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Navigating the Phases of a Legal Career: Insights from Chris Duren

In this episode of the Modern Divorce Podcast, host Billie Tarascio engages in a thought-provoking conversation with Chris Duren, an accomplished attorney at Modern Law. Chris shares his journey through the different phases of his legal career, offering valuable insights and advice for both aspiring and seasoned lawyers.


Meet Chris Duren: From Solo Practice to Family Law Specialist

Chris Duren kickstarted his legal journey with a bold move, starting his own solo practice right out of law school. Despite the challenges and skepticism from peers, his determination to be his own boss led him back to his hometown, where he could leverage his connections. This phase, as Chris describes, was marked by resilience and success in various areas of law, including civil litigation, real estate, business law, and estate planning.

Now in the second phase of his career, Chris has transitioned to focusing primarily on family law at Modern Law. His extensive background in multiple legal disciplines uniquely equips him to handle complex family law cases that often intersect with other areas of law.

Key Takeaways from Chris Duren’s Journey

1. Embrace Diverse Legal Experiences

Chris’s experience in various fields of law has been instrumental in his approach to family law. He emphasizes the importance of understanding different perspectives and how this broad knowledge can add value in complex cases. For instance, a family law case involving a business requires insights from business law, just as estate planning knowledge can be crucial in divorce proceedings.

2. Know the Facts Backwards and Forwards

One of Chris’s mantras is the critical importance of knowing the facts of a case thoroughly. He believes that while laws may remain constant, the unique facts of each case can significantly influence the outcome. This deep understanding helps in providing the best possible representation for clients, especially in settlement discussions where strategic concessions might be necessary.

3. The Art of Settlement

Chris views settlements as a balancing act, where both parties might feel they didn’t get everything they wanted. However, focusing on the client’s primary goals can lead to a satisfactory resolution. He advises clients to consider the long-term impact of their decisions, often reframing potential losses as future gains, especially in asset appreciation scenarios.

4. Trial Preparedness: Expect the Unexpected

Despite meticulous preparation, trials often present unexpected challenges. Chris stresses the need for adaptability in the courtroom, relying on a comprehensive grasp of the case facts to navigate surprises effectively. This ability to think on one’s feet, combined with extensive trial experience, contributes to his courtroom successes.

5. Long-Term Perspective in Family Law

Family law cases, particularly those involving children, require a long-term perspective. Chris highlights the importance of structuring settlements that are sustainable and functional over time, aiming to minimize future conflicts and the need for ongoing legal intervention.


Chris Duren’s journey through the phases of his legal career exemplifies resilience, adaptability, and the value of a multifaceted legal background. His insights on the importance of knowing the facts, strategic settlements, and long-term thinking in family law provide a roadmap for both new and experienced attorneys.

To stay updated with Chris Duren’s latest insights and legal advice. Connect with Chris to learn more about his unique approach to family law and how he continues to make a significant impact in his clients’ lives.

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