Have you heard anyone rave about their divorce attorney? It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's time to listen up.
By the time Stephanie Deskins joined Modern Law she was a newbie attorney but had spent time working a variety of other jobs before deciding to go back to school to get her law degree.
She brought a "special sauce" that has turned her into a rock star attorney. In this episode of the Modern Divorce Podcast, Billie Tarascio checks in with one of the firm's newest additions to the talented attorneys specializing in divorce. Stephanie consistently gets rave reviews from her clients and she talks with Billie about the one thing she does that makes people happy.
[00:00:00] Billie Tarascio: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Modern Divorce podcast. I am very excited to be interviewing one of our attorney attorneys, Stephanie Deskins. Hi Stephanie.
[00:00:12] Stephanie Deskins: Hi Billie. How are you?
[00:00:13] Billie Tarascio: I am so good. How are you?
[00:00:15] Stephanie Deskins: I'm doing great today, thank you.
[00:00:17] Billie Tarascio: Oh, good. I'm so happy to have you on. We have been. You have been so busy.
We have not. I'm surprised it's taken us this long to record.
[00:00:25] Stephanie Deskins: It's, it's been a busy past year with Modern Law. I've been, you know, pretty high capacity this past year and just, you know, helping a lot of, as many people as I can,
[00:00:35] Billie Tarascio: and you really have. So your story to law, I think is an interesting one because you didn't take a traditional path.
Tell people how it is that you became a lawyer.
[00:00:47] Stephanie Deskins: Sure. So I went to law school late in my, later in my life. Um, I applied to law school on my, basically around my 30th birthday for a present to myself.
[00:00:58] Billie Tarascio: That's awesome. [00:01:00]
[00:01:00] Stephanie Deskins: Yeah, it was, it was a dream come true. It was something that I had been wanting to do. Um, for probably 10 years before that.
And it just never, the timing never worked out. Um, and then finally I just, you know, I forced myself to finish my undergraduate degrees and then as soon as I got that done, I applied and, you know, went to law school in my thirties and you know, here I am practicing now. That
[00:01:25] Billie Tarascio: is so cool. I didn't realize that you hadn't finished your undergraduate degree and I'm, I'm really glad that you mentioned that because I do think that I've hired a lot of first year lawyers and you have been one of the most successful lawyers to ever start off a career at Modern Law, and I think a lot of that has to do with the life experience that you brought to your law degree.
[00:01:48] Stephanie Deskins: Yes, I had a, I had a lot of varied experiences. Um, you know, I worked, um, before, you know, I did so many different things. At one point I was a nanny and a household [00:02:00] manager for a corporate attorney. Wow. And she had told me like, the entire time, don't do it. Don't go to law school. I'm like, no, I really wanna go.
You know, and you know, now, 10 years later, here I am. Um, but yeah, I. Mostly finished my degree in Ohio, but then when I had moved it didn't transfer, so I had to retake a lot of courses. Um, it just took me like a year and a half to finish that up and then I applied. So it was, it wasn't that bad to have to finish it up really fast.
[00:02:30] Billie Tarascio: Yeah. So you are originally from Ohio? Correct. And is that, is that Midwest.
[00:02:36] Stephanie Deskins: It is. So, um, I was born in California, but then I moved to Ohio when I was really young. So I consider Ohio home. Um, it's definitely in the Midwest. Um, I moved to Arizona in 2014. I really enjoy it here. I. I like to go look at the snow.
I don't like to live in the snow anymore. Um, so it's nice to go back and visit, or it's nice to drive up to Flagstaff or a [00:03:00] weekend and then come back, but mm-hmm. , um, I really consider Arizona my home now. I've, I've been here for the past eight years now. Mm-hmm. .
[00:03:07] Billie Tarascio: Yeah. Arizona's an easy place, I think to call home once you're here for a little bit.
Like of course there's pros and cons, but it's, it, I mean, when you weigh out all the pros and cons, I'm sure, um, It's a lovely place to be. How often do you get back to visit your family in Ohio?
[00:03:25] Stephanie Deskins: I try to go back every couple of years. Um, you know, COVID kind of derailed that a little bit, so I'm really hoping to try to find a time to go back soon.
Um, before I would always, you know, fly them to come out to visit me cuz I'm like, well the weather's so much nicer here and there's. More things to do. Um, so it's definitely something that I'm hoping to do sometime in the next year. Um, maybe in December I'd looked, looked at potentially going back in December for my nephews birthdays.
[00:03:57] Billie Tarascio: knew you wanted to practice family law when you went into law [00:04:00] school. Is that, is that right? .
