How Ashley Escaped Litigation and Built a Law Practice She Loves

After spending years in litigation, Ashley was tired of the constant fighting. She wanted to make a difference and have real balance in her life. Her client relationships were so transactional that she found it hard to believe it was possible to have a law practice full of clients who appreciated and valued her services. Then, a chance encounter with a Personal Family Lawyer® opened her eyes to a way she could use her law degree for good–without litigation.

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Ashley Thompson

Ashley Thompson is the founder of Beautiful Life Estate Planning, where she serves clients Santa Cruz County California. She provides proactive estate planning services. Her focus is helping clients not just pass on their assets, but also what matters most: their values, priorities, relationships, and legacies. 

She Was Tired of the Reactive Traditional Law Approach

As a military spouse, Ashley moved around quite frequently, leaving her with little choice but to find work with Big Law firms or the government. No matter where she worked, however, there was one underlying theme that she couldn’t escape: ceaseless litigation and fighting in courts.

It seemed like every moment she was at work was filled with constant, unending conflict, and everything she was doing as a lawyer was reactive. 

Not only was this stressful and led to long hours, but it also meant that many of her client relationships were very transactional. The work was draining and exhausting. She wanted to make a bigger impact with her legal education, but had no idea how to make it happen. 

That’s when a chance encounter her parents had in Mexico changed everything.


How a Chance Encounter in Mexico Lead to a Revitalized Law Career

Unlike many lawyers who join NewLaw, Ashley didn’t hear about the program by listening to the podcast, joining the Facebook group, or attending a class. Instead, Ashley heard about it through the grapevine, or in this case: her parents. 

Ashley’s parents were hanging out at the pool while on vacation, when they struck up a conversation with their neighbor. The topic turned to Ashley and how unhappy she was as a litigator. As it turns out, the wife of the man they spoke with had also been an unhappy lawyer who hated litigation–until she found NewLaw.

Like Ashley, his wife didn’t have estate planning experience either, but joined the program and had everything she needed to successfully make the switch.

When Ashley heard about the idea, she initially thought it sounded too good to be true. She couldn’t imagine clients feeling so happy with their lawyer that they’d invite her over for their kids’ birthday parties. 

She decided to give it a shot, however, and contacted NewLaw.


NewLaw’s Approach Made Building a New Law Firm Much Easier

Immediately, she discovered that NewLaw’s approach to estate planning as a practice area was a breath of fresh air compared to the litigation-heavy law she practiced before.. 

“The biggest thing that NewLaw did for me was it taught me how to practice law in a very client focused, holistic way.”

Ashley also discovered that having a pre-built process that she could simply plug into her business was incredibly helpful.

“The initial phone call, the family wealth planning session, signing ceremony, binder delivery…this system WORKS! Once clients see their numbers on the board, they're sold.”


From Afraid to Market to Consistent New Clients Every Month

While Ashley quickly mastered the NewLaw approach to delivering holistic, relational estate planning services, she soon ran into a new problem: her mindset around marketing herself and her practice, something she hadn’t needed to do as a litigation attorney working for others. 

“You can’t run an invisible business,” she said. As a NewLaw member, she was able to work with her coach to overcome her fears and start marketing her services in her local community in a way that felt authentic and personable.

“I had the support and resources from NLBM to say - this is what you should be doing, here are other members you can see doing it, and so I’m feeling like I'm not alone - it's been really instrumental."

Now, two years in, she’s consistently bringing in 6 to 8 new clients every single month. 

And almost every single person she talks to decides to purchase her estate planning services, giving her an almost 100% engagement rate. 

Ashley Thompson


“I had a client give me a huge hug and say, ‘I'm so happy I found you.’ How could you be any more fulfilled than that? I'm excited for revenue to grow…but the most rewarding part is the feedback from clients.”


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