THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 184
Interview on 04.21.2022

Hosted By
Erik J. Olson

Featuring Attorney

Aliette Carolan



Managing Partner of
Carolan Family Law

About Aliette Carolan

Aliette Carolan is the Managing Partner at Carolan Family Law in Coral Gables, Florida.

Aliette is an AV Rated-Preeminent family and matrimonial lawyer. She graduated law school in 2003 and after gaining valuable experience from some of the best family law practitioners in Miami-Dade she struck out on her own in 2009 and became a Florida Supreme Court Family Law Mediator. She has been named a Rising Star in 2014 and a Super Lawyer in 2015, 2016, and 2017 by the reputable, peer-review magazine. She is rated a Superb litigator by Avvo, a client-review and peer-review website. She was a course developer for the Alternative Dispute Resolution section of the Legal Studies program of World Education University.

Learn from her expertise and what trends are helping grow her firm on this episode of The Managing Partners Podcast!

Watch the Episode

Episode Transcript

Erik J. Olson:
Hey everybody. It is Erik J. Olson, your host today for The Managing Partners Podcast. In this podcast, we interview America’s top managing partners to find out how they’re running their firms, how they’re growing their firms and how they are keeping their case pipeline full. And today I have with me, from Miami, Florida, Aliette.

Aliette Carolan:
Carolan.

Erik J. Olson:
Aliette… God, what is wrong with me? I am so sorry. Aliette Coralan.

Aliette Carolan:
Carolan.

Erik J. Olson:
Carolan. Why do I want to say Coralan, there’s an A in there.

Aliette Carolan:
People do it all the time. Don’t worry about it.

Erik J. Olson:
Nah, that’s not cool. I’m sorry. We’re going to do that again.

Aliette Carolan:
Okay.

Erik J. Olson:
All right. Geez. I totally, mm-mm (negative). Trust me. I’m a professional. All right, here we go. Cut. Let’s do that over. All right.

Erik J. Olson:
Hey there everybody. I am Eric J. Olson, your host for this episode of The Managing Partners Podcast. In this podcast, we interview America’s top managing partners to find out how they’re running the firms, how they’re growing their firms and what they are doing to keep their case pipeline full. And today I have with me Aliette Carolan.

Aliette Carolan:
Yes. Hi, good morning.

Erik J. Olson:
Did I get it right?

Aliette Carolan:
You did. You got it right.

Erik J. Olson:
All right. We had to practice that a couple of times. I appreciate your patience. Let me tell the audience a little bit more about you. Aliette is the founder and energy partner of Carolan Family Law in Miami. She’s also the founder and owner of TheQuickDivorce.com. In addition to that, she authored a book named Just In Case!! Lose Your Heart, Not Your Mind: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Marriage and Self-Sufficiency, which was published in 2007, welcome to the podcast.

Aliette Carolan:
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Erik J. Olson:
You got it.

Aliette Carolan:
It was published in 2017.

Erik J. Olson:
Oh my bad. It says it right there and I said 2007. Well, I’m really striking out here, but I appreciate that. Can you tell the audience a little bit more about you and your firms?

Aliette Carolan:
Sure. So I started practicing family law around 2004. My experience in family law began in 2001, when I clerked in the family division of the legal services of Greater Miami. That was where I made the decision that, as soon as I graduated law school, I would pursue a career in family law. I’ve been practicing exclusively in that area since that time. Around 2018 or so I began working on TheQuickDivorce.com. I realized that a lot of our laws in Florida had been codified. You know, well, the laws are obviously codified, but the issues, rather, they had been narrowed. There was significant guides within the statutes to make it so that you could address routine issues in an easier, efficient, more efficient way. And so I started working on TheQuickDivorce.com.

Aliette Carolan:
The idea of TheQuickDivorce.com is that, it’s for parties who have come to an agreement, who don’t want to fight, who are smart enough to know that only lawyers benefit when they fight with each other. At the end of the day, most of the financial issues are a matter of adding and subtracting and dividing by two, something that reasonable minds should not disagree on, the results of that, although, you would be surprised. But anyway, I’m really proud of it.

Aliette Carolan:
It’s something, I feel that it’s in line with the way that I practice law in my law firm. I understand that I work with people, not corporations. I really strive to work ethically on behalf of my clients, never making mountains out of molehills, and trying to be a source of peace in a situation that could otherwise be rot with emotional carnage. So that’s how that happened.

Erik J. Olson:
I really like the concept and I really like the look of the website. I think it’s fantastic.

Aliette Carolan:
Thank you.

Erik J. Olson:
So what was the genesis for creating this and how automated is it? I mean, I know that there was an opportunity here and you jumped on it, but how automated is it, and what has this done for you as far as saving you time and things like that?

Aliette Carolan:
Well, they’re two completely separate companies, so it doesn’t save me any time when it comes to Carolan Family Law. It is fully automated. So you answer some questions and it takes you to the prefilled forms and you know how it is with any company, you put out a product, you figure out what is working for people, and then you pivot accordingly. So I’m constantly making revisions to the form process to make it easier.

