After years of practicing law in the city, Blaeberry native Amber van Drielen has decided to get back in touch with her roots, and open up a law firm here in Golden.
“It will be different working here in Golden. The last place I worked at in Vancouver was a not-for-profit organization,” said van Drielen. “So a small solo practice in a small town is a huge change for me. And it’s also interesting to come back to the town you grew up in. I think it will be fun.”
The One World Law Group, which officially opened this week, will be a general practice that focuses on family law, elder law, as well as wills and estates.
Van Dreilen will also be taking legal aid clients, which is something she says not a lot of firms do.
There are two other law firms set up in Golden, so van Dreilen is trying to offer something a little bit different.
“Only one of those firms is doing much family law. So I think there’s some need there. And I’ll also do provincial family matters, which is a lower level of court,” she said.
However, van Dreilen firmly believes that court should always be a last resort, especially with any family law involving children.
“I generally like to stay out of court for family. So I will go to court, but I think that things are better resolved outside of a courtroom. Sometimes you don’t have a choice, but as a general rule, I like that approach,” she said.
“You don’t need to get caught up in years of litigation with people. I like it when things get resolved for people quickly. It’s not always possible, but that’s the goal.”
Van Dreilen went to law school at McGill University in Montreal, before coming back to B.C. to practice civil litigation in Vancouver.
She quickly realized that she preferred the non-profit sector of the industry.
“I worked at an elder law clinic in Vancouver, for low-income older adults who were experiencing financial abuse, or had concerns about how their finances were being managed. Sometimes they had concerns about their institutional care, a whole variety of things,” said van Dreilen.
“(Law) is an interesting profession. It kind of covers everything. You can do almost anything with it. And, it can be helpful. I like the helping professions, and I think law can be, it isn’t always, but it can be helpful. So my interest was in helping people primarily. And you can tell from the practice areas I’ve chosen that’s where I try to direct my efforts, where I can be helpful.”
Since moving back to the area, van Dreilen has settled into a cabin on her family’s property out in the Blaeberry. And even though Golden has changed a lot, she is happy to be back home.
“I just wanted to come back to my roots a little bit. I got tired of practicing in Vancouver to be honest. And I just wanted a change. My family is still here, in the Blaeberry,” she said.
“I like the mountains, and I like outdoor activities. I’m a big cycler in the summer. You can do all those things here.”
One World Law Group has an office in town, but meetings will be by appointment only.
You can contact van Drielen at 250-439-8262, or at Amber@OneWorldLawGroup.ca.