Thursday, August 23, 2012

Make A Difference

-Make A Difference-

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
-         Mother Theresa

            “Why did you start your own practice right out of law school?” is a question I often get asked by friends, family, and even clients.  There are some obvious answers people are looking to hear, but I believe they are pleasantly surprised when they hear my first answer.  I started my own practice right out of law school because I want to help people and make a difference in my community.  It may sound like a cliché answer, but it the honest truth.  I am a lawyer, but that doesn’t mean that I am above people, it means that I have attained the knowledge that is necessary to help people in their times of need. 

            I was lucky enough to find a partner that believes in this same philosophy.  When we first sat down together to start putting together our business plan, one of the first things that we discussed was what type of law firm we wanted to be and what type we didn’t.  We first started talking about the experiences we both had had working for other lawyers and discussing what we wanted to take away from those experiences and what we did not.  We both agreed that we didn’t like firms that treated clients like case numbers, we wanted to actually care about our clients and advocate on their behalf with the necessary information.  We wanted them to feel comfortable coming to us with any of their legal needs.  We wanted to build a community law firm, a one stop shop in essence, we wanted to be able to assist them with whatever need that may arise.  And if we personally could not help them, again going back to the importance of networking and building a strong and reliable network, we wanted to be able to point them in the right direction to someone who would treat them in the same manner.

            From the inception of our law firm and now in practice with a heavy case load of clients, we still know our clients first and last names, the name of their children and the gist of their case.  We don’t have to refer to the case file for basic information.  It is a wonderful feeling knowing that we’ve taken a personal interest in their lives and that we are doing everything in our power to help them out.  So, so far so good on living out the first mantra of our firm and as long as we continue to stick to it, I believe we will continue to reach our goals and remain successful.

            I think it is really important to establish from the beginning what is most important to you and what you want to be known for in the industry, because it is the beginning stages of your career and business stature that will stick with you for a lifetime.  If you come out guns ablaze with no regard for human nature, you will not crawl out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself for a long time, if ever.  Your reputation and your word are what will determine your success, especially if you’ve decided to go out on your own, so from the very beginning you’ve got to decide what will propel you and hope that the world views it positively.  I’m lucky enough to know that each and every day, the work that Taylor and I, and soon our new hires, produce and put out into the world commands respect, as does each appearance, meeting, and filing that our firm does. 

Whether you decide to go out on your own or not, remember either way to make a difference.

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