Sara Ross: I went to Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. One of the things that’s great about Hastings is there’s a lot of practical, hands-on education. So while we learn the basic nuts and bolts of civil procedure and criminal law and all of the things that you must have in your arsenal to be able to be a successful attorney, we also had practicals, and trials, and appeals, and mediation negotiations, which really helps us to actually practice law.
When I first started practicing law, I worked in a big firm in San Francisco and did anti-trust work and big business stuff, which was exciting in a lot of ways. I really learned a lot about how to jostle with big-time attorneys who can be really aggressive and how to let a lot of stuff roll off my back and work with clients through a really difficult process. But there was something really tangible missing, and I didn’t really know how to put my finger on it until I came home to Boulder, and I realized that what was missing before was the human element, because there’s not a whole lot of room in the law for human beings except family law, where largely what we’re worried about is the human being and the relationships involved.
I actually grew up working in the process. I’ve been doing family law-related stuff since I was in high school and worked for my dad while I was in college. My father, James Keane, has actually practiced family law in Boulder since 1973, so when I first moved back, I joined his firm and worked with him really closely. I really was fortunate to have a terrific mentor who not only really was qualified in the area that I wanted to work in, but who cared about me so much personally, so it feels like the right thing to be doing now with my own practice.