My story is not unique, although ceasing a law practice after nearly 29 years to pursue a new career as a real estate agent is a bit unusual.
I was born and raised in a very small rural town in the Granite State - New Hampshire. My father owned several small rental properties and he did all of the maintenance himself. So, growing up he put me to work and taught me how to paint, fix windows, install new flooring, and so on.
After high school I moved to Tucson, Arizona where I attended the University of Arizona for four years and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Psychology in 1978, With Distinction (i.e., honors). My father passed away in my sophomore year, but I made it through by a combination of social security survivor benefits, work-study programs, scholarships and government guaranteed loans.
After college I was faced with the reality that there were no jobs for someone with just a BA in Political Science & Psychology. Also, if I did not get my student loans deferred by going to graduate school I would have to start repaying them. I had been interested in becoming a lawyer from an early age, probably from watching "Perry Mason", so I decided to apply to law school. When I was accepted at the UCLA School of Law, one of the top 10 law schools in the nation at that time, it made up my mind for me. Three years later on June 19, 1981, I was awarded a Juris Doctor, graduating in the top 20% of my class.
I sat for the California Bar Examination right away and passed on my first try and was admitted to the Bar in December, 1981. I went work for a short time with a prominent construction litigation firm, but soon moved to a smaller boutique business litigation firm in Brentwood where I worked as an associate for 5 years before being elevated to the partnership. However, two years later, I struck out on my own and practiced in my own firm or in association with other lawyers for the next 20 years.
I have been fortunate during my legal career to gain experience in many areas of law. Although I have primarily handled civil litigation and trial work, I have also frequently dealt with various business transactions, pro-actively advised clients, and informally settled problems before they turned into litigation. I have handled disputes or transactions involving diverse areas of law that has given me the broad experience and expertise necessary to handle a wide range of matters. I have litigated or tried cases involving a broad variety of legal rights, laws and issues, ranging from real estate disputes, environmental law, construction litigation (contractual and defect), and contracts, to products liability, intellectual property rights, labor, defamation and other tort and business claims.
I have learned many useful skills as a trial lawyer which transfer to my current work as a real estate agent, not the least of which is the ability to "think on one's feet", communicate effectively, speak in public without intimidation, attention to detail, and to aggressively negotiate. In addition, both as a partner of a law firm and as a sole practitioner, I have learned to interact and work well with others, manage my time effectively, work within a budget and respond promptly to clients.