Small Business and Elder Law Resource
Claudia Raessler, Esq.
Starting a law firm is all about starting a small business. The trick is to identify your resources and expenses, your own and the outside expertise on which you will rely and then redefine the focus as you work towards accomplishing the vision. The challenge, of course, is deciding and staying on the right path!
Our practice areas for starting: The needs of small businesses, elder and guardianship and community.
In July, 2019 solo practitioner, Carolyn Elefant described starting a law firm as an idea equivalent to “life on a wire” https://myshingle.com/2019/07/articles/inspiration-encouragement/starting-a-law-firm-life-on-the-wire/ I began following the My Shingle Blog as Raessler Law was formed and began accepting court appointed guardianship cases. Given that the vision for Raessler Law is to grow, at the same time I have thought about Carolyn's comments around new grads, passion and the “soul-crushing demands” of a traditional legal practice. Although not all of the blame for “soul-crushing” can be laid at the feet of our traditional legal system, what I strongly believe is that new solo and small firms can help in supporting the vision of industry leaders such as Carolyn in building a business model demonstrating continued integration of technology to the benefit of our clients while answering the demands of running an ethical and responsible practice in a changing environment. So, after three decades of practicing in traditional settings what will Raessler Law contribute to this scenario both in expertise and services…..the following:
- The art of advising and running a small business. As the “founder” of Raessler Law, my bio speaks to not only practicing law but “often on the side” running small businesses be it a small farm to a manufacturing operation. Matt Mansfield in March 2019 wrote about the Startup Statistics and “The Numbers You Need to Know”. Legal and practical experience combined can help with decision making and the numbers challenges.
Guardianship & Elder Law
- The art of guardianship and elder law. Similar to small businesses, a guardianship and elder law practice has to start with the needs of the client and often does not have the luxury of focusing initially on a specific area of expertise. It is as if the lawyer becomes the “conductor” and often may need to help coordinate the team. Certainly, estate planning and asset protection are keys alone with understanding incapacity, navigating access to healthcare and adult guardianships. Upcoming Raessler Law blogs will talk about Maine's new guardianship law, structuring supported decision making and other evolving topics.
“Virtual”, but Community Based
- The art of running a law firm. A successful “virtual practice” (think “in the cloud”) is not a magic way to practice law and avoid client contact, save costs (although it does if thoughtfully implemented), or even completely avoid the need for “bricks and mortar offices”. Regardless, of whether it is a physical office or a virtual practice implementing with state-of-the-art technology, the need for a legal practice to understand and maintain community connections can only benefit the client to whom we are providing services. “Community” is not a concept limited to a geographic area, but understanding the resources and people within a community however defined is a tool for helping the client involved in the next small business start-up or the non-profit organization expanding the local program for hunger relief are factors for success. As the Firm grows, each attorney joining Raessler Law will be asked to participate in their “community” in some manner.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT!
- Firm administration is focused on technology and how to manage what are “high touch” matters efficiently. Whether you are a local client or far-away, the use of “cloud-based” tools make the members of the Firm accessible and will allow for growth and diversity in expertise. The objective is to provide advise and support and not try to simply deliver a work product of unnecessary complexity. This starts with listening.
- We have developed a several month focus and schedule for blogging. The blogs are designed to consist of (1) a specific legal topic; (2) practical considerations; and (3) Resources of Interest that may be helpful and are relevant to the topic.
- Small Business: Next up will be a series entitled – Small Business Speed Bumps and is designed to focus on some of the nuances that are not always extensively discussed – small business closure; limited liability companies in bankruptcy, and sustainable risk management. This may seem “backwards” but there is world of legal advice on entity selection and formation issues, not so much as small business owners deal with the ideas necessary to remain open.
- As we develop the direction and tools the Firm will use, the focus will remain on we can best deliver our services and meet our community participation objectives.
Back to Carolyn and her blog, My Shingle……In August of 2018 she wrote about how purpose is more important than planning when starting a law firm. I have no doubt that I, as the founder of this “start-up”, I will continue to follow Carolyn's site and listen to the wisdom that she and others bring to the discussion. If we remain focused on understanding our clients and their needs, the “yellow brick road” and the path will evolve.
Resources of Interest:
- Startup Statistics – The Numbers You Need to Know
- Small Business Trends - https://smallbiztrends.com/2019/03/startup-statistics-small-business.html
- The Senior List - What is Elder Law and How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help Me?
Disclaimer: Raessler Law Blog is not intended to provide legal or professional advice for specific matters. The content is to be viewed solely as informational, subject to change and, in all instances, is opinion based. Similarly, the content does not necessarily reflect the ideas, final opinions or advise of the Firm or other professionals with whom the Firm may associate. Resources of Interest as listed are not to be considered as endorsements or recommendations, the content is authentic to the best of the author's knowledge but may be subject to errors and the absence of key information. Reliance on the information contained herein is done so at the reader's own risk.