How does your business stand out?
I work for myself, not a big firm. This gives me the ability to be flexible in many ways. If meeting in one of my offices is inconvenient for you, I can visit your office or meet you at a nearby courthouse. If a big job proves too costly, I can arrange to do the work in smaller pieces or provide a payment plan. Whatever obstacle may exist, I will find a solution. After all, finding solutions is my job! I also make myself available by text and e-mail for fast and convenient communication.
What do you enjoy about the work you do?
It is very satisfying to help people obtain a fresh start. Anyone can suffer a setback that puts them in a tough financial position. Illness, disability, divorce and unemployment all contribute to financial distress, and these events can occur without warning. I do not feel that people should have to choose between paying their debts and putting food on the table for their families. When the law can work against you, it will, so why not use the law to your advantage when possible?
What should the customer know about your pricing?
I set my rates based on the amount of time I anticipate that I will spend to bring a matter to a successful resolution for my client. While some attorneys do charge less, they often don’t handle their client matters, personally. Rather, they rely on paralegals to do the majority of the work. Bankruptcy, in particular, can have devastating consequences if not handled properly (loss of income or property, fines and penalties, even jail time). I believe my clients deserve my personal attention, which necessitates slightly higher fees.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I try to make the process as simple as possible. I have developed a tried and true method of collecting documents and information in a quick and orderly manner so that I can minimize headaches and delays for the client. I also make myself available by text and e-mail so that my clients can reach me any time, with a question or concern.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
In addition to my legal degree, licensing and 10 years of experience, I receive 12 hours of continuing education each year. I also read and follow numerous legal publications to stay on top of all the latest law and cases.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I’ve practiced in other areas of law and found that none of them allowed me to help people as much as bankruptcy. In business disputes, even if we settle, everyone had to give up something they wanted. In divorces, forget it, everyone is miserable and emotional. But at the end of a bankruptcy, my client has a clean slate and gets a second chance to get their financial affairs in order. Without a doubt, I make a comfortable living from my practice, but bankruptcy has by far been the most fulfilling.
What types of customers have you worked with?
My average client is a hard-working person who has been met with unfortunate circumstances. Sometimes their spending got away from them, and other times they have been faced with a real tragedy. Whatever brought them to file bankruptcy, they all have one thing in common: they need a second chance. Without any judgment, I help my clients obtain that goal.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a lawyer?
Attorneys provide services in very sensitive and often personal situations. You should trust the person who is going to guide you through the legal process. Take the time to ask questions and satisfy yourself that the attorney you hire has your best interests in mind. There can be many unintended consequences from filing bankruptcy. It is crucial that an attorney take time to explain all possible outcomes so that the client can make an informed decision.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
It’s important that a client have goals. As with most legal matters, bankruptcy can be handled a number of different ways. For me, it is important to ensure that the client’s goals are given serious consideration before we embark down any particular path.