NORTH ROYALTON – Relationships are built upon trust. That is true of any connection.
When that association is one of client and legal representative, confidence is of the utmost importance. That’s what Carolyn Calarco feels she delivers to each person she represents.
The North Royalton-based and homegrown attorney strives to be honest, fair and gives advice based on what is best for the client. That formula has proven to be a winning one, as many clients of the Calarco Law Offices come from referrals.
“I do get a lot of my clients through The Post advertisements and personal referrals. A lot of it is repeat business,” Calarco said. “I’m in an area where everybody knows everybody. It’s a small world.”
A multi-faceted practice
When it comes to specializing, you might say that Calarco is adept at a number of fields, although she states that 80 percent of her business is family-law oriented. This includes domestic violence, divorce, custody and child support.
“I also handle miscellaneous cases, which include criminal defense, DUIs/OVIs and drug charges, as well as simple wills and power of attorney,” Calarco said.
There are few geographic limitations to Calarco’s practice. She has clients throughout Cuyahoga, Lorain and Medina counties, and has ventured out to many other of the 88 counties in Ohio.
Ironing out the issues
Repeat business tends to come by way of divorced parents once children become older and enter school.
“What worked for parents at one point may not work once the children start going to kindergarten or it worked when they were in elementary school, but is no longer applicable once they are in high school,” Calarco said. “Family law is always subject to modification when there are minor children or if a parent loses a job or gets a promotion. The support figures are subject to change.
“It’s your kids, your property and your income at stake. The judge is going to tell you that you are going to see your kid on this date at this time or your kid is going to play baseball and not football. Those aren’t decisions you want to leave to somebody else. I try to help parents through that. Some cases are easy and some not so easy.”
Calarco referenced one case where she represented a parent in a custody battle. In the end, the mother and father were arguing over an oven mitt and a hot glue gun.
“You can go to Big Lots and buy one for a quarter, yet you’re paying two attorneys $200 an hour over potholders,” she said. “Divorce is an emotional time for the parties, and it helps to have someone in your corner to help rationalize from an objective viewpoint.”
An unexpected career path
You might say that Calarco did not have an impetus to go into the field of law. While growing up in North Royalton, her father ran heavy construction equipment and her mother was a waitress. Although honorable professions, she did not exactly go into the family business.
The current Medina resident’s career began at the same law firm where she currently plies her trade. While Calarco’s high school classmates were involved in other endeavors, she was working as a legal secretary at the age of 17 for attorney Bob Sindyla, who served as the North Royalton law director for many years.
Calarco attended the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center in Brecksville where she took a legal secretary class.
“I went to the career center because I didn’t want to waste my time in study hall. I went to work and got paid. The career center is what kick-started things,” Calarco said. “I figured I was already doing half the work so I went to law school while working full-time for Bob.”
Calarco went on to Cuyahoga Community College and its paralegal program while still in high school. She progressed to Ursuline College, then Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
Never a dull moment
A member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Parma Bar Association and the Medina County Bar Association, she is grateful for the way life has turned out.
“The career has been interesting,” she said. “No day is the same; nothing ceases to amaze me. When you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t. I’m very glad this is the direction my career went.”
There is a small sign on the door of Calarco’s office that reads, “Trust me, I’m a lawyer.” The style of the sign is homespun and folksy, but the message rings true.
“My personal philosophy is not to make myself rich. I’m going to help you the best way I can. If I think something is not beneficial for you, it’s time to turn the page and move on,” she explained. “I try to get everybody to resolve the issues – especially in family law. My clients tell me I am good at persuading people to do what’s right, as opposed to what’s going to make me rich. I take pride in that.”
Today Calarco shares office space with her mentor, Bob Sindyla, and attorneys Michael Schindler and John Sindyla.
The Calarco Law Offices are located at 7425 Royalton Road near the intersection of Bennett Road with easy access to Interstate 77 and I-71. Meetings generally take place in the firm’s office, although Calarco will travel to meet clients when necessary.
Contact Calarco at 440-554-9015 to schedule an appointment or visit www.calarcolaw.com for more information.