Allison Kierman launched her own firm, Kierman Law, on March 1, 2017, after she had been practicing law for more than a decade. She and her husband, Alan, were both successful attorneys. She had made partner and was working 16 hour days, they had a nanny, and Allison would give talks and lectures on “having it all.”
But then Allison and Alan started to realize that they wanted to be there for more than making sure the kids ate and the laundry was done. They wanted to be there to help their kids navigate making friends on the playground and assist them with their homework.
“The joke is as a way to spend more time with my family, I started my own practice,” she says.
The shift has allowed Allison to meet with clients while her children, who are 7 and 9, are in school. “I do the work at home, at night and on the weekends,” she says. “But I am definitely more present both physically and mentally in the lives of my children.”
Alan is supportive of Allison’s decision and very helpful, especially in the homework department. “Honestly, I couldn’t do fourth-grade math without him,” she jokes.
Allison does estate planning, everything from a simple will, financial power of attorney because a parent is ill to preparing a complete estate plan, making sure everything is organized, assets are protected, and a tax strategy is in place.
“You can get plans or documents online, but this is a relationship; I’m making sure that your specific family is taken care of,” she says. “I ask my clients, ‘What is important to you?’ and let’s make sure that’s protected in the documents.”
She asks people if something happened, and they have a minor child, do they want to make sure they are a b’nai mitzvah? Are there any religious, cultural, or social events that are important to you that should be put in your plans?
She also jokes, “I ask people if they want me to make the inheritance contingent upon them marrying Jewish.”
Allison works with clients across all religious bases and is mindful of the client’s faith when creating documents. She also doesn’t work with people at a specific economic price point or asset wealth. She will help anyone who comes in the door.
She also provides a discount on her services to those who give to a charitable organization as part of a legacy plan.
“I try to recognize that contribution that people are making with my own contribution,” says Allison. “I have seen the importance for many congregants to add to the endowment campaign, and there’s a very easy way (for people) to do it.”
Allison was raised Southern Baptist by her grandparents on a ranch in Texas. She converted when she met Alan in 2006. “I did a very serious conversion at what was then Har Zion Congregation Under Rabbi Elon Sunshine and Rabbi Mark Bisman,” she says. “It was very important and very meaningful.”
Allison is very active in the Jewish community. She is a youth board member of the Martin Pear JCC, part of the professional leadership group of Jewish Family and Child Services, a cohort mentee and alumnae chair for the Women’s Leadership Institute of the Jewish Women’s Learning Center and a member of Congregation Beth Israel.
“It’s important to me that our kids feel part of a community,” says Allison. “For them to feel, no matter where they go, that they know people, have a home and someone to talk to, and there’s that sense of family. We don’t have a lot of actual family here, and the Jewish community is our family.”
Allison continues, “The goal is that the different corners of your life connect in a meaningful and positive way.” I think we all can agree that Allison has achieved that goal.
To find out more about Allison and Kierman Law, visit kiermanlaw.com.