Aliette Carolan:
It is different than the other form companies that are out there because I’m behind it. They’re my forms. They’re my language. It’s my boiler plate language that I’ve honed over the course of the last, almost 18 years. So, the idea is that people come to this company and they say, “Okay, I like that it’s a human behind it. It’s not just some free automated forms that are otherwise available in the Supreme Court websites of every state, right?” because that’s a lot of what we see out there. These are not generic forms.

Aliette Carolan:
And the idea came because I realized maybe, I’ve been through a divorce myself so during that process, and it was very amicable, obviously I know what I’m doing, and so, I have two children and I know that the last thing I wanted was to fight because the conflict is what ruins children’s lives. They can move to a smaller house and be okay, but parents at war is so destructive. And so, I realized that that’s the kind of lawyer that I wanted to be. I wanted to be putting out there, the kind of energy and the kind of product, not just with a quick divorce, but as a lawyer, and say “You don’t have to fight. Divorce doesn’t have to be a war.”

Aliette Carolan:
Let’s change this narrative and say “Divorce could be a solution.” There’s no reason to be miserable and unhappy and destroy each other. If you’ve reached a point where you no longer want to be together, honor that if you must, there’re clients sometimes that will come to me and I’ll get a feeling maybe they’re not ready, and I’ll always say to them, “Have you given your marriage everything you’ve got?” because marriage can be a beautiful thing. Having a real partnership is an amazing thing that is a blessing and it’s not easy. There’s always going to be ups and downs and sometimes divorce shouldn’t be your first reaction. So that’s why I wrote the book. So in the book, I’m trying to tell women, if you participate in your marriage, you have a better chance of staying in it.

Aliette Carolan:
If you abdicate your role as an adult and just let somebody take care of everything and then you kind of lose touch with reality and you lose touch with humanity and you lose touch with what it takes to earn the money, to support a household, that it gets disenchanting sometimes in a relationship. So, even though I make my living divorcing people, it’s not really what I want. I don’t feel like I need to go after it. I want it to be, I’m sorry [crosstalk 00:08:21].

Erik J. Olson:
There’s enough divorce to go around.

Aliette Carolan:
Yeah, there’s enough divorce to go around. There’s enough money to go around. So that kind of influences my marketing strategies.

Erik J. Olson:
Speaking of which, what is your general marketing strategy and how does it differ between the two different companies?

Aliette Carolan:
They’re completely different. So my law firm is a boutique law firm, in the sense that I don’t take every case that walks in the door. We are not a mill, we’re not a factory. We handle sort of a certain level of case at this juncture and really, I focus on my personal connections, my contacts, my network and I believe in the process of developing personal relationships with people.

Aliette Carolan:
What I do is very personal. It’s not a P.I. Case. So if you’re referring a case to me, you’re referring it because you know who I am, you know what I stand for, you know that if I need to go to the mat, I’ll go to the mat. I mean, I’m a litigator at heart, so if I need to fight, I’ll fight, but it’s not what I want.

Aliette Carolan:
It’s not what I want to do and so, the people who refer to me are people who say, “Okay, she’s tough and she won’t get walked all over, but she’s also going to try to make your case as amicable as possible. She’s always going to try to save you the most money.” and so, those are the kinds of relationships that I foster. With the QuickDivorce, it’s a little less about my one on one personal relationships. That’s more my digital marketing. That’s more my Facebook ads, my Google ads and things of that nature.

Erik J. Olson:
Gotcha. How are you currently handling your marketing these days? Are you doing it in-house, or yourself, you’re running those ads, you work with someone else, you have someone that works for you?

Aliette Carolan:
No, I have somebody who works for me, I can’t do that too, it’s also complicated. It seems easy when you hear about it and you hear the concepts and we, as lawyers, we understand the concept. I mean, I understand how they strategize and the technology today is impressive but no, I have people who handle those kinds of things for me. I do try to write my own blogs as often as I can, but in terms of the digital marketing approach and the strategies, I have people that I work with.

Erik J. Olson:
That’s great. Gotcha. Fantastic. Well, what is something that is working particularly well for you now that maybe hasn’t worked incredibly well in the past. Something that seems to be working better than usual?

Aliette Carolan:
I haven’t really changed anything. Let me not make something up there. There’s really nothing. My strategy with my law firm has always been the same, it is to treat every client like they’re my most important client. And I take a lot of time to make sure that everybody feels like they’re getting the attention that they deserve. I never take for granted the business that I have in search of the business that I’m looking for.

Erik J. Olson:
There you go.

