I started my law firm six years ago today. I moved in to 100 Church Street by myself with a pad and a pen and nothing else on December 3, 2009. I took a short-term lease to test out the waters; I wasn't sure what the future would hold. "Okay, what do I do now...?" is a thought that ran through my mind a lot during those early days. Of course, I felt both excited and nervous, like the feeling of your first day of school. But if I had to pinpoint the feeling, I'd compare it to being out at sea. Sitting on a boat, in the middle of a vast ocean, surrounded by water as far as your eyes can see. You have a destination, and you know it's right there, straight ahead, but you can't see it yet, and you are in awe of the vastness of what's in front of you.
So much to be done, but where to begin?
I started with to-do lists. Lots and lots of to-do lists to organize myself and keep focused. I stayed busy and positive. Build a website, place ads, print business cards, network, speak with parents, meet with schools, and find clients!
From time to time, when I needed a distraction or an emotional boost, I would turn on an episode of The Office. Yup, watching The Office in the office. The show was a gift from my then-girlfriend now-wife who bought me the first couple of seasons on DVD when I told her I had never seen the show. Something tells me, though, that she probably didn't intend for me to watch it in the office.
I pounded the pavement, and clients started to call. I was eager to provide exceptional service, obtain outstanding results, and impress my clients. I am proud of the results we have achieved. At the same time, with every new client comes the responsibility of proving ourselves again. That is a responsibility I continue to take seriously no matter how long we've been around, how expert we've become, or what results we've achieved in the past.
I remember a friend questioning my decision to start my own firm. Something to the effect of "Are you for real?" I might have brushed it off then if not for the fact that I was doubting myself the same way he was doubting me. Six years later, though, I can say, yes - I am for real. The firm has grown significantly, and I feel like I've come a long way. Since starting out, I have hired a full-time associate and office administrator. We've handled hundreds of cases, helped numerous children and families, successfully litigated and settled cases of substantial monetary value, and built a reputation for tenaciousness, dedication, honesty, and exceptional results. I take great pride in that and look forward to helping many more families navigate the special education legal process. I continue to be deeply interested and invested in the practice of special education law, which has been both professionally and personally fulfilling, and I am excited to see what the future holds.
I am thankful to the parents who have trusted us to advocate for their children and the various professionals from whom I have learned so much. I am excited about developing the firm's global mission and sharing my experiences with you.
While I reflect on this very happy six-year anniversary, I also look forward to many more years of advocating for children and being able to watch them grow, develop, and succeed.
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families happy holidays and a wonderful new year.
All the best in 2016.