I'm considering changing my name

Well, not really changing it, but adding to it. I would add a middle name after my grandmother (I don't have a middle name now so that's no issue) and adding perhaps my mother's last name to my last name (so I would have 2 last names, not hyphenated). I am hispanic, so at least the concept of a long name isn't foreign to me lol. Anyway, I want to honor my grandmother because she's the only grandparent I have known, and I would add my mom's last name for two reasons: A. to balance it out so I don't have all my dad's family names and most importantly B. for career purposes. I'm going to law school this fall and my father is already a lawyer. He proposed to me that in the future we can work together and so that people would not know we are related, I can interchange last names when need be. This made a lot of sense to me, and now I'm seriously considering doing it. Any thoughts on this? I'm 70% yes and 30% no as of now. My father changed his name too when he was around my age, and he has no regrets about. So I guess it runs in the family The only thing holding me back is the pain of changing my name on all my papers, accounts, etc. (but I figure better now when I'm young and have a lot less things under my name). Also, just learning to use two last names. I'm just looking to hear people's opinions, especially if you have two last names. Like does it cause problems for you, how do you fill out paperwork with it (for example, write one or both?), etc. Thanks
You should check with the regulatory body for lawyers in the jurisdiction where you want to work. Ours at least has rules that you have to practise under your legal name. A good friend of mine got married young and legally changed her last name to her husband's. However, she still used her pre-marriage last name socially and when she started law school, she decided to use it because her husband is a lawyer and she didn't want people to assume she was getting special favours. She used it all through law school, made all her connections as a law student with that name, was involved with various organization, had a couple of awards etc. and then when she went to register with the law society, was told she had to use her legal last name, so that's what she uses now and people often don't realize that Jenny Smith and Jenny Thompson are the same person. You can use a middle name as your first name as long as you register with the full name, and a lot of people who do that are M. Brian Ducharme, or whatever. And you can't switch names around - they need to know who you are and every client has to be dealing with the same person. But every jurisdiction is different.

If your concern is being associated with the "privilege" of your dad, half the people in law school have parents who are lawyers or judges - at least mine did, and if not in the legal profession, then in other prestigious professions. I have never seen it be a negative.

Also, are you someone who thinks you would change your name if you get married? Because then you'd have to go through all the hassle and expense twice.

My kids have two last names in the Hispanic tradition. They're still young, but I haven't had any issues filling out forms for them yet and their schools/day cares haven't seemed to have any issues with it.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I would be practicing under my legal name. I'm planning on changing it officially. Maybe I should have stated that because I wouldn't be switching socially. It's just that instead of First name, middle initial, last name, second last name, I would use first name, mid initial, second last name because that's different from my father. I don't plan on changing my last name either if I get married. My mother didn't either. I also don't worry about getting privilege from my dad. I'm proud to be his daughter. And he doesn't work in a law firm anyway, he does public interest law so it really doesn't matter either way, but no I don't worry about any privileges from him.
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I would be practicing under my legal name. I'm planning on changing it officially. Maybe I should have stated that because I wouldn't be switching socially. It's just that instead of First name, middle initial, last name, second last name, I would use first name, mid initial, second last name because that's different from my father. I don't plan on changing my last name either if I get married. My mother didn't either. I also don't worry about getting privilege from my dad. I'm proud to be his daughter. And he doesn't work in a law firm anyway, he does public interest law so it really doesn't matter either way, but no I don't worry about any privileges from him.
Originally Posted by sKorpio1190
That makes sense, except that if he does public interest law, he's not really going to be in a position to propose that you work with him is he? I mean, depending on where he works, he may be able to swing an interview for you if it's borderline, but not much else. I did public interest law. It's a pretty specific and hard to break into niche no matter who your parents are. You said you wanted a last name different from his "so people won't know we are related." I guess I don't really get why it is important for people to not know that? If anything, it's an advantage.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I would be practicing under my legal name. I'm planning on changing it officially. Maybe I should have stated that because I wouldn't be switching socially. It's just that instead of First name, middle initial, last name, second last name, I would use first name, mid initial, second last name because that's different from my father. I don't plan on changing my last name either if I get married. My mother didn't either. I also don't worry about getting privilege from my dad. I'm proud to be his daughter. And he doesn't work in a law firm anyway, he does public interest law so it really doesn't matter either way, but no I don't worry about any privileges from him.
Originally Posted by sKorpio1190
That makes sense, except that if he does public interest law, he's not really going to be in a position to propose that you work with him is he? I mean, depending on where he works, he may be able to swing an interview for you if it's borderline, but not much else. I did public interest law. It's a pretty specific and hard to break into niche no matter who your parents are. You said you wanted a last name different from his "so people won't know we are related." I guess I don't really get why it is important for people to not know that? If anything, it's an advantage.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Well he doesn't just do work in the court. I mean, he does help friends or whoever on the side when time allows. Just for some extra income here and there. Also, he always tells me how he would love to point people my way when he's too busy to help them But that's beside the point. I guess the name change would be usefull for any legal matters. For example, if he needs me to write a letter for him stating that I'm his attorney, or any other legal issues that may come up for either of us where we would need legal representation. He does that sort of thing for my mom all the time and it really makes things easier because people don't know they're married since she kept her last name. I hope this makes it clearer :-/ Sorry for all the confusion!
I would be practicing under my legal name. I'm planning on changing it officially. Maybe I should have stated that because I wouldn't be switching socially. It's just that instead of First name, middle initial, last name, second last name, I would use first name, mid initial, second last name because that's different from my father. I don't plan on changing my last name either if I get married. My mother didn't either. I also don't worry about getting privilege from my dad. I'm proud to be his daughter. And he doesn't work in a law firm anyway, he does public interest law so it really doesn't matter either way, but no I don't worry about any privileges from him.
Originally Posted by sKorpio1190
That makes sense, except that if he does public interest law, he's not really going to be in a position to propose that you work with him is he? I mean, depending on where he works, he may be able to swing an interview for you if it's borderline, but not much else. I did public interest law. It's a pretty specific and hard to break into niche no matter who your parents are. You said you wanted a last name different from his "so people won't know we are related." I guess I don't really get why it is important for people to not know that? If anything, it's an advantage.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Well he doesn't just do work in the court. I mean, he does help friends or whoever on the side when time allows. Just for some extra income here and there. Also, he always tells me how he would love to point people my way when he's too busy to help them But that's beside the point. I guess the name change would be usefull for any legal matters. For example, if he needs me to write a letter for him stating that I'm his attorney, or any other legal issues that may come up for either of us where we would need legal representation. He does that sort of thing for my mom all the time and it really makes things easier because people don't know they're married since she kept her last name. I hope this makes it clearer :-/ Sorry for all the confusion!
Originally Posted by sKorpio1190
Nope, I'm still confused. Maybe what you're calling public interest law is different than how I understand it? Public interest law is where you work for an agency or non-profit that serves the public as a whole, so you don't have individual clients unless they fit the mandate of that particular organization. ie. the lawyers for Amnesty International are public interest lawyers. Their clients aren't likely to get referred to your neighbourhood solicitor because their issues are very specialized. I'm also not getting why you would have to write a letter for him saying you're his attorney. You most likely would be conflicted out from being your father's attorney in most circumstances that would see him needing an attorney, especially if you work with him.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











My father has individual clients. Many. He works in the family court
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