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.
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.
3.5 years after Jaye Lindsay graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law, he longed for a better standard of living and work-life balance. After going solo and finding it impossible to manage debt, he decided to become a teacher and practice law on the side. This episode looks into the economics of small law firms and the evaluation of life priorities.
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.
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.
Tricia Dennis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Law and has been a personal injury attorney in Chattanooga for almost 30 years. Tricia talks about the struggles she’s faced operating a solo practice specializing in vehicle collisions. She walks us through a plaintiff lawyer’s perspective on client intake, negotiations, settlement, and the process of helping clients navigate an insurance maze.
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.