Career Corner: Balancing work and family
Ian (JD 07) and Lauren Alperstein (JD 08) are full-time attorneys with Laufer & Laufer, PA and Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, respectively. Ian represents insurance carriers, while Lauren works in family and matrimonial law.
They have also picked up another job as parents to a son born in January.
Lauren is currently on maternity leave, but will return to work this month. Her work includes counseling and defending clients, as well as volunteering with the family law section of The Florida Bar and the Broward County Bar Association, and the young lawyers section of the Broward County Bar Association.
While balancing her busy schedule and family life has not been easy, Lauren said the balance is made possible with the support of her firm.
“I love the people I work with. I am really fortunate to be part of a great firm and a great office. We are one big family working to better our clients’ lives,” she said.
Ian is busy as a litigator for insurance carriers in first-party insurance disputes. His daily practice involves representing clients through the court process — work that continually keeps him interested in the nuances of insurance law.
“Each day presents a new opportunity and new tasks that challenge me and broaden my area of expertise in my area of practice,” said Ian.
But prior to law school, neither Ian nor Lauren expected to be working in their present fields.
Lauren earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and international affairs from George Washington University in 2005. But at UF Law, she was drawn to family law.
“Given my personal background — my parents got divorced when I was in elementary school — I always was interested in family law. In law school, however, I was torn between international business law and family law,” she said. She credits Professor Nancy Dowd’s family law class, her externship with the family law judges at the Alachua County courthouse, and her involvement with Gator TeamChild for solidifying her decision to pursue a professional career in family law.
Meanwhile, Ian received his bachelor’s in economics from UF in 2000. And when he came to UF to study law, he did not plan to become a litigator.
“I went to law school thinking I would become a transactional attorney. However, the classes I enjoyed the most in law school involved litigation,” he said. Ian listed trial practice, evidence, civil procedure, and insurance law class as the inspirations for his current career path.
Despite their differing career interests, Ian and Lauren met at UF Law through their involvement with the Jewish Law Students Association.
“We both attended a Jewish Law Students Association function and then kept on bumping into each other in the reading room of the library,” said Ian. “One thing led to another, and we started dating.”
After dating throughout law school and into their first few years as new attorneys, the couple married in 2010. Since then, the Alpersteins have balanced their busy schedules with their expanding family.
“Given the demands and stressors of our jobs, it can be hard and challenging at times,” she said. “However, we both understand the demands expected of us and really value the time we have together at home. We make it a point to try our best not to talk about work when we come home, but understand when we each have to work late at night or on the weekends to complete our tasks.”
While both admit that finding time to work as an attorney and have a family is a challenge, Lauren maintains that a balance can be struck with a goal in mind.
“Take it one step at a time,” said Lauren. “Do not worry about what everyone else is doing.”