Bar Number: 41682
Darcel Lobo is the proud owner of DAL Law Firm, focusing on bankruptcy, real estate, and estate planning. After working at a small law firm for seven years, Darcel went solo and opened her own law firm in March 2016. She’s married and has two children: Lucy, who is 12, and Maxon, who is 10. Darcel currently serves as secretary for the WSBA Solo & Small Practice Section, is a trustee for the KCBA Board of Trustees, and is a co-chair for the MAMA Seattle Ladder Down Program. She has been named in the 2021 and 2022 Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” lists for consumer bankruptcy.
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How is being a lawyer different from the way you thought it would be?
Before becoming a lawyer, I naively thought that I just needed to know the law in order to be a good lawyer. Boy, was I wrong! I truly think that the relationships I have with people are far more important than knowing an RCW or a code. I can look up an RCW or a code at any time—that’s easy. But having someone who will pick up the phone when I call to talk me through the logistics of a case? Priceless.
How did you become interested in your practice area?
I became a lawyer in 2009 just as the real estate market was crashing. While my primary focus was real estate, I quickly found myself helping homeowners who were losing their homes. Bankruptcy then became a natural addition to my practice so I could better serve my clients’ needs. I’ve been helping clients in real estate and bankruptcy ever since.
How do you define success as a lawyer?
It has definitely changed since graduating from law school. Opening my own law firm, getting married, and having children have all changed how I view success as a lawyer. So at this time, I view success as a lawyer as being able to help the clients that I am a good fit for, while also having time to make both myself and my family a priority and being available to support them. I think I’ve learned (albeit the hard way) that I can’t properly take care of clients, my staff, or my family if I’m not taking care of myself. While I haven’t figured it all out (and I know I never will!), I think I’ve done pretty well for myself in these past 13 years as a lawyer.
At the end of your career, how would you like to be remembered professionally?
I hope that people will think of me as someone who supported other lawyers who aspire to open their own law firms and showed that, yes, it is possible to do “all the things.” I don’t have that perfect “work/life balance,” but I’ve gotten pretty good at juggling all the things I have going on.
If you had to give a 10-minute presentation on one topic other than the law, what would it be and why? How to properly take care of curly hair. I have so many valuable tips!
What’s your favorite breakfast cereal that you’re slightly embarrassed to buy? Fruit Loops are so good!
What is your favorite smell? Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
What is your favorite word? No.
What is your favorite podcast? #IMOMSOHARD; those women are hilarious!
What book have you read more than once? Building A Storybrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen—a great read for business owners.
What is the last thing you watched on television? House of the Dragon.
What is your best random fact that you would share with others at a party? Did you know that it is impossible to breathe and swallow at the same time? (And then I laugh as the person immediately tries.)