Tell us about Small Batch. How you got the idea to start Small Batch Law?
I started Small Batch Law in 2015 to bring my general counsel experience at a national real estate firm to a wider, but more local community of clients. The things I value … being able to meet and connect with the individuals and teams I’m working with … it just seemed more achievable in a smaller local setting. So, Small Batch Law was born.
Practice wise, I focus on design and construction along with real estate transactions. I combine these with business and estate planning services to align my client’s immediate needs with their longer-term goals.
How you are different than other small law firms out there?
Most small firms don’t have the same depth of first-hand business experience.
I worked in-house for over 15 years on a wide variety of real estate projects (often on the design and construction aspects). Combining this experience with my real estate MBA gives me a perspective that is different than most small firms. In many cases, I can relate to a client’s situation because I’ve been there myself. My advice tends to be very practical as a result.
Can you give me an example of an area you think entrepreneurs could make their processes more efficient?
Hmmm. That sounds like a trick question. Here’s the short answer. Know when to get a lawyer involved and why. In my experience, entrepreneurs are super focused on being efficient. And in a very particular and understandable way. They need to get from concept to execution as fast as possible. Unfortunately, this can mean getting a lawyer involved pretty late in the process. At that point, either the lawyer can’t be very effective or they become a bottle neck in the process while they redo things that could have been done more easily at the beginning.
Here’s an easy example. Leases. Before you negotiate your next letter of intent for more office or production space, spend some time thinking about the topics that could be included in that LOI. Often, lease negotiations get bogged down over topics that could have been more quickly negotiated through the LOI. So whether you use a legal partner or some other professional, doing this well will save you time, money, and frustration on the review and negotiation of your lease documents.
What would you want the entrepreneurial community to understand or change going forward?
You’ll get much better legal advice if you tell your attorney what you are trying to accomplish and why. I know this sounds obvious, but it’s a surprisingly common issue.
There is a big difference between telling your attorney you need a lease reviewed and explaining that you are seeking to expand your market share by leasing space in a certain area. And that this move is in anticipation of a recapitalization event 2-3 years down the road.
In the first scenario, you get a generic lease review. In the second scenario you are leveraging your attorney’s experience and engaging them in the execution of your business plan. I’ve found business partners are much more motivated when they feel like they’re part of your team. Don’t overlook this when it comes to your legal team.
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