Ilya Lerma, a 1999 graduate of the University of Arizona, runs a small solo practice where she takes on insurance companies in complicated brain injury cases. She discusses the difficulty of running a contingency-fee practice, litigating as a woman of color, and how she manages the stress of being a lawyer.
Jeremy Evans, a 2011 graduate of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, managed to outlast hundreds who started law school hoping to do sports and entertainment law. He talks about the struggle to start his own firm, and why he thinks he was among the last standing.
Alan Fowler, a 2006 graduate of Mercer University School of Law, primarily represents tourists who got in trouble while on vacation. He talks about finding clients, their urgency in resolving their legal trouble, and how he learns about what they really want. Alan reminds us that solo practitioners are small business owners who happen to provide legal services.
In this episode, Dan Minc, a graduate of Seton Hall School of Law, discusses how he managed to rise up to his firm's managing partner after starting there as a first-year lawyer. He also talks about how he builds his book of business and what he assesses when determining whether to take a client. After all, as a personal injury attorney he's only paid if his client wins.
Kathryn Cockrill, graduate of Touro Law School, recently went out on her own to build a business in estate planning and probate. Kathryn explains the ins and outs of probate, for both the living and the deceased. She also mentions how she avoids bill collection pitfalls, why she will hire help once her firm is on more stable financial footing, and why her practice keeps her interested.
Solo practitioners are small business owners who happen to provide legal services. Matt Swain started his own criminal defense practice after graduating from University of Oklahoma College of Law. In this episode, Matt describes the importance of knowing your business inside and out, and techniques that make him more likely to notice opportunities to help his clients move forward with their lives.
In this episode we meet workers compensation attorney Royce Bicklein, a 1998 graduate of St. Mary University's School of Law. Royce discusses his firm's practice and what's involved in proving where an injury occurred and what's to blame for the extent of an injury.
Justin Bloom went to Tulane University School of Law to right environmental wrongs. While his first job was defending environmental takings cases, his career has taken a winding path from tort litigation to immigration. He even quit a job after a boss asked him to coach clients to lie. Today Justin runs a nonprofit that uses different strategies to protect Florida coastal areas.
You owe a lot of money and don’t know what to do. This is where Cristina Perez Hesano, an alum of Arizona State University, comes in to help individuals struggling with debt to file for bankruptcy. In this episode, she takes us through a chapter 7 bankruptcy from prep to discharge, and why decided to leave her first bankruptcy firm to go out on her own.
How do you plan for your death? In this episode, Deacon Haymond, a 2004 graduate of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, discusses his small and growing law firm that specializes in trusts and estates. Deacon talks us through his fees, how he finds clients, and what happened when he's too nice to his clients.
Ryan Morrison, a 2013 graduate of New York Law School operates a firm centered on helping video game developers. Ryan’s work greatly varies depending on what his clients need, but often involved intellectual property and contracts. In this episode, Ryan tells us about the struggles of his job, and how he built a rare practice from a pro bono matter.
The integrity of the criminal justice system hinges on every individual receiving quality legal counsel—even if guilty. In this episode, Vermont criminal defense lawyer and Washington & Lee College of Law alumna Jessica Burke details how expanding the geography she covers, rather than the scope of practice, allowed her firm to grow in a saturated legal market.
Minnesota consumer rights lawyer and William Mitchell College of Law Alumnus Pete Barry sues debt collectors who harass or discriminate against consumers. Pete explains the federal law that drives his law in clear terms which helps him market to those who don’t realize they’ve been legally harmed.
Medical malpractice lawyers specialize in the tangle of medical responsibilities, norms, and facts. In this episode, Washington University School of Law alumnus Greg Aycock tells us how he transitioned from representing defendants to representing plaintiffs. He left his insurance defense practice on a leap of faith, and discusses the struggles of being your own boss and getting a firm off the ground.
Small and mid-size nonprofits have legal needs dependent on the donation of time and resources by lawyers. The Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta (PBP-ATL) organizes volunteer lawyers to serve non-litigation needs of nonprofit clients. Rachel Spears, executive director of PBP-ATL, discusses how rare organizations like PBP-ATL keep nonprofits within the law by leveraging generosity of members of the legal profession.
The famous Marbury v. Madison case involved a writ of mandamus—an order to a government agency or official to behave in accordance with the law. In this episode, Michael Morguess discusses seeking writs of mandamus for clients fired by government agencies. Michael faces immense pressure with jobs and livelihoods on the line, but the intellectual challenge and thrill of victory buoy his non-traditional litigation practice.
University of Texas School of Law alum Barbara Stewart started her career as in-house counsel for a large communications company before venturing into real estate. Today, she spends her time drafting real estate transaction documents to help clients purchase and sell residential homes. If her sky-high malpractice insurance is any measure, its among the riskier practice areas around.
When Gabriel Cheong—owner of a small family law firm in Boston—graduated from Northeastern Law School at the start of the Great Recession, his back was against the wall. Today he's proven that putting client needs first can help build a sustainable business. Gabriel explains how his use of technology and fixed fees maximizes time spent on clients. After all, his job is to help clients whose lives are being torn apart.