Tuesday, January 24, 2017

So I started a law firm ...

Well, here we go again. It's been awhile since I last wrote anything. Eight years to be exact. In that time, I went to law school, passed the bar, and practiced law for over five years.

In January of 2009, the boys were 11, 9, 8, and 5. As of today, they are 19, 17, 16, and 13. Timothy is in his first year of college, Stephen and Jonah are in 11th and 10th grade, respectively, and Sam is finishing up middle school.

Kristie is working part-time in a fabric store and is sewing a lot.

Me? I'm starting my own law firm. Why? Well, it's a long story.

Since graduating in 2011, I had worked at a small, four-attorney firm in Decatur. Great place, very family-friendly. I learned a lot from the senior partner, who had been practicing for over 35 years.

We practiced real estate, probate (wills & estates) and small business law. I did mostly litigation, which was mostly writing pleadings and emails and talking on the phone. I went to court about once every two months, which is pretty normal for litigation attorneys.

Over the past year or so, it started becoming obvious that all of this wasn't a good fit. I'm not fan of litigation (or conflict in general, actually). I prefer to find solutions to problems.

Also, I'd wanted to start my own firm and try out different things. I  like to explore and try new things. So, when the opportunity came up, I started a solo practice.

God has always provided for us, and he keeps doing so now. Kristie and I take turns reminding each other of this. The transition is effective February 1, but I've already been working with some new clients.

My first computer was Sam's old Toshiba laptop, which he inherited from Jonah, who had inherited from my parents. It was covered in blue tape with hand-drawn Chelsea FC logos.

I'm working for now in Timothy's room, which is the finished-out space above the garage. My desk is a dining room table from the 1950s. My chair is from the 1920s. My document prep space is Timothy's bed. My pens and legal pads have not even shipped yet from Amazon.

So far, the biggest expenses have been E&O insurance and a Westlaw subscription. My website through Squarespace includes email. I've been using a Google Voice phone number, but it's a mess, so I just got a cheapo second phone and number.

People have been generous. My parents bought me a new computer (to replace the Chelsea laptop) and a printer. My brother-in-law's wife is a professional graphic designer, and she is making a logo. The first drafts look awesome. Timothy is lending me his room, although he doesn't have much choice. In addition to all of this, God has provided ten clients, including three so far who have followed me from the old firm. This is all before my first official day of business.

I'll try to blog more. One of the goals of this blog now is to talk about what I've done right and wrong in starting a new firm. We'll see how it goes.


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