Break out the party hats and candles–this week Friedman Iverson celebrates its unofficial first anniversary of partnership. So we figured we’d share a few of the lessons we’ve learned in the first year of practice together.
- We did it our way. You don’t need to dress up like a lawyer to be a lawyer. By doing things the way we’re most comfortable, it’s been easier to relate to our clients, they appreciate that we’re down to earth, and we get to have some fun around the office.
- Pay attention to your clients. When a client comes to visit us for the first time, we both take the meeting. That means they know both of us by name and face, so they don’t get freaked out when a strange lawyer starts calling them about their case. We also get to know them as people–that way we can understand the issues behind their legal issues and give them legal advice that actually applies to their lives.
- It pays to diversify. At the very beginning, we decided that consumer bankruptcy was going to be our bread-and-butter practice. And that has played out pretty predictably. Our bankruptcy work has kept the lights on and the internet running while we’ve pursued riskier contingency fee cases–while some have given us nice wins, others may not pay for a year or more, so we need the steady income.
- Stay flexible. Who ever thought a city kid who has no idea what ‘s under the hood of his car would one day be litigating auto fraud cases? No one, that’s who.
- You really can practice on a shoestring. We run our office lean. It just takes resourcefulness and an ability to resist the temptation to keep up appearances among other lawyers. We’re proud of our small office and our off-the-beaten-path neighborhood. Without a whole lot of monthly obligations, we can weather a bad month or two. Or three.
We’re looking forward to our next year of practice, where we probably disprove everything I’ve mentioned above. But we’ll try to stay flexible.