Dynamic Law Duo Changes Everything
Family Law Duo at Antonyan Miranda, LLP Sit Down with FINE Magazine
Duo Tim Miranda and Ilona Antonyan
Photo courtesy of Tim Hardy Photography, shotbyhardy.com
Without a doubt, family matters are complex. But it is within the intricacies of these matters that both Ilona and Tim find their passion. Not only is it about the strategy, but the challenge each case presents that proffers a muse for the duo and their team. “Passion for your profession is a fundamental component of professional excellence, no matter what you do,” states Tim. “Family law is generally complex and consists of significant litigation. No matter the challenge or fact pattern, it is very intellectually stimulating and exciting to be a part of.” As such, the firm hosts a full range of services and representation, including litigation and appeals, divorce and custody, high net-worth estates, domestic violence restraining orders, asset division, and family law appeals—among others. But what sets them apart are the advantages and capabilities of their in-house offerings—ranging from Certified Family Law Specialists and a forensic accountant, to a family law appellate division as well.
Salient and savvy, Ilona and Tim have garnered quite the repertoire and acumen over the years—both individually and collectively. Even more so, the duo and their team are extremely active within the legal community, even volunteering their time with several noteworthy causes throughout the County. In their own words, this is their story. Meet Ilona and Tim.
FINE Magazine: What first attracted you to a career in law?
Ilona Antonyan: When I was growing up, I wanted to be an actress or a singer. I was also very strong in math and different languages and thought of becoming an astronaut. I wasn’t thinking about becoming a lawyer and had no idea what it would really be like, although I do love it now. Now, the courtroom is my stage. Prepare and perform to win. It sounds funny, but when we just came to the U.S. 26 years ago as refugees, I remember my dad saying, “Lawyers and doctors make it in America.” He also repeatedly reminded us about how they came here for us, and that we have to do well in school and take advantage of the opportunities America has to offer. So, my brother and I both did that. The practice of law allows you to challenge yourself whenever you want. One can always improve. That’s our philosophy in running our business: don’t just do it, do it well.
Tim Miranda: I have always had an interest in oratory and advocacy, so formalizing these interests into a career seemed like a natural choice. The procedural and technical aspects of the practice of law were equally compelling to me, since that is what ultimately separates an attorney from one who merely makes arguments.
FINE: Why family law?
Ilona: We love it, and we love to strategize. It seems simple, but it’s not. Family law is based on more than just family law; it is a confluence of all areas of practice that are ultimately addressed in a family law proceeding. To be good at our job, we need to understand the full spectrum of issues and legal consequences. When dealing with complex family matters, we are helping our clients with the most personal aspects of their lives. We enjoy helping people work through that process. To get stronger. To move forward. To obtain what they are entitled to. It’s all very satisfying—empowering others through this process.
Tim: We both love litigation; it is our passion. Passion for your profession is a fundamental component of professional excellence, no matter what you do. Family law is generally complex and consists of significant litigation. No matter the challenge or fact pattern, it is very intellectually stimulating and exciting to be a part of.
FINE: What is your overall philosophy on family law?
Ilona: Excellence is our focus. We are committed to everyone on our team being the best that they can be. In any matter you deal with, you don’t want a mediocre attorney. You want someone who will fight for your best interests. Being aggressive in this context is a good thing.
Tim: I agree. We are proponents of and for our clients, and we never forget that fundamental precept. We are aggressive in our representation, as you would want and expect from a zealous advocate. This is natural for us as our approach to law is consistent with who we and our team are as individuals. A microcosm of this is a contest we held in our office to ascribe different sayings to the acronym “AM.” One of the winners was “Avoid Mediocrity.”
FINE: What kind of value does your approach bring to your clients?
Ilona: Simply put, our clients get their money’s worth.
Tim: Hiring an expert is ultimately more cost-effective as better strategy begets better efficiency. This is particularly true when there is a large marital estate and significant sums at stake.
FINE: What is the secret to your success?
Tim: There is no secret; hard work, dedication, and a commitment to excellence. There are no shortcuts in life or law. Ilona and I want to win more than we want to sleep.
FINE: Aside from practicing law, how else are you involved in the local law community?
Ilona: I was formerly on the Board of Directors for the San Diego County Bar Association. I volunteer as a Judge Pro Tempore in the Small Claims and Family Court divisions. Our firm attends many legal events and fundraisers, and members of our staff volunteer for many local organizations as well. For the last four years, I’ve been teaching family
law at California Western School of Law. Helping students become better lawyers in the process is very rewarding. Several of my interns and law students now work for us.
FINE: Knowing your interest and dedication to our local community, how is AM active in giving back?
Tim: Our staff is very altruistic, and often launch charitable initiatives for the firm which do not get any fanfare. In addition, there is the Antonyan Miranda Scholarship Program which provides scholarships to family law students at our local law schools. We are also proud sponsors of several legal organizations in San Diego.
FINE: Any changes happening with the firm? What’s next?
Ilona: We recently moved offices and have expanded to the 21st and 22nd floors of the Emerald Plaza Building. We are located directly across from the new Central Courthouse, which is extremely convenient, and the views afforded from our office are truly inspiring. This is a nice touch for both our clients and our staff. And as for the future, we have big plans.
For more information, please visit expertdivorcelaw.com