[00:04:02] Stephanie Deskins: Yes. So it was something that, um, I had always really been interested in. Um, it was always very fascinating to me, kind of what we see as fair and not fair and, you know, when someone moves for someone or stops working or things like that, and how.
how families are really affected by that. Um, so I, I definitely took a, a varied course load in law school. You know, you're required to of course them for bar prep and things like that. Um, but as soon as you could pick your own courses, second year I took family law, um, first semester of second year, and I loved it so much that I then, I just tried to take every course ASU offered in family law and I really didn't look back from there.
[00:04:46] Billie Tarascio: That's awesome. We track client satisfaction of for every lawyer, every client. At Modern, Law, we really want to continually do a better job. Your net promoter score or [00:05:00] the measurement of your client satisfaction is crazy high. It's so high. Your client's love you. Love you. How? Why do you think that is?
[00:05:11] Stephanie Deskins: I try to communicate a lot.
I try to really look at my clients as human beings, going through a very difficult situation. Um, I try to set very realistic expectations. You know, I, I don't, I'm not there to judge them. Mm, so many things about their lives that I don't know of what, you know, what has gotten them into this situation. and I very much look at every client relationship as what value am I bringing to, to this situation?
What service am I providing to them? And sometimes, you know, for some of my clients that's. Less contact. Sometimes that's more contact, sometimes it's more just, you know, explaining and being supportive and listening to them. So I really just try to adjust to bring the value that my clients [00:06:00] want me to bring to the attorney-client relationship and work with them to accomplish their outcomes that they're really hoping to get with their, their families.
[00:06:08] Billie Tarascio: Well, you've had an amazing track record, a very, very successful first year. What do you do for fun?
[00:06:16] Stephanie Deskins: Um, I, um, you know, I spend a lot of time with my dogs. I have four dogs. Um, I know that's, you know, kind of nerdy, but I, I really do view them as my fur children. So, um, they used to do a lot of, you know, super fun dog sports and things like that.
So I spend a lot of time with them and, um, whether it's doing walks or taking them on outings or. Just play, you know, just playing in the backyard. They're really, you know, a source for me every day to kind of reset and, you know, have some great time on myself with them.
[00:06:49] Billie Tarascio: And what type of dogs do you have?
[00:06:51] Stephanie Deskins: Um, I have three miniature Schnauzers and a Yorkie. And they are cr crazy little dogs, but I love them.
[00:06:59] Billie Tarascio: Yeah. [00:07:00] And uh, four dogs is a lot of dogs. Is that enough or do you want.
[00:07:05] Stephanie Deskins: I'm actually down to four from seven, so I used to have seven. Um, I somehow made it through law school with all the dogs and all of that, but I, I probably will not add any additional dogs in the future.
Um, all of my dogs are seniors now, so they're, they're a bit, you know, needier with their health needs and things like that. So I'm really gonna focus on these dogs, but I'm, I'm sure, I'm sure through my life I'm gonna have tons more, tons of more dogs cause I love them so much.
[00:07:37] Billie Tarascio: That's awesome. Uh, you told me at one point that you won't have a dog RV or want a dog
[00:07:43] Stephanie Deskins: rv.
Yes, before, before law school, the dogs, um, had an RV and the license plate said like dogs RV on it. Um, and I would drive them around to different dog competitions. Um, I did a lot of my undergraduate degree [00:08:00] online when I finished up at asu mm-hmm. . So, um, that actually really translated to once Covid hit and, you know, having to work remotely and having that discipline mm-hmm.
um, cause. Drive the RV and take a, you know, do symbolic logic or something In California, I had a dog show and then, you know, do something else fun there. So, um, they ha had a lot of fun traveling around with them and I hope to get to do that again in the future sometime.
[00:08:25] Billie Tarascio: That's so awesome. So what, what is dog sports?
I don't know anything about this.
[00:08:30] Stephanie Deskins: So it's just, you know, it's like agility or, you know, dock diving or uhhuh, dog or something like that. Um, there's all kinds of, you know, different activities, um, that you can do. So my dogs did more, um, of um, like barn hunt type activities where they have to sniff and, you know, find things in a certain amount of time cause they're carriers.
Yeah, it was, it was just a, it was just a fun activity to do.
[00:08:58] Billie Tarascio: It sounds like, it [00:09:00] sounds super fun. So it's like the stuff we see on tv
[00:09:03] Stephanie Deskins: Yeah. They're just, it's, it's, it's a lot of other fellow dog lovers. You meet a lot of really interesting people. You travel around a lot. You know, I did a competition in Tahoe and, you know, drove the RV to Tahoe.
