Why did you decide to be a solo attorney participating in Columbus Bar inc?
Being the child of an immigrant parent who owned several small businesses through the years, I always knew I would own my own business some day. When Capital University Law School accepted me in 2009, I was acutely aware that the legal market had irrevocably changed and finding a position within a law firm was not certain. Two simple facts, my desire to be a business owner and the hiring freeze in the legal market, propelled me take courses that would make me practice ready, and consequently, set me apart from the average law school graduate. I enrolled in elective courses like Trial Advocacy, Interviewing & Counseling, and Managing Your Law Practice. In Trial Advocacy I learned critical negotiation skills and enhanced my advocacy skills in general. In Interviewing & Counseling, I was exposed to the nuances of guiding a client through the legal landscape and helping her arrive to an acceptable goal. Lastly, in Managing Your Law Practice I was taught the building blocks of setting up a business, including budgeting and preparing business plans.
I also worked on gaining a wealth of practical legal experience. At the Ohio Attorney General's Office, as a Certified Legal Intern, I represented the Ohio Department of Education in teacher licensure hearings. I was solely responsible for all aspects of each case, including witness preparation and exhibit selection. At Capital, I volunteered for two pro bono projects. For the Foreclosure Mediation Preparation Project, I assisted homeowners preparing for their upcoming mediations by identifying key financial documents and instilling in them the importance of negotiation at their mediations. For the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Project, I isolated key credits and deductions that low-income individuals and families could utilize to receive a higher refund. Lastly, I frequently networked with solo practitioners and local business owners to create a pool of knowledge and potential legal work if I started up my own firm.
In sum, I have invested a considerable amount of time strategically amassing a network of knowledgeable mentors and critical legal skills and am confident that with the Columbus Bar inc's support, I will be an excellent resource for my future clients.
What area(s) of law does your solo practice focus on?
General civil litigation matters, estate planning, and small business law.
What made you choose your primary area of law?
I grew up in this community and in the last few years, I've seen a burst of economic activity despite the economic downturn. There is still a need for quality legal representation in the areas of general civil litigation matters, estate planning, and small business law. Estate planning services are usually unaffected by recessionary cycles. Moreover, the economic downturn has forced many unemployed people to launch their own unique businesses, which in turn requires them to seek out legal representation. These businesses include small restaurants and such proprietors will be my target clientele. In fact, in the last few years, a plethora of new restaurants have opened in Columbus. ColumbusUnderground.com, a local website, reports that 25 new restaurants opened in 2012 and 50 new restaurants opened in 2011. Though many of these restaurants are thriving, most of the proprietors cannot afford the high billable rates of a larger law firm. As a result, my firm is perfectly poised to establish a strong presence in this market. [Sources: http://www.columbusunderground.com/good-eats-28-new-restaurants-opened-in-columbus-in-2012; http://www.columbusunderground.com/good-eats-over-50-new-restaurants-opened-in-columbus-in-2011]
What will make your law firm unique?
First, as I'm launching my very own small business, I'm undeniably attuned to the unique needs of my small business clients. Second, I am dedicated to help my clients overcome obstacles and realize their ultimate goal, whether it be building a profitable business or an iron-clad estate plan. Third, I am able to deliver high quality legal representative at an attractive price point for my clients by charging flat fees for many matters.
Summary of previous employment:
Prior to attending law school, I worked at the Supreme Court of Ohio in the Dispute Resolution Section. In that role, I administered a federal grant to counties building their own mediation programs. During law school, I externed at the Supreme Court of Ohio, Case Management Section, where I created a best practices manual for state court administrators. I also worked as a summer associate in Jones Day, Columbus, and the Education Section of the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Currently, in addition to building my practice, I also clerk at Chorpenning, Pandora & Good, LPA and the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education.
Describe your personal interests and hobbies:
I love trying out new recipes and restaurants. When I'm not conjuring up a new dish, you can usually find me with friends at a local restaurant supporting the vibrant foodie community in Columbus. Additionally, after three long years of law school, I've recently rediscovered the joys of yoga and reading. Lastly, I volunteer at the YWCA legal advice clinic, the PACO wills clinic, and the annual Pelotonia event.