As a lawyer who works from home (and a naturally nosy person), I’m always curious about how other lawyers set up their home workspaces. In this series, I’ll take a closer look at some awesome home offices.
Holman Wang: a lawyer-slash-children’s book author
I first met Holman Wang 10 years ago when we were both associates at what was then Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP. We shared an amazing assistant (we miss you, Nana!) and got to be friends. He left BHT for a different firm and then I left too, but we kept in touch.
I remember Holman confiding once that he had plans beyond law. That the law was not “it” for him. That he might become a writer. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Haven’t we all fantasized, at one point or another, about doing something - anything - that's different from practising law?
But Holman made good on that promise. He became an author. And not just any author. An award-winning children’s book author. Seriously.
Together with his twin brother, Jack, Holman created Cozy Classics, a series of 12 board books that tell classic tales like War and Peace in one word per page. The stories are beautifully illustrated with felt figurines crafted and photographed by Holman. They also created Star Wars Epic Yarns, applying the same concept to the plots of the original Star Wars movies. The books have been a sensation. They've been featured everywhere, from the Wall Street Journal to US Weekly.
This year, Holman has an independent project in the works. He’ll be publishing Great Job, Mom! and Great Job, Dad!, with Tundra Books | Penguin Random House. These are picture books that provide “a documentary-style glimpse” of modern parenting. They look adorable. I’ve already pre-ordered mine.
Meanwhile, Holman’s still lawyering. After taking a hiatus to work exclusively on his books, since 2015 he’s been practising part-time through his firm, Holman Wang Law. He works mainly for professional health care regulators in the area of professional discipline. Holman sometimes wears his “inspector" hat and functions as a neutral fact-finder during investigations. Sometimes he wears a more “legal” hat and participates in the assessment and disposition of complaints as part of an institutional decision-making team.
Holman’s five favourite things about his home office
Below Holman shares his five favourite things about his East Vancouver home office, which does triple duty as law office, writing room, and artist’s studio.
1. Separation from the main house
My wife and I renovated an old single-car garage and turned half of it into an insulated, heated office space (no running water, though). When the kids are in the house, I don’t disturb them, and they don’t disturb me!
2. The five-second commute
I didn’t decide to work from home for environmental reasons, but it’s been a great benefit to stay off the roads and reduce my carbon footprint. Also, less time sitting in my car every day means more time for my family and other activities.
3. It’s cozy
The office is only about 11 ft x 9 ft, so it’s intimate and largely free of distractions.
4. My anniversary gift
For our anniversary one year, my wife gave me a beautiful panoramic photograph of Vancouver taken in 1915. Neither of the bridges to the North Shore were built yet. Other Vancouver landmarks, like Christ Church Cathedral and the Vancouver Block Building, are already up. It’s fascinating to pour over the photograph.
5. My generous desk
The desk was originally made by my brother-in-law for my wife, but I pinched it many years ago. It gives me ample room to work, and I love it.
Are you a lawyer with an awesome home office? E-mail me! I’d love to feature you.