April Jackson’s Signature Story: From Paralegal to Managing Attorney
Every business owner has a signature story; the event or experience that launched your entrepreneurial journey.
Your signature story tells us how you got here and why you decided to do what you’re doing.
This is the second post in our Signature Story series. It’s the story of April Jackson a paralegal who decided that she wanted to take a different path, and so she started her own law firm.
Welcome April, can you please tell us more about what led you to start your own law firm?
In 2012, I accomplished my life-long dream of becoming an attorney. I also got married. After attending law school at night while working full time as a paralegal, I wanted more work-life balance than any traditional firm was likely to allow. So I started my own firm instead.
Today, my practice focuses on issues facing our population as we age. I prepare powers of attorney, wills and advance directives (or living wills) to help families plan for the future. After a loved one dies, I also assist families with the probate process. But my favorite cases are conservatorships, when families come together to take care of a loved one and obtain legal authority to make decisions in the best interest of that person.
Running my own business is one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but it also gives me some of the greatest joys. I get to face the challenges of the law every day, at times when my clients need me most. I get to be there for my family if things need to get done during “business hours” (as long as I make it to court on time).
What has been your biggest challenge in running a business?
Fear is my biggest challenge. I used to worry constantly about letting my clients down, about messing up in front of a judge or my colleagues, about running out of money. Fear prevented kept me from taking the risks I needed to grow. Once I started taking more risks and facing the unknown (and accepting that failure was okay as long as I learned from it) my practice really took off. I’ve learned a lot about the law and been able to help even more clients.
What tip would you share with other small-business owners to help them grow their business?
Be top of mind when people need you. Keep in touch with people in your network (personal and professional) and talk about how much you enjoy your work. Make sure your network knows what you do and that they would gladly recommend you when your area of expertise is needed.
How does having a professional email signature help you in your line of work?
Soon after I created my signature, a witness came up to me in court and said, “I recognize you from your email.” My WiseStamp signature helps me connect with potential clients and colleagues by letting them put a face with my name, before we’ve even met.
What’s your signature story?
Written by Simcha Lazarus
Simcha is WiseStamp’s Content and Community Coordinator. She’s a social media enthusiast who loves teaching people how to grow their business online. When she’s not tweeting, liking, connecting, pinning or redditing, she’s probably reading a book.