Starting Out Can Be Tough
Sometimes you just have to make the decision that you will succeed. Starting out after law school was quite an experience.
When I was in law school another lawyer proposed that he buy a title company in Warrenton, Missouri and that I move there and run the tile company and start my law practice. He had talked to the attorney who owned the title company and that man was on board. In fact I went to Warrenton, met with him and he showed me where my office would be and what I would be doing. It seemed like a done deal.
Because of that I did not interview with any law firms about a job. I had one.
The day I took my last final I called the man who owned the title company and told him I was ready to come to work. To my surprise he told me that he had reconsidered and that he now remembered that he had promised another lawyer in Warrenton that if he ever sold the title company he would give him the opportunity to buy it. Our deal was off. Great!
That left me with no job and no clients.
I had already rented an apartment in Warrenton. I decided that I would go there and start a practice. I had a wife and son to support. I really had no other options.
One day I went to Warrenton and started introducing myself to the other lawyers in town. I told them I was coming to town to practice and that if they had cases they did not want to handle they could send them to me.
On the way I met a man who said he had more business than he could handle and would be willing to enter into an arrangement with me. He had an open office in his suite and I could use it and he would refer case to me. He claimed to be really busy.
He may have been busy but it wasn’t practicing law. I will not go into details here because he and our secretary were both married to other people.
The first month that I practiced law I made a wopping $64.00. And it took a while before I did much better.
What got my practice going was that I took appointments as a public defender. Back then there was not a public defender system like we have now. I got $25.00 per hour on appointed cases. But it was better than nothing and gave me great trial experience. I used to kick the ass of the guy who became prosecuting attorney and went on to be a Circuit Judge. That gave me a reputation as a lawyer who would fight for my clients.
My practice grew through the years because of my willingness to take cases to trial that other lawyers wouldn’t. My clients knew I would listen to them and fight for them. It is what has brought me to where I am.
That experience has brought me the opportunity to represent people from around the country who are being charged with serious crimes. From Chuck Berry to the Commanding General of the “Army of God” I have fought for my clients because they deserve it.
People who are charged with crimes deserve an attorney who will listen to what they have to say and fight for them no matter how hard it may be. It isn’t easy. But it is what I do.