Rachel Kugel – Founder of The Kugel Law Firm

Work on mindset. I am constantly working on my “internal game” making sure I am ready for success both in terms of business success and success on behalf of my clients. So much of business (and life) is mental.

Rachel Kugel is a criminal defense attorney and founder of The Kugel Law Firm. The law firm represents clients throughout New York and New Jersey. Rachel Kugel is an alumnus of the Cardozo Law School in New York City. She received her undergraduate degree from American University in Washington, D.C. Rachel is a member of many defense organizations including the NCDD (National College of DUI Defense), NACDL (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers), and the DUIDLA (DUI Defense Lawyers Association). Rachel has been recognized three years in a row as a Superlawyer © Rising Star and has received a Client’s Choice Award from AVVO©. Rachel Kugel is often asked to provide legal commentary and analysis for television and has been seen on; CNN, HLN, TruTV, MSNBC, and Fox News. Rachel Kugel has served as a zealous advocate for hundreds of people in the New York and New Jersey area facing criminal and motor vehicle charges.

Where did the idea for the founding of the Kugel Law Firm originate?

From even before I went to law school I knew I wanted to be a criminal defense attorney. I had the opportunity to work at other law firms and I saw things in their models that I believed could be improved. I founded the Kugel Law Firm because I wanted to create a practice where clients could come not to be judged or lectured, but defended. I wanted to develop a model where we offered flat fees and payment plans instead of the old model of hourly billing that turns client and advocate against each other. I wanted to create an atmosphere of trust where clients could call when they wanted without concern for a fee clock running, a place where our use of technology and practices actually work with our clients’ schedules and lifestyles rather than against them. I am proud to say that I feel like we’ve really created a firm that operates differently than most in a way that offers our clients the best relationship with their lawyer possible.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

One of the things I love about my job is that every day is different. I usually start my day in a courtroom dealing directly with clients and arguing on their behalf. My job is very courtroom orientated so it’s not unusual for me to go to three or four courts in one day. I stay productive by using technology and multitasking. It’s amazing how much you can do in a day!

How do you bring ideas to life?

My business ideas come from the desire to help people and serve clients. My team helps me implement new ideas for the practice or for specific cases as quickly as possible.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I think the move toward flat fee legal services is really good for clients.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I have two, Mindset, keeping the mindset of success and achievement and utilizing my team to help me…you can’t do everything alone.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

In high school, I worked for a pizza and play place for kids. The clean up in that place was often pretty gross, particularly the ball pit. Lol

If you were to start again what would you do differently?

I think I would let go of the idea that I have to do everything myself earlier. It took me a long time to let go and delegate but it has made all the difference in my biz and freed me up to focus on what I am really good at, defending clients!

As an entrepreneur what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Work on mindset. I am constantly working on my “internal game” making sure I am ready for success both in terms of business success and success on behalf of my clients. So much of business (and life) is mental.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Super-specialty. Today’s savvy consumers don’t just want a general practice lawyer but want someone who has unique focus and experience to handle their specific problem. People facing a drunk driving charge, for example, may not just want a general practitioner, in fact, they may not even want a criminal defense attorney, but they may seek out someone whose practice focuses 90 percent or more on handling DWI matters. By niche-ing I have been able to really dive deep into the defense of these cases and find issues and arguments that a generalist may not know are applicable.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?

When I first started practicing I was afraid to limit my practice I niche. I took every kind of case that walked in the door and it did not result in a great practice. I was overstressed because I was constantly learning a new area of law. Once I drew a line in the sand and picked my niche I was able to get really focused and really good at it. I was able to finally start making a name for myself because I became an expert at something.

What is one business idea that you are willing to give away to our readers?

Bomb-sniffing Chihuahua (so everyone can carry one around at all times)? Pizza slice shaped ziplock bags? Seriously, though, I would say that anyone can take their knowledge, their expertise, what they are good at and turn that information into a product or service business.

What is the best $100 you spent?

The money I pay to delegate some of my duties to other professionals and assistants and free up my time.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I use Box.net to access my files from anywhere, which is key when you are out of the office running around to court as much as I am. It allows us so much location freedom and I love that all of my team can assist our clients because they can access the files from anywhere. I would also say my autoresponder because it allows me to set up sequences to communicate with potential clients quickly and get them the information they need at the exact moment they need it even if I am not able to talk to them immediately.

What is the one book you recommend our community read and why?

Wishes Fulfilled by Wayne Dyer. The inner mindset game is such a big part of success in business and in life. This book opens up your mind to what’s possible in the universe and how much control you actually have in designing a life you love.

What people have influenced your thinking and may be of interest to others?

I love Wayne Dyer’s work


Tony Robbins


Brene Brown



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