Results-Oriented & Caring Representation Silicon Valley Attorney Karen Hubbell
Q: Why did you choose to become a lawyer?
KH: I was intrigued with the law and decided to take Paralegal Courses at San Jose State University. I also enjoyed watching LA Law. Obviously, now I realize that most law shows are not truly representative of reality.
Q: You decided to have a practice dedicated to Family Law … why?
KH: When I first started out in the legal field, I worked for an attorney who handled Family Law and Personal Injury. I enjoyed Family Law because it was about helping people and their families through some very rough times in their lives. It involved more than just doing paperwork. It was going to Court to advocate for your client or work on resolution without going to Court. Also, with Family Law, each case is different, so you never get bored doing the same thing and dealing with the same issues over and over again.
Q: What made you decide to be independent and open your own practice?
KH: While I gained valuable experience working for firms, I wanted to be independent and open my own practice so that I did not have the billable requirements and demands that go along with working for a law firm. I can set my own hours and the number of clients that I take on at my own discretion. My main focus is to make sure that I am not overwhelmed and stressed and most importantly, that I have the time and ability to give my client’s the responsiveness and best representation they deserve.
Q: You’ve served as Judge Pro Tem for the Santa Clara County Superior Court for more than fourteen years. Can you tell us what are your duties?
KH: As a Judge Pro Tem, you volunteer and assist the Judges and the Settlement Officer in helping resolve cases. On the Settlement Conference and the Settlement Officer calendars, I will work with attorneys and/or people representing themselves to assist them in resolving issues to their matter. I can’t make orders, but I can help resolve cases so that parties are not spending a significant amount in attorney’s fees and costs proceeding to Trial.
Q: What qualities does it take to be a good lawyer?
KH: It takes knowledge of not only the law and keeping up to date on changes but how to prepare pleadings, advocate for your client and discussing the case and potential outcome with your client. Sometimes going to Court is not always the best outcome for either party. Resolution, when it can be done, helps both parties move on and saves money for their retirement and children. I also don’t file anything with the Court on my client’s behalf that would ruin my reputation just because someone wants to seek revenge or punish the other party. I take pride in my reputation.
Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments of your career?
KH: Since Family Law is a difficult in and of itself due to the emotions of the parties, stress, depression and anxiety, I would say one of my most memorable moments is when you see a client at the beginning of a case completely in distress and some times can’t function. I help them get through the process and see them completely transformed into a new person by the conclusion of the case. When you get thank you cards and e-mails from your clients appreciating everything you have done and sometimes hugs, you know that you made a difference in their life and helped someone.
Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
KH: I would say that people often joke about attorneys and sometimes have a negative opinion of them. I could say based on my career, there are some that are truly genuine and care about their clients rather than just doing their job and collecting a paycheck.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
KH: When I had to deal with some attorneys who worked in other parts of the State (not Santa Clara County), I feel that the men who have been in practice longer than me (and probably should retire) see themselves as more superior and treated me and other women as though we did not know what we were doing - Did I prove them wrong.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
KH: Never Give Up!
Five Things About Attorney Karen Hubbell
1. If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why?
Michelle Obama. She is a role model to all women. She is a very successful, strong and beautiful woman. She advocates for many things and her speeches are always inspiring. She is a true example of how we should all be as Americans – treat everyone with respect and dignity even if you don’t agree with them.
2. Are you a sports fan?
Yes, I am. Favorite team? Sorry, I can’t just give you one – San Francisco Giants, Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco Forty Niners.
3. Do you have a favorite quotation?
Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your control to what you can create.
4. What app can’t you live without?
Words with Friends
5. Which season is your favorite?