After nearly eight years practicing family law at Rogers Towers and GrayRobinson, in 2014 Patrick Kilbane decided to pursue a different career.
He joined Ullmann Brown Wealth Advisors in Jacksonville Beach.
It’s not as different as you might think. It’s more a progression than a 180-degree turn.
“I’m still a member of The Florida Bar, but I’m not in the business of giving legal advice,” said Kilbane, 37, who’s a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. That means he can be called as an expert witness in court, during mediation proceedings or for other litigation support.
He also passed the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Series 7 General Securities Representative Qualification Examination and the Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examination.
While practicing law, Kilbane guided people who had made the decision to divorce through the legal process.
Now he’s a “full-fledged wealth adviser,” said Kilbane, who works with clients who need alimony agreements and equitable distribution because they are about to be — or have been — divorced.
Kilbane works with his clients and their legal representatives to develop post-marriage financial plans. When new assets and income are realized, “everything is in place,” he said.
While he’s now focused on the financial aspect of divorce, Kilbane calls on his knowledge of the legal side of the issue and relationships with former colleagues.
“From being an attorney and working with so many attorneys, I know who’d rather focus on custody or mental health issues than equitable distribution,” he said.
In addition to being Ullmann Brown’s Divorce Advisory Group director and general counsel, Kilbane maintains close connections with the legal community, the transportation business and his alma mater.
He was appointed in 2015 by Gov. Rick Scott to the 4th Judicial Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission. He will serve as chair for 2017-18 and recently helped send to Scott the names of six candidates for a vacancy on the Duval County Court.
“It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve done professionally,” he said.
The commission solicits applications for vacant seats on the county and circuit benches. The commission investigates and interviews the applicant attorneys and recommends a finalists to the governor, who makes the selection and appoints the new judge.
While Kilbane points out that “our group is a small part of the process,” he doesn’t discount the importance of the commission’s work. “These people will make decisions for years that will affect people and the community,” he said.
He also wants to provide the highest-quality service to those who hold themselves out as candidates for a judgeship.
“My goal as chair for the upcoming year is to make sure applicants feel they have received thoughtful and thorough consideration,” he said.
Kilbane also is chair of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority’s board of directors.
“As our chair, Pat does a very good job at professionally running our meetings,” said authority CEO Steven Grossman. “Everybody has an opinion and we have some very good discussions. The chair is the facilitator. Pat makes the meetings go smoothly. He asks the right questions.”
Kilbane’s experience in finance and the law is another asset for JAA.
“One of the primary responsibilities of a board member is to be a fiduciary. Pat brings his financial acumen to the board and the other board member look to him for that acumen, Grossman said.
“And the board approves a lot of agreements. Pat has the legal perspective,” he said.
Giselle Carson, Marks Gray shareholder and past president of The Jacksonville Bar Association, serves on the board as well. She said Kilbane’s contributions and input have helped the authority grow while providing outstanding aviation services.
“He brings an impressive community knowledge, deeply rooted relationships and leadership abilities which help advance the JAA’s goals,” Carson said.
Kilbane, who earned his law degree at the University of Notre Dame, also is president of the Notre Dame Club of Greater Jacksonville.
“My alma mater is very important to me and we do a lot more than watch football,” he said.
In addition to raising money for scholarships, the club partners with the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute to sponsor a guest speaker from Notre Dame each November.
This year, Kilbane said, they’ve invited the chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science to Jacksonville to speak Nov. 9 at JU’s Davis College of Business about President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.
Kilbane is enjoying his second career in financial planning and wealth management and made sure to retain a strong connection with the legal community, but at the same time, there’s one aspect of the law said he doesn’t miss.
“I don’t have to fill out a time sheet and I don’t have to send bills anymore.”