Divorce. Legal separation. Changes in guardianship. It’s inevitable: Family-law cases are heavy with emotion. Still, Abigail Volberding tries to see the sunny side of things.
“The human condition — some of it’s absurd, some of it’s entertaining,” she said. “People, often my own clients, appreciate the willingness and opportunity to find the light in this dark area of law.”
The only way to handle the job, for Volberding, is to have a sense of humor and to listen. Whether clients are in need of a smile or mental-health assistance, she wants them to think of her as someone who can help them through a legal system that is often intimidating.
“You walk a fine line between being someone’s therapist in this job and providing them with legal advice,” she said.
Volberding, who practices family law at La Fleur Law Office, has been in the field for nine years. The attorney Dan Exner, who also works in family law, said it was apparent from the moment he met Volberding that she was exceptional.
“If I had a family law case,” Exner said, “I would wholeheartedly hire her.”
Before Volberding got into family law, she studied environmental law. As an outdoors enthusiast and hiker, she’s still drawn to these subjects. Her family hikes are more than just leisurely strolls — they’re often “hunts.”
As it turns out, she found that mushroom hunting is a great stress reliever.
“Mushroom hunting is really that sweet spot of the combination of being outdoors and also finding delicious things to eat,” she said.
Volberding’s friends often send her pictures of mushrooms, so she can identify the fungus in question and determine if it’s safe to eat. Family law will always be heavy with emotion. Fortunately for Volberding, she has found that Mother Nature provides the perfect getaway.