Jennifer Abrams is the founder of The Abrams and Mayo Law Firm, a group of board certified divorce attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada. She started her firm twenty years ago with two people and has grown the enterprise to become one of the leading divorce and matrimonial law firms in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. In addition to being a business owner, her credentials include board certification from the State Bar of Nevada as a Family Law Specialist and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I moved somewhat frequently right out of law school and passed the bar in California, Louisiana, and Nevada. I ended up settling in Nevada, and after a brief stint at a local law firm, decided to open my own practice.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Each day is highly variable depending on my current case schedule. Some days I’m personally handling depositions, court hearings, trials, settlement conferences, consultations, or mediation. Other times I’m doing legal research and writing court briefs. My most important productivity boost comes from the support I get from my partners and our highly skilled staff. My partner Vincent Mayo and I work extremely well together and we always have each other’s back. Our paralegals are all certified with NALA – The Paralegal Association and have extensive experience in divorce and matrimonial law.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I typically perform extensive research before putting anything into action. As a legal professional, I am a meticulous note taker and it is vital that all of my information be accurate and up-to-date.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Most recently it’s video court appearances. For eighteen years, I was driving down to the courthouse for every court appearance. Available parking was sometimes blocks away. Judges often run behind schedule and attorneys and litigants would have to wait in the hallways for their case to be called. It was a very inefficient use of time and resources. All of that has changed with video court appearances. I can continue to work productively while waiting for a case to be called and don’t have the travel time to and from the courthouse.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I utilize technology extensively. There are many tools available that allow professionals to perform research, organize their responsibilities, and schedule day-to-day tasks.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I might consider a different work-life balance. I do take occasional breaks, but six-day work weeks are still the norm. The truth is I probably would not change much. I am passionate about my work and it’s important to me that each client gets my best efforts.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Turning down clients that are not an appropriate fit is the best way to grow a law firm.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I would have to say self-reflect. I think being self-aware is fundamental to long-term success. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and then see where you can improve.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I have always understood that my law firm may not be the best match for every client who wants to retain us. From my firm’s inception, I only accepted clients who required a complex level of representation in my legal specialty. I know that may sound counterintuitive, especially to attorneys in the early stages of their law practice, but it is the primary reason for our growth.
Regardless, during every potential client inquiry I seek to understand what the problem is and what they are trying to accomplish. Then I discuss the best solutions for that person and their options. People are very appreciative, and even those who I have recommended to other law firms have later referred their friends and family members to me.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It’s not a failure but more of a work-in-progress. As a business owner, time management is always challenging. Most attorneys have a difficult time managing a work-life balance. I know when I first began my legal career twenty years ago, it was hard to establish personal and professional boundaries. Now, I do my best to unplug at the end of the day and start fresh the next morning.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think the renewable energy sector is still ripe for innovation. While the progress already made is substantial, this area is still in its infancy and societal demand will never end.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
My wonderful staff put together stockings, filled with toys and treats, for the children in Safe Nest for the holidays. As a firm and individually, we each support our community including Legal Aid of Southern Nevada, Three Square, Safe Nest, and The Animal Foundation.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I recently started using Litify, which is a great resource for small to midsize legal firms. With advanced integration solutions, it also offers top of the line security features.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Speak Your Truth by Fearne Cotton. The book provides compelling insight into why we stay quiet, and the importance of always letting your voice be heard.
What is your favorite quote?
I have many but two of my favorites are “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are” and “characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.”
- Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals is vital to success.
- Stick to your business model regardless of your financial interest.
- Self-reflection is important.
- Establish a work-life balance.
- Lead – don’t follow.
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.