Dan Baldwin 2013-10-25 12:21:26
“My practice is unique because I am unique,” says Celia Reed of Celia Rechtschaffen Reed, P.C., a solo practitioner based in Phoenix. Reed’s practice areas are Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), employee benefits and business transactions. She provides expertise, guidance and specific services in such diverse areas as contracts, real estate, probate, general civil law, drafting and contract services for residential and commercial properties, real estate leases, real estate purchases and sales, business arrangements, and prenuptial agreements. Reed’s personal and business philosophy is to focus her efforts on service rather than simply increasing the volume of her business. She says, “I pride myself on having firsthand knowledge of every file I work on. I have a firm conviction that every client needs to be treated as an individual, even for the most routine matter. These are the principles that have guided me through my legal career and have enhanced my practice and the services that I provide.” She came to the law indirectly. Although Reed had, in her words, “toyed” with the idea of becoming a lawyer, her creative background saw her developing interests in other areas, such as designing clothing, working with textiles and patterns and writing fiction and poetry. Aft er enrolling in City College of New York at the age of 16, she explored architecture and journalism, but ultimately decided to major in English and creative writing. She graduated with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in creative writing and English. While pursuing her master’s degree, Reed took the LSAT exam, but did not apply to law school until the summer of 1981, less than six weeks before the semester started and was accepted at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Her legal career began in New York City, first working in the private sector and then for the city of New York. Reed moved to Arizona in 1989, and passed the State Bar exam in 1990. She started her own firm in 1992, concentrating on family law matters. She expanded her areas of practice over the years, and ultimately made the transition from litigation to transactional work, which is the sole focus of her practice today. In 2012, Reed launched QDRO Queen AZ, and now devotes a substantial portion of her practice to analyzing employee benefit plans and drafting Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, which divide deferred savings and retirement plans governed by federal law known as ERISA. She also does a significant amount of transactional work in other areas, drafting and advising on business and real estate matters, preparing prenuptial agreements and representing clients in informal and uncontested probate matters. As a sole practitioner, Reed encounters the usual challenges and opportunities inherent in being self-employed. Her situation is not unique and Reed feels fortunate to have joined the small firm and solo section of the Arizona Bar and to have actively participated in that section and benefited from the experience and advice of other sole practitioners. Her other main challenge is finding the balance between taking care of her clients and taking care of her own well-being. Outside the work environment, her biggest passion is ashtanga yoga. In addition to practicing yoga, she is also a certified yoga instructor, at the 500-hour level. Reed meditates daily, loves to read and is devoted to her two Maine Coon cats. During the past three years, Reed has developed and presented a series of wellness workshops to the small firm and solo section of the Arizona Bar called “Finding the Balance Within,” which explore different aspects of this challenge. Reed notes that her practice has evolved since being admitted to the bar in 1985 and that she has been fortunate to explore a variety of aspects of the law and to reinvent herself as new opportunities arose. “I love being able to help people and to communicate legal information, however complex and technical, in a manner that is easily understandable. I especially enjoy helping people who have been told that they don’t have a case and can’t be helped.”
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