By Janee Law
For Melville’s Leslie Tayne, Esq., being a single mother of three while maintaining her own business isn’t easy. It requires a tremendous amount of multitasking, but the result is extremely rewarding, she said — especially now that she’s been approved to franchise her practice, Tayne Law Group, P.C. in both New York and Florida.
“It’s almost like a circus act,” Tayne, 45, said with a laugh. “Most people ask me when I sleep and how I do it, but I have a lot of energy so I have a tremendous ability to multitask.”
Specializing in financial debt, Tayne first opened Tayne Law Group, P.C. in Commack in January 2002. Ten years ago, she moved the firm to its current location at 150 Broadhollow Road in Melville.
The road to her leading own practice was a challenging one as the field is predominantly led by men, she added.
“I can definitely tell you it was very male dominating and very intimidating when I first started out, especially in the collection world,” she said. Tayne graduated from Touro Law Center in 1996 and began practicing law the next year. “I remember going to a number of conferences, where the majority of the executives there were men and that was definitely intimidating.”
That was something that took a while for her to get comfortable with, she said.
But “that comfort level translated into me being taken seriously as a business woman and a successful business woman,” she added.
This took some time to build, enduring a number of things that she would consider demeaning towards women, she said. For instance, while she was pregnant with her twins, Tayne said she remembers a feeling of nervousness when she told her male bosses she was expecting.
“I remember saying to them I promise I’m going to come back right away,” she said, adding that she was back at work two weeks after Brandon and Gabby Tayne were born. “I started working even before I came back by having people come to my house with” files.
Although she admits that a lot has changed in 17 years, at the time Tayne felt uncomfortable due to a “combination of my commitment to the job and my role as head council at the time.”
As she began to grow in her field, Tayne opened her practice while raising her three children – she also has a 19-year-old daughter, Lindsey Tayne. She done much of it as a single mother; she divorced 10 years ago.
Since the start of her law practice, Tayne said the business has been growing radically from day one.
“One of the reasons why I left my old position was it wasn’t client-centric, so it wasn’t all about doing what’s right and in the best interest of the client,” she said. That was one of the missions she sent out to accomplish with her own practice.
Now, Tayne is franchising her practice; she got approval in January to franchise in both New York and Florida.
“We’re trying to reach other areas and we’re trying to get into other cultures and other groups,” she said. “Sometimes that’s a little bit difficult, so we feel that growing it and expanding and giving other attorneys opportunities to be a part of this process is really not only an opportunity for us, but for them as well.”
She hopes to have four franchises up and running by the end of the. From there, she wants to continue growing the practice in 2018.
Tayne hopes her success as a businesswoman will leave a mark on her children. She said she tries to be the best role model for her kids by running her own firm; serving on numerous boards in leadership roles for local associations, such as the Nassau County Bar Association and Jewish Lawyers Association; and volunteering in her community — she works with the Smithtown-based Guide Dog Foundation, which means she’s typically training five to seven dogs at her home at a given time.
Home life can get a bit chaotic, she said, but the results are rewarding.
For women in similar situations to her own, Tayne had a piece of advice to share. Whether they’re single or married, raising children and trying to launch their career, Tayne said just do it and don’t harp on the negative and difficulties.
“It is difficult. There’s no doubt about it, but if I stop to talk about how difficult things can be at times and how frustrating things can be at times then I wouldn’t be where I am,” she said.
“Just because you have kids, doesn’t mean that you can’t work and you can’t juggle it. Yes, it’s complicated. Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, it’s trying at times. But the rewards from your career and from raising a family are just tremendous.”