Family is important to Scott Ashby, owner of Ashby Law. It’s the main reason he decided to leave a comfortable position as a high-stakes corporate litigator at an international law firm in Phoenix, Ariz. and move to the Tri-Cities to start his own practice.
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“I did large civil litigation cases all over the U.S. for Fortune 100 companies,” Ashby said. “It was a lot of travel and time away from family. I got tired of the travel and decided it was time to move back.”
Ashby was born and raised on a small family farm in Quincy. He graduated from Central Washington University and then Cornell Law School.
He moved his family to the Tri-Cities in 2010 and in 2012 he opened Ashby Law, a law office that would focus on helping families instead of businesses.
If anybody knows the importance of family, it’s him. He and his wife of 35 years have six children and ten grandkids, with two more on the way.
Since opening, Ashby Law has grown to a reputable law firm with seven attorneys, 30 employees and 13 paralegals and support staff and two offices. And there are plans to open a third. Ashby Law is south and central Washington's only multi-lawyer firm that strictly practices family law.
“In 2013, I decided that I really liked helping families through difficult situations,” said Ashby. “It’s really been amazing and gratifying that our approach has been so well received.”
He attributes his success to a compassionate approach and philosophy on divorce and parenting.
“We help people plan for a new and better future,” he said. “When clients come to us, they have major issues, whether it’s a child custody dispute or a divorce. So we strategize. We talk to them about reasonable outcome. We talk about what is best for their children and their future. Even though family changes, we focus on co-parenting, the parents may have fallen out of love, but that family unit continues to exist.”
Sometimes however, both parties are not able to come to an amicable agreement, making trials necessary.
“We take a lot of cases to trial, but like any relationship, you can be firm but fair,” he said. “Is there a way both parties can come to a mutually beneficial resolution? The answer almost always is yes. What swings an arrow is a little bit of compassion and understanding. Even with people who are combative, you can come to a resolution that is a win for both sides.”
He said many law firms treat family law like personal injury cases, where the measure of winning is how much money is gained. His measure of success is seeing clients happy with their new family dynamic. He makes sure he hires attorneys who feel the same way.
“We hire people with that same philosophy,” he said. “We’re selective and our attorneys undergo a lot of training. We build better futures for our clients — they may be divided, but not broken.”
Ashby said he wasn’t sure would like family law when he started. But he started in with the view that his clients are in crisis and it’s his job to help repair the damage, rather than cause more.
“It gives us satisfaction to rescue families that are headed to dark place, that is our difference in law firms,” he said.
That philosophy has garnered the law firm multiple awards and national recognition.
This year Ashby Law will be recognized in The Wall Street Journal as one of the top premier law firm in the region. The American Institute of Family Law named Glenn Slate, one of the law firm’s attorneys, among the Top Ten Family Law Attorneys in the State of Washington. And National Advocates named Scott Ashby to its Top 100 Family Law Attorney for two years in a row.
In 2016, Ashby plans to open a Yakima office. His goal, he said, is not to simply get bigger, but to help more families.
“Our sincere hope is that we can help more and more people,” Ashby said. “It’s not about how big we can get, it’s really about changing the way family law is practiced in this side of the state.”
For more information on Ashby Law visit www.pnwfamilylaw.com.
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