Another stressful week behind me means that I’ve got to be closer to some easy ones right? Yeah, I really didn’t think so either. For anyone out there who hasn’t ever started their own law firm, let me assure you that it’s not a walk in the park. And as if it isn’t enough dealing with the overwhelming pressure you’re faced with on a daily basis, each form that needs to be filed usually comes with a nice little price tag. Between registering myself as an active attorney with the Supreme Court of Ohio, registering my company with the state and county, applying for the State-required malpractice insurance, opening up bank accounts, and ordering business cards and letterhead, I’ve spent enough money over the last seven days to scare almost anybody away from doing this. At the end of the day, I know it’s all just an investment in something that I’ve put a lot of time and effort into, but it doesn’t make writing out the checks any easier. Wondering how I’ve been paying for all this right out of law school? For the most part, ever since I got back home from taking the Bar Exam I’ve been putting money away for this very situation. Fortunately, I also have a great, supportive family behind me and they’ve helped me out with some of my costs.
As far as getting clients into my office, while I should have a few coming in this coming week, it’s still a work in progress. I decided to bring a co-worker from the ice rink on board to help me advertise within the Mexican community and do some translating. In addition, last week I began marketing my legal services directly to U.S. junior teams with rostered international players that are referred to as “imports.” Teams at the junior level usually don’t have anyone on staff that is qualified to handle a lot of the sticky immigration issues that may come up throughout the year, so I’ve spoken with a few clubs about doing some work for them. So far it looks like I already have one potential client that needs help getting back into the States, and that’s what I should be working on for most of today.
One thing I should point out is that the Immigration legal assistance I’ve offered is in no way related to my work as a player representative. While I can certainly provide this kind of help to any players I represent, under attorney ethical rules, I can’t make my legal services dependant on entering into another representation agreement (e.g. a player representation contract) or vice-versa. This illustrates one “obstacle” for licensed attorneys who also act as sports agents but also shows why athletes hiring attorneys to handle their representation is a smart move. As a licensed attorney, I’m required to follow rules of professional conduct (the Model Rules of Professional Conduct in their entirety can be found on the American Bar Association webpage at www.abanet.org although states vary on which specific sections they’ve adopted). On the other hand, sports agents who don’t also practice law aren’t subject to these same rules. The ability on the part of non-lawyer agents to “conduct business” in a way that attorneys can’t, certainly can give the non-lawyers an advantage. But for an athlete deciding on with whom to trust with their future, wouldn’t you think the professional subject to more ethical regulation (and not to mention more educated) would be the preferred option? I know that I certainly would.
As you know, over the past couple of weeks I’ve been calling a lot of coaches trying to get Matt a look from teams in some of the better Minor pro leagues. He’s playing very well, which obviously makes my job easier, but we still haven’t been having much luck so far. Most coaches I’ve spoken with seem to be focusing their energy on evaluating talent falling from leagues above instead of looking for someone to rise from a level below. It’s definitely been a little frustrating at times, but for the most part the interest in Matt is still there. I’ve been asked a few times to keep teams current with his progress throughout the season and hopefully some of that attention will start turning into contract offers.
To hit my quick personal note for the week, over the weekend I spoke with Bridget’s mother on the phone. I had sent her parents a little note trying to better explain who I am as a person and what my intentions are. I’m not going to get into the details of the conversation but fortunately we were able to clear up a few misunderstandings that I think had been causing some of the issues. Overall, I think it went very well and I’m really glad she called. Bridget’s still in Kenya for another nine days, but she’s enjoying her work and most importantly she’s still safe. We’ll see what happens after that.
Well it’s time for me to get back to work. As I said, I’ve got some Immigration issues to take care of and I still have some details of my Toronto trip to iron out (although it looks like I found a place to stay). I’m going to keep plugging away with some leads for Matt and if we catch any breaks I’ll be sure to post them to my Twitter and Facebook accounts. Until next week, it’s time to hit the showers.