(Closed) Using maiden name professionally

posted 10 years ago in Names
Post # 17
Member
129 posts
Blushing bee

I’m hyphenating.  First Middle Mylast-Hislast.  Socially I’m ok with hislast but at work everything will show my hyphenated last name. 

Post # 18
Member
82 posts
Worker bee

I am very curious about this as well – especially for certain fields where keeping a divide between private and public life (e.g. psychologist, social worker, etc.) is not only tolerated but highly prudent.  Has anyone heard anything about the term “doing business as”?  I don’t know a whole lot about it, but I think it allows people to become licensed, practice, etc. under a different registered name.

Post # 19
Member
666 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I also wonder about this, and I can’t find concrete answers anywhere!  Anyone in California, and maybe even another practicing lawyer, who knows the answer to this one?  I’ve spent hours on the CA State Bar website.  All I can find is that you have to notify the bar within 30 days of the name change. 

What I want to know is if I change it to MyFirst MyLastNowMiddle HisLast, can I still sign court documents as just MyFirst MyLastNowMiddle?  Or is that some sort of violation?  No one seems to know.

Post # 20
Member
3 posts
Wannabee

Soon2BeMrsC, I feel your pain! I registered on this site just to respond to this.

I am recently married and am going through the process of changing my name. I had assumed that as an attorney, I would be required to use my legal name professionally. I chose MyFirst MyLast HisLast (with MyLast as my middle name), thinking that I could use my full name professionally. That way, people who knew me in the past would be likely to recognize me, especially because MyLast is fairly distinctive and HisLast is very common. Also, anyone who searched for me by my maiden name would still find me on the state bar website or other listings.

I called the ethics hotline to see if I could get more information. The person I talked to seemed very knowledgable and said that there was nothing in the ethics rules that directly addressed this issue. He seemed to think that it was safer to use your legal name, considering that the public needs to be able to access your public listing with the state bar, i.e., in order to file a complaint. He suggested I contact Member Services to see if they had more information.

The person I spoke to at Member Services told me, after putting me on hold to consult with a colleague, that it was no problem to continue to practice using my maiden name. However, she seemed pretty clueless about the rules and said some things that didn’t make sense to me. I feel uneasy taking her word for it and possibly committing an ethical violation, but I would like to continue to use my maiden name professionally if possible!

I suggest you call Member Services and see if you can get a better answer than I did. I’d appreciate it if you posted what you find out or PM me!

 

 

Post # 21
Member
666 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

CAattorney–The ethics hotline/member services will be my next step.  I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Post # 22
Member
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I suggest you choose one name and stick to it

 

I am a doctor and it will be a pain to change very single document I have, and make corrections to every academic body I have joined

however I have seen people who hyphenate their names–they get documents misfiled, lost or things that were done could not be found in the system because their names are interchanged–it’s not worth it

 

I am taking my fiance’s name

Post # 23
Member
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

All my degress are in my maiden name, so I will continue to use my maiden name professionally but I am using my married name socially. IOW am not legally changing my name.

Post # 24
Member
3 posts
Wannabee

I’m feeling increasingly confident that it’s kosher for CA attorneys to continue to use their maiden names professionally. For attorneys in other states or people in other professions requiring licenses, you should check with whoever handles licensing in your state. I have a feeling you are going to find it’s OK to continue to use our maiden name even if you legally change your name.

So… My driver’s license, credit cards, bar card, etc., will all identify me as MyFirst MyLast HisLast. When I go to court, file papers, or do anything else in my capacity as an attorney, I will identify myself as MyFirst MyLast. That way the universities I attended, previous employers and colleagues, and current employers and colleagues will all know me by the same name. The only confusion I foresee is letting people know that the checks need to be made out to a different name than the one they know me by.

Here is a previous discussion on the same topic: http://www.weddingbee.com/2008/11/11/maiden-namemarried-name-dilemma/

Post # 25
Member
3 posts
Wannabee

By the way, oregonbride, are you sure you don’t know anyone who has done this? I was thinking that none the married attorneys I had worked with had taken their husband’s name. Then it occurred to me that since I know them through work, I only know what name they use professionally!

Post # 26
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: October 2009

In Wisconsin, I will be required to petition the Supreme Court to have my name changed in the “roll” of licensed attorneys.  My good friend got married in May and her request to change her name was delayed because of administrative issues.  She was told that until the roll was changed, she could not practice under her new legal name.  Evidently, it must be all about how your license is recorded on the roll, not about what your legal name is.

I’d been hesitant to change my name because I have been out of school a few years and because I grew up where I practice.  Because my lawyer fiance did not and he has a more difficult name, I had some concerns, especially since our state bar refuses to make you “searchable” in its online directory by both your maiden name and legal name.  (To make matters worse, we work at the same firm!)  However, for some amount of time I will include “nee Mylastname” on correspondence, etc. and e-mails sent to my “Mylastname” e-mail will be forwarded to my “Hislastname” e-mail.

I’m crossing my fingers!

Post # 27
Member
144 posts
Blushing bee

Celebrities do this all the time.

Casual use, like the school teacher’s example, is no big deal.

There are a couple of legal issues involved in other situations.

Let’s say my maiden name is Julia Googlemonster.  After I get married, my name will be Julia Smith.

I own my own business.  To continue to do business, I would have to get a DBA (doing business as) for Julia Googlemonster to continue to conduct business using that name.

This includes depositing checks made out to Julia Googlemonster.

A DBA is very easy to get and quite cheap in almost all states.

Some states require your DBA to be unique. 

So if your maiden name is Julia Jones, you are probably out of luck.

 

 

 

Post # 28
Member
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

As a teacher who is certified in many states, I feel that I need to keep my maiden name in order to avoid confusion.  Therefore, after I get married I will take first mymaiden (as a middle) hislast.  I am going to drop my given middle name so if I was known as Mary B Smith, and my FI’s last is Jones… after the wedding I will be known as Mary S. Jones.  Hope this helps.

Post # 29
Member
112 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Another lawyer checking in.  I don’t plan to change my name at all, so I don’t really have this issue.  However, is it possible to change my name in the future?  Say, maybe 1 year from now if I change my mind?  Do you know anyone who has done this? 

Post # 30
Member
132 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

As a doctor, I have a strong attachment to my maiden name, as that is the name I had when I attained my professional status.  I agree with a lot of the other posters in that I will not be legally changing my name, but will happily respond socially to Mrs. HisLastName.  I know some friends of mine basically did it this way:  if they were married before graduating medical school, then their married name was the legal licensed name.  If they married after graduating, they didn’t change it. 

Some changed it after realizing their future children would not share the same name with them(the mothers).  I personally don’t have any issues with that, but I think it’s a personal choice.  My Fiance is on board with my decision, though, so that helps!

(Of course, he drew the line at being referred to as “Mr. Dr. MyLastName”)  🙂

Post # 31
Member
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I know that Jessica Simpson did this… but the other way around.  Legally she was Jessica Lachey, but she continued to go by Jessica Simpson socially/professionally.  For the most part, it’s the other way around (Legally, you’re still Jessica Simpson, but you’re introducing yourself to friends and neighbors as Jessica Lachey).

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