3 min read

💎 Value Creation in Startup and Employment Law – My Genuine Insight into the Legal Field

Untested Assumptions

To my delight, I was proven wrong.

“Have you watched Suits yet?”

“Are you just trying to practice law because of a high school debate activity?”

“Do you actually think you can positively impact such a cutthroat environment?… Well, at least you can make a lot of money”

These were the questions I encountered about my career interests, and as a confused 19-year-old kid, I didn’t have much clarity beyond these surface-level impressions.

In general, society has painted an image of greedy, entitled, cold-hearted, and money-minded individuals in the legal field.

To be fair, there is a genuine reason for it.

Whether it’s the attorneys who intentionally stalemate cases they knowingly can’t win, the partners who overwork and under-appreciate their associates, the firms that charge exorbitant billable hour fees without a vested interest in the client, or the toxic culture in big law. Essentially, there’s an exhaustive list of reasons to dislike practitioners in the legal field.

What I wasn’t exposed to were the ones who have integrity – genuine integrity.

A Fresh Perspective

After speaking with industry experts throughout winter and spring break, I started to obtain invaluable insight.

Through email, LinkedIn, and networking events, I scheduled one informational interview after the other – exposing myself to the exceptions who broke the norm.

One attorney who specialized in employment law stood out to me in particular.

He worked in big law but was overloaded with transactional and unfulfilling work. At one point, he was even offered a partner position, but he turned it down to pursue his own employment law firm –  allowing him to discover the human aspect of the legal practice.

I was moved by his genuine care, dedication, and craft for running his own practice and fiercely advocating for clients who have been wrongfully terminated, harassed, or suffered from workplace discrimination.

Most impressively, the firm assumes a contingency fee-based structure – meaning that most of the client-facing work is completely free until a settlement is awarded to them. This concept resonated with me in particular because my startup also prioritizes free service and upfront value for our clients.

In a legal context, I enjoyed how he articulated the human element of standing up for those who have been wronged, providing sincere and genuine value, and respectfully completing my work even if others didn’t adhere to those standards.

After our informational interview was over, I was incredibly grateful to receive an internship opportunity to work at his employment law firm in LA. I’ve continued to work on cases, conduct legal research, and flesh out full draft complaints for those who have suffered from discrimination, workplace harassment, wrongful termination, and other abusive employment practices.

Even though I tried telling myself that I didn’t have to succumb to the negative stereotypes of the legal field, it was an influential experience working with someone who has defied the traditional systems of big law and the legal industry, establishing a practice in accordance to his own terms.

There are those that misuse their power and influence and those who leverage it for good.

The choice is mine, and I intend on picking the right option.

Gravitating Toward Startup Law

So I’m completing an internship for employment law, why did startups get thrown in the mix?

After running a startup myself, I realized how demanding the process is – mentally and physically. I’ve naturally been more inclined to dedicate my daily habits, efforts, and motivations to creating new ideas, services, and products. Whether it’s the source of information I choose to consume on social media and youtube, deciding what skills I want to nurture, or how to look after my health and focus by going to the gym consistently and eating more nutrient-dense food.

My personal experience in building a business has built a different life, vision, and structure for me. The way I absorb information, perceive opportunities, or envision my goals have all been aligned to innovate instead of follow.

However, I want to dedicate my career beyond my journey. I want to tap into this community of like-minded entrepreneurs who want to ferociously leave their mark.

Tying these interests back to law, I would be interested in providing legal counsel and support to other startups, founders, and innovators to assist them in their journey and provide irreplaceable value to them.

I know I’m not the only person who is trying to do something different, unique, or creative. I know that I’m far from being the most intelligent or creative entrepreneur – but that’s what excites me the most.

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