Today we’d like to introduce you to Arielle Brandt.
Hi Arielle, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I have a tried and true American Dream story. I was born in a trailer park to a vivacious teen mom with no father. I was raised by a dynamic and loving hoard of grandparents alongside my mom. They pooled their resources and helped me create a life that was different than their own. I grew up in a poor farming community in Central Indiana. It was rarely easy. While food and resources were sometimes in short supply, familial support and a card game were always in abundance. I moved to Florida when I was 12, attend High School at Lake Brantley and took every AP class I could get my hands on. It meant College would be cheaper and classes would be out of the way.
I graduated from UCF with a bachelor of science in 2011 and from Delaware Law School in 2014 with my Juris Doctorate degree. I moved back to Florida because the northeast gray did not suit my personality needs. I would love to say I chose family law, but my background in chaos management really chose the practice of family law for me… and I am better for it. After law school, I started working for Cohen Law Group, focusing primarily on employment law, my first legal love. I met my husband, Patrick Brandt, and we have been inseparable since the day we met. We married in December 2016 and had our daughter in August 2018. It has been a whirlwind, but I knew the moment I met him I wanted to craft a lifetime of dreams and magic with him. Growing up in Central Indiana taught me a lot. Mostly, it taught me that when you’re poor, your access to education and educated ideas/opportunities are often in short supply or, otherwise, limited. Most of the people around me needed access to attorneys and other professionals but did know who to call and definitely could not afford to pay for it. As I became more and more exposed to educational opportunities (thank you taxpayers and dedicated teachers), I learned that I could be a part of giving that access and education to others. This became my goal and is where The Brandt Law Firm’s initial inner workings began when I was 12.
In 2019, I turned 30. I had this list I created at 21 and edited at 25 of all the things I wanted and needed to do to ‘have a full life by the age of 40. At 30, I had accomplished them all. It sounds exciting, but it was terrifying. What else would I do? What were my dreams? I started writing and talking about it with close friends and family. I kept circling back to two things: I wanted financial freedom and time. How do I create that? Well, it wasn’t happening working for firms and giving half my earned paycheck to someone else. So, I started planning for the Brandt Law Firm. I knew early on that I wanted it to be affordable. I always hated that law firms sent huge bills to people going through an already stressful divorce. A lot of people can’t handle a surprise bill for $2000 or even $700. I chose to work on flat-rate agreements with monthly payment plans. I also knew that I wanted to be able to choose my clients. Not everyone tells the truth, but I wanted to ensure I could field who I would be representing.
From there, I was off. I began the process of creating website content, social media posts, creating a home office, and all the inner workings of a firm. I opened the firm the Friday before the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down. I had already been planning it for six months and I wasn’t going to let a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity get ruined by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Unfortunately, the pandemic was not the only thing novel about March 2020. My humility and kind teacher died. My grandma Joe died on March 10, 2020… maybe the biggest advocate for the creation of my law firm was ripped from the planet. I decided I could be sad and get vulnerable about it and I did, but I also decided I could not live in that sadness. I needed to launch the business, as it would be a living memory of so many of the life lessons she had taught me. So, with a heavy heart and the support of my husband, colleagues, friends, and family – I opened the business on March 15, 2020. The business took off. Before I knew it I was getting clients that I cared about, who needed my help and my educational and life experiences behind them. It was life-changing.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Would it be an interesting story if it was smooth? See, the trouble in telling these stories to strangers is simple. It always makes me feel like I am complaining about the most important people in my life. Yes, my family was laden with addiction and untreated mental health, but the same people who created the struggle were the same people who are responsible for my success and the assets I have as a human being to be capable of success. I was born in a trailer park to a single mother with no father. My mother was young, riddled with poor coping skills and fully unready to be a mother, but she wanted me, and it made all the difference. My mother worked 2-3 jobs and gave plasma so I could have diapers and food on the table. I was primarily raised by a hoard of supportive grandparents.
I spent most weekends with the kindest and most humble woman that ever lived, my grandma Joe and I spent most weeknights with my great-grandma Ruth who had/has an impenetrable savior complex. These women taught me much of what I know about life. From different political, religious, socio-economic classes and different generations, they forged a fire in my heart to live a different life than I was born into. They were successful. My mother spent nearly every second with me that she wasn’t sleeping or working. My teen years were spent mostly with my free-spirited, albeit deeply self-doubting, grandma Marcia (the daughter of great-grandma Ruth). She built in me the thing she couldn’t build in herself – resilient confidence in my value and personal growth. I grew up around a lot of dynamic, albeit sometimes unsavory characters. Unsavory to the degree that they simply did not have (nor were they ever taught) healthy coping skills. The conversations just weren’t on the table because they were too busy just trying to survive. It taught me that the cost of being poor is often untreated emotional and mental health growth. All these characters taught me something, whether it was work ethic, reinventing your passion, how to speak my truth, or how to Hotwire a car… it was all valuable.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your practice?
I am a family law attorney practicing in Volusia, Seminole, Lake, Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Polk, and Hillsborough counties. Family law practice is not just the nasty divorce your neighbor tells you about; it is also adoption, time-sharing with a child, establishing paternity, ensuring a single parent has child support and protecting your assets in a second marriage. My passion projects is this law firm. I believe in affordable legal service that works for your monthly finances, not surpass $2000 bills amidst an already stressful divorce. I work hard to ensure my clients are educated through the process so that they fully understand how they got from Point A to Point B.
I grew up in an extraordinarily impoverished community that had little to no access to the legal needs the community possessed. When I embarked in my educational career, I made it my goal to live a happy and prosperous lifestyle while giving other people opportunities. I do not think success has to be divided. I also don’t think money is the answer to happiness. I am most proud that I am able to offer legal services at an affordable rate to people who might not otherwise have access to legal counsel. I also truly, enjoy and am grateful to work with domestic violence victims and those removing themselves from human trafficking scenarios. It is important to me that the work we do here impacts the community in a positive way so my child can enjoy a safer and more well-rounded community.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check out?
My current favorite book is ‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle. It is fierce and a reminder of the wild things we are within. I always enjoy books that do not shy away from human nature and, rather, encourage it from an emotional intelligence perspective. My go-to for anything in my personal or professional success is Brene Brown. She is a doctor of social work who specializes in shame resilience and vulnerability in a personal and professional world. She is awe-inspiring.
I learned in life long ago that the best version of me is a woman who is not afraid to be emotionally vulnerable and fierce in a world that is trending in the direction of multi-level marketing schemes and photoshopped living. Being direct but kind and open, without many guards, has found me much more successful than the alternatives. Brene Brown’s research, books, and talks reinforced this line of thinking and gave me far more tools in my arsenal on how to effectuate that change. Lately, I have been introduced to a podcast called ‘Wet Ink”. It is hosted by a local millennial trial attorney, Nicholas Gurney. It is new and I really like it. I am looking forward to more podcasts from him: https://www.audible.com/pd/Wet-Ink-Training-the-Millennial-Lawyer-Podcast/B08K56BNRX
- Paternity/Child Custody Actions $4000-$6000
- Contested Divorce $5000+
- Uncontested Divorce $3500
- Name Change $1500
- Debt Defense $500-$2500
- Email: ArielleKBrandt@gmail.com
- Website: www.brandtfirm.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brandtarielle/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brandtlawfirmorlando
- Other: https://g.page/brandt-law-firm-Orlando/review?rc