Sonia Queralt was a divorce litigator at Goldstein, Egloff, Ramos & Wood in Boston when she was forced to face the ultimate test of her expertise: her own divorce. Yet even as a professional, she found herself being funneled into a “divorce mold” instead of being guided down a more personal path. So she was inspired to create a platform that would use technology to make the divorce process more efficient, pairing individuals with the right resources and creating a more tailored process for people at all stages of divorce.
While launching her startup five years ago, Queralt joined Ontra’s network of freelance lawyers. She credits Ontra with giving her and her platform’s co-founder, also an Ontra lawyer partner, the “flexibility and financial support” to grow their business. “Without Ontra, I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” she said. “I stepped away from litigation and never looked back.”
As not only an entrepreneur but also a mother of a two-year old son, Queralt appreciates the flexibility that working with Ontra provides. She and her family have been able to travel to Barcelona, where she is originally from, and to their condo in Miami Beach without the usual workplace constraints. “I have the sort of freedom that I never imagined,” she said. Crafting her own hours also means varied days, which she loves. “It takes away that mundane, ‘It’s groundhog day’ feeling,” she said.
Queralt has adjusted her volume of work as needed, cutting back her hours when her son was a newborn. “I’ve had the opportunity to be home with him and see every milestone along the way,” which would not have been possible in a corporate structure. “I would have been right back to grinding out those billable hours,” she said.
Now that her own company is ready to be sold, Queralt has picked up her workload with Ontra again. “It was a super smooth transition, very easy, no questions asked,” she said. She currently has four clients, two of whom she’s had since day one.
While Queralt had no prior experience in the private equity world before joining Ontra, the support systems and resources at Ontra helped her understand the industry. The team is still behind her. “Whether I’m having an issue or have a question, the door is always open,” she said. “Everyone is working toward a common goal, which is keeping the client happy but also yourself happy, as an attorney on the platform. I think that’s a huge distinction between Ontra and other companies out there,” she said.
Queralt is especially thankful that during Covid she was already positioned to work remotely. “Ontra was ahead of the curve in the legal field in realizing that so much could be done virtually and that people’s happiness and efficiency is much greater working from home,” she said. “I just felt so much gratitude. I was like, ‘Thank God for Ontra.’”
As one of the early attorneys to join the Ontra’s freelance lawyer network, Queralt said, “It’s been phenomenal to watch the company’s growth.” She recalls that when she first started, a counterparty would rarely be a lawyer at an in-network firm, and “now the majority of opposing counsel are Ontra law firms. It speaks volumes about the value they provide on both sides of a transaction,” she said.
Queralt would encourage any attorney looking for an alternative to the legal corporate structure to consider joining Ontra. “If you have other passions, if you care about a work-life balance, if you care about flexibility, if you want to travel, if you want to enjoy time with your family, there’s no reason to be stuck. You can have the best of both worlds,” she said. “Ontra gives you that.”