Lewis Landerholm founded Pacific Cascade Legal in 2010, right after graduating from law school. He grew up watching his parents and grandparents help families in need and knew early on that he wanted to dedicate his own career to helping families through challenging times just as his parents and grandparents did before him. As a result of the incredible role models he grew up with, Lewis is known for being a compassionate and perceptive attorney when it comes to matters of divorce and custody. Lewis also uses the skills he learned from working in upper management prior to law school to effectively handle the management of his firm’s multiple locations throughout the Pacific Northwest in addition to carrying his own caseload. Outside of his business, Lewis is a self-proclaimed “avid sports addict” but his sports mentality carries over into his management style.
Pacific Cascade Legal helps with all aspects of family law, including but not limited to divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division. Lewis and his team know that family matters are exceptionally difficult, so they are dedicated to ensuring that their clients get the best possible outcomes for their unique situations. Additionally, the firm also helps clients with cases of bankruptcy, estate planning, trusts, wills, and personal injury.
Where did the idea for Pacific Cascade Legal come from?
I knew early on that I wanted to run my own law firm rather than work for another attorney’s firm. Prior to law school, I had experience in upper management, so right out of law school I founded my law firm and started building my team. My goal was to build up a supportive and winning team.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day consists of managing people, managing our future plans, and managing productivity to ensure that our output is matching our firm’s goals. I work on plans to move our business forward and to ensure that office culture is being maintained.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I meet with the individuals on our leadership team so that we can all bring our ideas to the table, and together we plan out how to execute them, what the actual action items are, discern who the best person is to lead the particular project or idea, and map out what we need to do in order to move the idea forward and move toward our goal posts.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I really enjoy creating the full client experience and delivering on that promise to support our clients from start to finish, even outside of the legal realm.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I approach business with the mindset of a coach. I have made it a habit to encourage my team members from the sidelines in order to help them grow and develop their own professional paths. I aim to be a mentor and leader rather than a micro-manager.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be as quick to change course; see a season through. An idea could be good but it may need time to work itself out. Have patience, make decisions, and be quick to make those decisions as needed, but once you’ve made them, stay the course to see it through. Let it grow and let it come into fruition before making changes at the first sign of a struggle. It’s costly to change course too soon.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Change is good. Change is important for adaptability, shaking up the status quo, and reinvigorating. Making incremental changes is good for a business and yourself. Don’t stay in the comfort zone. When you realize you do need to make changes, embrace those discomforts and trust that it’s not a bad thing.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Seek out experts to reduce your learning curve. Be a part of a coaching group and go talk to people who have done it before. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, take what you know and it will reduce the amount of headache and time needed. Seek out counsel and talk to people who have been where you currently are, but also where you want to be in the future. Try to glean information from people who know it better than you do so that you can achieve that level of success. Also, don’t wait for perfection. It’s never going to be perfect. It’s better to have failures than to wait to start or not try at all.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Leaning on my team members’ strengths has allowed my firm to achieve successful results for our clients, effectively giving us a reputation for winning. As a result, we have been able to expand from one location to ten different locations throughout Oregon and Washington.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It’s all about the team you have. One mistake I’ve made is holding onto the wrong people for too long who weren’t aligned with our vision and what we were trying to do. I had to learn how to finally pull the plug to make the change that was evidently needed, and while it’s painful and takes time and money, it’s ultimately the right choice. It’s important to learn how to move on from people who are not helping, or who are actually hurting the business and the goal.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I don’t have a new business idea off the top of my head, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to start a business. Figure out what people like, or what is already out there that needs improvement, and start a business around it. There is always room for new business owners.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Buying lunch for key members of the team. It’s always a good investment to take the time to sit down and actually talk to team members over lunch, to make the time to learn about what’s going on in their work experience, and to know what they care about.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Microsoft Teams has been great for our firm, especially with so many more positions now being a hybrid position between working in the office and working at home.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Fans First: Change the Game, Break the Rules, and Create an Unforgettable Experience”-Jesse Cole. It’s all about how to create raving fans and an experience for your clientele so that they love your business, and it’s an enjoyable read because it’s about sports, which is my passion.
What is your favorite quote?
“Adapt or Die”- Moneyball
- Focus on ways to provide a rounded, unforgettable client experience.
- Give good ideas time to grow.
- Embrace change as a necessary part of growing your business.
- Seek out experts to reduce your learning curve.
- Having the right team is imperative to a successful business.
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.