe that making time for activities outside of work that we enjoy, and which give us a sense of fulfillment and purpose in life are invaluable to our health and well being.

Last but not least, my family has been my pillar of support through the process of opening my own law practice. Without the encouragement and love of my parents and sister, I would not be where I am today.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Law Office of Ashley M. Peterson – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My law practice specializes in real estate transactions including commercial and residential property purchases and sales, 1031 exchanges, commercial and residential leasing, short-term vacation rental regulations, title and due diligence review, easements, and condominium conversions.

Additionally, I advise small businesses in forming and maintaining business entities, business purchases and sales, and guiding families through the probate administration process when a loved one dies without a Trust leaving $150,000 or more in assets. In my practice, I am able to be selective about the types and number of cases that I take on so that I can continue to provide the highest quality of legal services, without charging the big law firm fees.

I believe what sets me apart from the rest of my colleagues is that I don’t fit the mold of the stereotypical attorney. I take the time to get to know my clients and build a relationship to fully understand their needs. Clients are often surprised that they actually get to speak to me directly when they call.

I am also proud of my involvement in the legal community and various organizations. I take pride in giving back to the San Diego community through serving on boards and executive committees and volunteering with charitable organizations.

Last year I was the chair of the Form for Emerging Lawyers with the San Diego County Bar Association, helping new attorneys with the transition from law school into practice. I also enjoy volunteering with elementary schools to teach students about what lawyers do and what the courtroom process entails through interactive mock trial classroom presentations. I enjoy public speaking and am most proud of my speaking engagements on legal topics.

I was a lead speaker for the California State Bar Real Property Law Section’s seminar entitled “Airbnb: Financial Opportunity or Legal Nightmare?” in August 2016, and April 2017. I also presented at the California Lawyer’s Association Real Property Law Conference in April 2018 on the topic of “Foreign Investors Purchasing Property in California”, and “Death and Property Rights.”

I was honored to be named as one of the top 100 attorneys in San Diego Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” for 2017, as well as a 2017 and 2018 “Rising Star” in Real Estate Law by Super Lawyers.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am currently involved in the California Lawyers Association Real Property Law Section Executive Committee which is a three-year term. The executive committee plans networking events and educational seminars throughout California for real estate professionals, as well as hosting an annual spring conference.

I am looking forward to the upcoming commercial real estate seminar I coordinated in San Diego in September and a fall mixer. I would ultimately like to seek a higher level leadership role in the Real Property Law Section or California Lawyers Association in the future and aspire to continue speaking at educational seminars on real estate law topics.

At some point, I would ultimately like to expand my office by bringing on a partner or associate attorney. I aspire to serve as a mentor to new attorneys just embarking on their legal career and desire to break the traditional “law firm” mold to create a positive and supportive work environment for attorneys.

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Image Credit:
Cori Nichols

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