10 Questions with Ron Ousky

1. What’s your elevator speech?
I help people facing divorce achieve better outcomes by guiding them in understandingART-THL-Ousky all of their options before they make important decisions. I focus on helping people identify their true interests and goals so that they can focus their attention on creating a better future for their family.

2. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I enjoy working with people who can find a way to focus on the future and who can find a way to bring their best selves to a difficult situation. We often think of divorce bringing out the worst in people, and that can happen. However, I have often been deeply moved watching clients move past their emotional pain and work with their spouse and create a new beginning.

3. You created “Conversation Cards” for couples. What led you to do this?
As a divorce lawyer for 35 years, I have firsthand knowledge of how painful a failed relationship can be. At the same time, as someone who has been happily married for 40 years, I know relationships can work. When I listen to some of my clients tell their stories, I often wonder whether there was a time when their relationship might have retained its strength if they had found a way to talk about the things that truly mattered. The Conversation Cards were created to be a small contribution to that idea.

4. You graduated from law school in 1982. What advice would you give to a recent law school graduate?
Find something you love to do so much that you would do it for free, and then think about how to get someone to pay you to do that work. In the meantime, get a job. This is advice I stole from Richard Russo, one of my favorite authors.

5. As an attorney with a busy practice, what is your go-to for handling stress?
It varies. There are times when I handle stress by seeking solitude. Other times, I go in the opposite direction and reach out to friends and family to make deeper connections. During this COVID-19 pandemic, solitude has been easier to find and making connections has been made more difficult, but not impossible. One of the ways I have tried to increase my ability to make better connections is through my writing.

6. If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would you be?
Malcom Gladwell; or at least someone who studies human behavior and helps others think about how their behavior affects other people. I am constantly fascinated by how people behave and by the ways we can improve our behavior, and the quality of our lives, by changing how we look at the world.

7. How do you like to spend your free time?
My favorite pastime is to have interesting conversations with interesting people, usually in one-on-one conversations over a meal. Sometimes the most interesting people are the new people you meet; but I also find that the people we see every day can be quite interesting if we are willing to take some risks in our conversations.

8. What book are you reading?
I am currently reading American Dirt, a novel about a Mexican woman forced to emigrate from Mexico. I am also reading How Risky is it, Really?, a fascinating nonfiction book about how we live our lives too cautiously because we look at risk in the wrong way.

9. If you could have coffee with one person from history, who would it be and why?
Mahatma Gandhi, because he has helped inspire me to work as a conflict resolution specialist and because his story has helped me search for deeper meanings. If possible, I would leave some time for Martin Luther King, Jr. or Abraham Lincoln to join us at the end of the coffee session.

10. Finish this sentence: Everyone who knows me knows I love...
Hot tubs, my grandchildren, my regular children, creativity, new ideas, relationships, visionary thinking, family time, and going against conventional thinking.
Managing Editor
Nick Hansen

Executive Editor
Joseph Satter