Evans C. Agrapidis, Founder of Agrapidis & Maroules law firm, takes great pride in the accomplishments of the firm he has built spanning over thirty years. The firm specializes in personal injury law, and has championed thousands of cases for a wide variety of clients over the years. Mr. Agrapidis has successfully advocated for clients who have experienced work-related accidents, construction site accidents, wrongful death cases, motor truck accidents, and an array of other personal injury matters.
Evans C. Agrapidis was an honor student and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University after earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting. He continued his education at Seton Hall University School of Law where he received his Juris Doctor. After law school, he served as a Clerk in the Federal District Court for the District of New Jersey with Honorable John W. Devine. He has also been an active member of the New Jersey State and New Jersey Federal Bars since 1983 and the New York State and New York Federal Bars since 1985. He is currently a member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court and as of 2020 is a member of the Lawyers of Distinction.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
My father immigrated to the United States from Greece, but lacked a formal education. After I succeeded in becoming an attorney, he strongly suggested starting a practice of my own. He believed in my ability to succeed while representing the clients of my choice. The idea to own a law firm originated from my father’s vision for me.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical workday involves a mix of working on existing client cases, meeting with new clients, negotiating with other law firms, staff suggestions, and marketing.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am a go-getter. I immediately start researching new ideas to make them come to life. Once my research is complete, I look for options and follow up on the alternatives. After decisions about the idea are made I bring them into fruition.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One of the trends that excites me is the digital age. When we first started technology was in its infancy. At the time I started my practice, fax machines were the cutting edge of technology. The digital age has made me more efficient and less dependent on labor. Remote capabilities excite me. It allows me and my staff flexibility to work remotely from different locations.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit that makes me more productive is taking the time to review my staff’s productivity. By putting in the time to review staff and client concerns, I can keep a clear pulse on my business.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would advise my younger self that being a good listener is more critical than being quick to speak and answer.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Giving to others, either time or resources willingly, comes back to you ten times over. Being a good giver is well worth the reward.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As an entrepreneur, I would recommend that you personally meet new clients in the reception area, if possible. Introduce yourself as the owner in a welcoming way, greet them, and perhaps offer a cup of coffee or a glass of water. It will leave a good first impression. It is important to personally greet people who come to your office and make them feel appreciated.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I receive most of my referrals from satisfied clients. I also receive new cases through advertising. I like to treat our small matter clients the same way I do larger clients. My father owned a restaurant and he told me years ago, treat the cups of coffee like they were a steak dinner. That cup of coffee customer might refer you to a steak dinner customer one day. I like that concept. I treat all of my clients as if they have a large important matter to address.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I spread myself too thin mid-way through my career. I opened five small satellite offices at the same time. I was running to each office, trying to service them. The office that I opened in Brooklyn, where I grew up, had clients who wanted to see me and no one else. It was not enough to send a different attorney from my office. I couldn’t make that office succeed. I bit off more than I could chew. I had to close that location. I focused on my strengths in New Jersey, which is where I do most of my business. I learned not to overextend myself in business.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I enjoy investing. A service that would assist small investors making investments in other countries is a viable business idea. If you are looking to invest in a property located in a foreign country, it would be great to have a service that could help translate and assist you with purchasing the property, or paying the taxes, and handling the laws. It could be a quick and easy service to assist with international business. There are a lot of growing opportunities in other countries. It would be great to have that kind of assistance.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I spent a hundred dollars on a selection of cigars to bring to a barbeque. It led to some good conversations and I met a good contact that led to other interesting business opportunities. I thought that it was really, money well spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We have a software program called Needles. It is a personal injury software system which we depend on for case organization and file retrieval. We turn it on first thing in the morning and it continually works to retrieve files digitally, and answers questions without having to find the paper files. It is an excellent program that works very well for us.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It is a story about risk takers and business leaders and the philosophy of using your mind rather than following the crowd. It is an impactful book.
The second is a book called Brooklyn. It is about a young woman’s struggle as an immigrant and her determination to become successful in America. It reminded me of my mother’s journey to America, alone as a teenager from Greece on a ship called the Ana Maria and my father’s journey to the USA as a fourteen year old from Greece on a ship called The Marine Carp. These are European people who successfully achieved the American dream through hard work and with the guidance of God.
What is your favorite quote?
To those that much is given, much is required. (biblical quote)
● Being a good listener is more critical than being quick to speak and answer.
● Giving to others, either time or resources willingly, comes back to you ten times over.
● In business, don’t grow too fast and bite off more than you can chew.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.