Hmm. Stayed there for a week, the competition for a day, and then, you know, explored and went camping with the pups for that week.
[00:09:20] Billie Tarascio: That sounds amazing. I love Tahoe.
[00:09:23] Stephanie Deskins: So it's, it's also was just an experience, you know, an ex excuse to travel around and, you know, meet really interesting people.
[00:09:30] Billie Tarascio: That's so awesome.
Okay, so tell me, what are some of your very favorite cases to work on?
[00:09:39] Stephanie Deskins: So I, I tend to like a lot of the custody cases, so more complex custody. So I do really enjoy working with families, but I've also helped a lot of individuals without families. Um, whether it is, you know, the husband or the wife who's transitioning and either needs spousal support or is not trying to pay spousal support.
So [00:10:00] I, you know, I haven't found a case that I don't like yet. Mm-hmm. , um, You know, so I, I really enjoy all cases, but I do tend to gravitate more towards more complex custody cases. Mm-hmm. , and
[00:10:13] Billie Tarascio: you have worked in juvenile court and family court?
[00:10:17] Stephanie Deskins: Yes, I have.
[00:10:17] Billie Tarascio: Do you, do you wanna continue doing that?
[00:10:22] Stephanie Deskins: Yes. So I, I also worked, um, in juvenile court, somewhat in law school as well.
I did a year of the immigration clinic and we did a lot of, um, you know, work there with juveniles and we had to first terminate and go through that process in. So I did that for a year. Mm-hmm. . So I also had that experience going into family law, which helped. So, mm-hmm. , um, I think it goes hand in hand with family law.
Mm-hmm. , a lot of the times it's still getting the best outcome for the child. It's just going through a different court system first.
[00:10:53] Billie Tarascio: Mm-hmm. So you like the termination, parental rights, what about private dependency? [00:11:00]
[00:11:00] Stephanie Deskins: So, yes, that's, you know, all of that is. It's really interesting. Mm-hmm. and a lot of people just need help and guidance through those.
Mm-hmm. , those types of cases.
[00:11:10] Billie Tarascio: Yeah. That's fantastic. I think more and more we're seeing, um, family members have responsibility for, children that are not biologically theirs and figuring out the way to what is the best legal arrangement for that is really interesting because you can do it in family court through third party custody rights, um, or you can do it through juvenile court or you can do a guardianship.
And it's just really nice that we've got lawyers who understand all of those options and can talk through families about those options.
[00:11:42] Stephanie Deskins: It is, there's, there's so many different ways that you can go sometimes. Um, and it's, that's also part of the challenge is just knowing which way to go. Mm-hmm. so great that our firm really has attorneys that, you know, can help a client no matter what they need to do to move forward in their, in the interest of their [00:12:00] family.
[00:12:01] Billie Tarascio: Okay. Now I would like to know three fun facts that we don't know about you.
[00:12:07] Stephanie Deskins: Three fun facts. I am super old school and I love paper planners. I have an, I have an extensive paper planner collection. Um, all the crazy different pens, everything like that. Um, I still need everything written down and I still carry my planner around.
I still use everything electronic, of course, you know?
[00:12:26] Billie Tarascio: Yeah.
[00:12:27] Stephanie Deskins: but I, I just love the time it takes to sit down each week and hand write out my week and, you know, that really quiet, recharge time. So I, I love that. Um,
[00:12:38] Billie Tarascio: paper planners are so cool. Like I was in Barnes and Noble and this section of paper planners, like it's an exploding industry.
It's so cool. So I'm glad you mentioned that.
[00:12:48] Stephanie Deskins: And then, let's see. Um, I've almost been to every single state in the us. I just have a Alaska left. Um, I lived in Hawaii before moving to Arizona [00:13:00] and then growing up with my grandparents. Um, we would RV every single summer, which is probably why I have a love for RVs now.
Um, but we would go, you know, all three months of every summer in RV around different areas of the country or down through Mexico or through Canada. So I've, you know, been in an RV and camped for quite a large portion of my life. So it's something that I, I really enjoy doing.
[00:13:26] Billie Tarascio: Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on the show.
It has been great to spend a little time with you, get to know you a little bit better on a personal level, cuz I know that you're a kick ass lawyer, but it's great to know all these fun, quirky things too. So thank you so much, Stephanie.
[00:13:41] Stephanie Deskins: Thank you Billie. It was great being here.
Thanks so much for listening to the Modern Divorce podcast. Remember, anything you've heard today or anything you read online is not the replacement for actual consultation with an attorney and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Even if you called [00:14:00] in and we spoke to you, you are anonymous and we don't have your details and you have not become a client of Modern Law.
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