Why did you start the business, what was the catalyzing event?
I had the Jerry Maguire moment in the summer of 2003. For months I kept analyzing the law firm business model, a high-level budget, and plan to attract clients. Couldn’t figure out why more lawyers didn’t go out on their own. One day, a client for which I was handling a large lawsuit asked to introduce me to his team. Because I knew I wanted to eventually strike out on my own, I felt that was the moment of truth. So I told the client my intention and walked down the hall to give my notice. I was 30 days away from the partnership vote, my wife was 8-months pregnant with baby number two, and I had no portable business. Who needs specific plans?
How did you find your first customer?
She found us on the Internet.
Describe your first office/location.
We were in a small office in the same building as the predecessor firm- in fact, I simply changed the name outside the door. We quickly outgrew that space and moved from floor 16 to floor 11 in the same building before occupying the entire floor 10. Our office space maps closely to the evolution of the business model.
What’s the most creative thing you did to get your business started, or kept it going through a tough time?
We formed the firm at the peak of the 2009 Great Recession. It was the best thing that could have happened to us. By that time, mid-size businesses and large corporations were much more open to using boutique law firms to manage costs. We started with a few big successes for some key clients and leveraged those wins to convince more clients to leave large firms and join our team.
What’s something quirky or superstitious you do as a CEO?
It’s a long list. One of my favorite things to do is “manage by walking around.” You can pick up the mojo in the office pretty quickly while giving individualized attention to teammates.
What was your last job working for someone else? What was your favorite day job?
January 15, 2004 as an associate at a large Dallas-based law firm. Started the predecessor to this firm the next day, and never looked back or missed working for someone else.
My favorite day job was being a forest firefighter in the Pacific Northwest during summers in college. Hard but rewarding work that involved quite a bit of adventure and travel.
Where did you come up with the name for your company?
After assembling a blue-ribbon ombudsman steering committee and seeking advice from marketing professionals, we went with my last name as required by the Texas Bar.