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Every lawyer’s journey is unique, with numerous twists and turns, highs and lows, triumphs and failures. In this article, we’ll explore the unconventional journey of a seasoned legal professional, Sam Price, who left the corporate world behind to build a thriving private practice. From braving a hurricane and an earthquake to creating an innovative legal practice, his journey offers valuable insights into the legal profession.

Transitioning to Estate Planning from Tax Law

Sam Price started his career as a tax lawyer in one of Southern California’s big five accounting firms. However, he quickly realized that the corporate world was not his calling. He felt like a number in a company of 60,000 employees and never met his clients. His yearning for a more personalized approach led him to quit his job and eventually build his private practice. 

Learning to be Patient and Tolerant

Before venturing into private practice, Sam worked in his family business of flipping houses and running homeless shelters. This unique experience taught him the importance of fostering patience and tolerance. Dealing with different kinds of people, from construction workers to individuals dealing with behavioral health issues, helped him develop empathy and patience. He brought these qualities to his practice, realizing the importance of putting oneself in the other person’s shoes to understand their concerns better. 

Investing in Staff for Success

One of the keys to Sam’s successful legal practice is his investment in his staff. He believes in understanding his team and taking an active interest in their lives. For instance, offering his team half-day Fridays during the summer had a surprisingly positive impact on their motivation and productivity. Sam also established an internal training and coaching program, encouraging his staff to grow and improve continuously. 

The Power of “Think Days”

Sam’s dedication to “think days” sets him apart. These are strategic planning and reflection sessions where he disconnects from the day-to-day tasks to focus on the bigger picture. These sessions have fueled his practice’s growth, allowing him to develop innovative strategies, such as shifting his focus from blogging to building referral relationships and using personality assessment tools for hiring. 

Building a Successful Practice

Sam’s journey to building a successful practice involved hiring his first paralegal, shifting his focus from blogging to referral relationships, and utilizing tools like the Disc Profile, Omnia Profile, and the Working Genius Quiz for hiring. He learned that assessing potential team members’ personalities and strengths is as important as evaluating their professional skills. 

Gratitude and Appreciation for Helping Others

Looking back at his journey, Sam highlights the importance of gratitude and empathy. From teaching a program internationally in Amsterdam to dealing with a diverse range of clients, he has learned to appreciate the value of helping others. Being open and transparent about his practice has helped him make smart decisions, contributing to his success. 

Building a successful private legal practice is no easy feat. It requires patience, resilience, and a willingness to take unconventional paths. Sam Price’s journey is a testament to this. His story offers invaluable insights into the legal field and can inspire lawyers looking to carve their paths in this profession.

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Steve Riley

Certified Practice Advisor & Attorney

Steve Riley has coached attorneys for more than 20 years. His one-on-one coaching focuses on a limited number of top producing attorneys committed to taking their practices to new levels of excellence, profit, and personal success. He also presents at group coaching workshops around the country for individual law firms, state bar associations, and other legal organizations.

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