Aliette Carolan:
I think that coming at it like that has really helped my business because I want to grow it organically, my law firm business. Now, TheQuickDivorce is a new enterprise for me too. So I’m still figuring things out, it’s like I was telling you about the forms, we pay attention to the feedback that we get. I’m always pivoting when I need to pivot. If there’s something I think that needs to be better, I want the product to be as perfect as possible and another thing that we do too, is that we electronically file for our clients, which a lot of these companies do not, and I do that because even though it’s relatively easy to electronically file, it’s kind of a hassle, and I figure, for us, it’s something routine. So why not take it off their plate?

Erik J. Olson:
That’s nice. Yeah, exactly. Make it easy for your clients. Because even if you’re electronically filing, you probably have to create an account right? You have to create a password, save that password. Yeah. All those things. So it can still be a pain that’s for sure. Well, when it comes to also to your marketing, what is something that maybe you’ve tried and just surprisingly, it didn’t work for you.

Aliette Carolan:
A lot of those online sites.

Erik J. Olson:
Aggregators.

Aliette Carolan:
Yes. They promise you they’re going to write this bio for you and they’re going to do this SEO for you and they’re going to provide these back links for you, and that has never really worked for me, and in fact, recently, they almost tricked me. Somebody called me pretending to be one of these, one of these relatively, well known sites and I don’t want to say the name because, there’s no, it doesn’t matter, and even though it wasn’t that company, it was actually somebody pretending to be from that company, trying to sell me the plaque and you know how it is, the plaque and the badge and the bio, and the back link and I, and I never just hand over my credit card information, but that’s just how I am, and I said, “Okay, well, thank you for all the information. Send me the email, summarize what you’ve told me and I’m going to think about it and I will, I’ll let you know either way.”

Aliette Carolan:
And I do always let them know either way. I feel like the people out there who make their living in turning these leads deserve to know you can take me off your call list or “Yes, I’m going to, I’m going to buy what you’re selling.” So I always answer and the guy got so angry that, he yelled at me and he hung up. And so I called,

Erik J. Olson:
That’s not good in sales.

Aliette Carolan:
No, that’s where I knew something was up. I called the company and I was like, “This just happened to me.” And they said, “That person doesn’t work for us. We don’t even sell those services.” and that was, it was a scam.

Erik J. Olson:
I mean kind of hard to, to pin it on that company since someone [crosstalk 00:14:57]

Aliette Carolan:
Of course not, it was not their fault.

Erik J. Olson:
Not everybody, but, but yeah, I’ve heard similar stories, not, not about the scam per se, but about the websites. I think what we were talking about is a website that you could build the website yourself using their website. You can pay a 100 bucks and they’ll SEO it for you. They’ll put you on listings to search engines. Yeah. Those, those days are kind of, well, totally over actually, certainly when it comes to getting effective marketing, it’s a recurring thing. It’s not a one time transaction, you’ll pay a 100 bucks and you have SEO, you have to continuously put content on your site, continuously get high quality back links. It, it’s more than just a one time payment. So to [crosstalk 00:15:37]

Aliette Carolan:
I don’t do those things anymore.

Erik J. Olson:
Gotcha. Well, great. What are your growth plans for the next couple of years?

Aliette Carolan:
Well, so with the law firm, I really only work within Miami-Dade County every once in a while. I’ll work in Broward, depending on the case and, and whether I, I think it’s a good idea for me or a good fit, but with a QuickDivorce, I can expand to the entire state and so those, that’s my primary growth plan for the next year to the next, into the future,

Erik J. Olson:
What would it take to expand beyond that? Would you have to have partnerships with other attorneys, other family law attorneys in other states?

Aliette Carolan:
I’m actually, I’m looking into that because the plan is to go national, but one day at a time. So right now I, I’m focusing on mastering what I’m doing within the state of Florida, where I obviously have the wealth of experience that I need to see. I’m an expert in this field. I’m, I know what I’m doing here. I don’t need to rely on anybody. So I’m going to, I’m going to focus on Florida for now. And then ultimately yes, the idea is to be able to grow it, to be a national brand.

Erik J. Olson:
Good for you. That’s that’s really exciting.

Aliette Carolan:
It is exciting.

Erik J. Olson:
If anybody out there has either a case they would like to refer to you or if they have any questions, what’s a good way to get in touch with you.

Aliette Carolan:
So through my website, we have Contact Us forms that I come right to my email and my assistants email. We’re very quick. We respond usually the same day, sometimes within 20, but at least within 24 hours, there’s also phone numbers there on the website that if they want to call and speak to a human we’re available. So either one of those two formats is good.

Erik J. Olson:
Fantastic. Well, thanks so much for your time. All right, everybody, if you would like to check out other episodes like this, you can go to Arraylaw.com/podcast. We have about 150 episodes right now, and each one is tagged by practice area and state. So you can find exactly what you’re looking for and if you’re looking for digital marketing for your law firm, please check out my company, Array Digital @arraylaw.com. We specialize in website design, search engine optimization, online ads and social media. Thanks again.

Aliette Carolan:
Thank you for having me. Nice to meet you.

Website Design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Online Advertising, Social Media & Digital Marketing.

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© Array Law