I love my job! I am new to Stock Legal, but I am genuinely so excited about this opportunity. Admittedly, getting here has been a long road. In fact, I hesitated quite a bit before even making the decision to go to law school, reasoning that there were just too many lawyers in the world already. My dad laughed and said “You may be right, but there are not enough good ones. Go be a good one.” And not having a clue what he meant at the time, off I went to law school. 22 years later, here I am at Stock Legal doing my best to follow my dad’s advice.
First, fundamentally we are in the business of providing legal services (emphasis on “services”), which means that we need to communicate clearly and often with our clients. Clients should not be left guessing what to expect in terms of cost or process. In today’s day and age, we are able to serve our clients much more affordably and comprehensively due to technology. My daughter tells me that I start every story with the phrase “You have to remember, this was before the internet and cell phones…”. So here I go again. In my early years of practice, before the internet and cell phones, I “paid my dues” by working at a couple of large law firms in Delaware and Maryland. In order to communicate with our clients, we had to be physically present in the office. It’s hard to imagine that now. The internet and cell phones are absolutely true game changers for the delivery of legal services. Our clients can email or call us any time from anywhere. This permits us to be much more responsive – a win for everyone.
Second, I am mindful of the non-economic and non-legal drivers often present in running a business. It takes an enormous leap of faith and courage to start a new business. It takes seemingly endless sweat and tears to grow a business, and it is often times with mixed emotions that our clients find themselves selling the business that they built as a labor of love for so many years. At Stock Legal, we serve primarily small to medium sized businesses, and no matter what the legal task may be, it is often very personal to the client. As a result, I recognize the enormous amount of trust that our clients place in us, and I take that responsibility very seriously.
Third, as a transactional lawyer, I structure, conceptualize, draft, and zealously negotiate various business deals on a daily basis for our clients, and I love doing it. However, I am always mindful that our role is to “counsel,” and not to make ultimate business decisions. Our typical clients have an entrepreneurial mindset. They are smart and capable, and they are fully able to assess our advice and weigh the pros and cons. Speaking of which, in our effort to eliminate and reduce risk, it may sometimes seem to our clients that we are full of doom and gloom. We are not. We are actually pleasant people (if I do say so myself) who are excited to get the best deal we can for our clients, but we are also trained to contemplate the worst case scenario. Don’t worry, we will also remember to point out the “wins” that arise in the negotiation!
Speaking of “wins,” a client asked me the other day what it means to “win” as a transactional lawyer. This is an easy question for a litigator to answer. But for me, I actually really had to think through that question for a while. And here is what I came up with -- One of my favorite phrases in my legal practice is “The wire has hit.” This means the money has been delivered and that the deal has closed, which is always exciting for us and our clients. We “win” when have closed the transaction on terms favorable to the client having managed the outstanding risk.
In sum, I am right where I want to be professionally. We have awesome clients; our team is amazing (again, if I do say so myself); and I am proud of the quality of the services that we are able to provide.
*The choice of a lawyer is an important decision, and should not be based solely on advertisements.*