Wow, it must be awards and recognition week here! In case you missed our earlier posts, last Monday, our Georgia Materialmen’s Lien and Payment Bond Claim Blog was ranked third in a national competition; then, on last Thursday, the Cabinet Maker’s Association reprinted our blog article on Protecting Your Revenues. Now, we just received a copy of book in the mail in which Mark Cobb was interviewed. What an amazing week!!
A couple of years ago, Georgia construction lawyer Mark Cobb was contacted via the Washington and Lee University School of Law Alumni Association as a prospective case study on practicing law in a small town. Mark had been selected because in 2009, he opened a second law office (in Thomasville, Georgia). Although the Cobb Law Group’s Atlanta office remained open, Mark decided that his statewide practice of construction law would benefit from opening an additional office in south Georgia. Thus, his clients would have better coverage of the state’s courts and courthouses, increased contacts and a deeper knowledge of Georgia construction economics. Consequently, after doing some research, Mark and his family chose to move out of the big city and into a smaller community. About the same time, Bruce M. Cameron was beginning research on his new book: Becoming a Rural Lawyer: A Personal Guide to Establishing a Small Town Practice (The New Lawyer’s Survival Guide) (Volume 3) published by Decision Books in its series on The New Lawyer’s Survival Guide. This books hopes to encourage lawyers looking for the big-city alternative to find new levels of satisfaction and meaning.
Mr. Cameron undertook a great deal of research looking at the various types of small town practices available. He writes the books for lawyers of all ages and all practice areas and includes such topics as
- Planning to Relocate
- The 8 Myths of Practicing small town law
- Discovering the 5 “Hot” Areas of Rural Practice
- Finding the Under-Exploited Niches in the Legal Job Market
- Your New Law Practice
Mark is a representative of the small town, niche-lawyer as he practices primarily in the area of Georgia Materialmen Liens, Payment Bond Claims and Construction Contract Law. Thus, when he moved from Atlanta, he was faced with the problem of how to grow his firm’s practice without being in a large metropolitan area. Fortunately, for Mark, his niche practice allows him (i) to handle construction lien and miller act bond claims anywhere in the state of Georgia and (ii) many of his clients are large, national manufacturers and distributors of construction materials and equipment, thus, they often do not have management offices in Georgia and find their local construction counsel via the Internet. Consequently, the Cobb Law Group is constantly receiving inquiries from new and existing clients regarding filing and enforcing liens and payment bond claims.
Mark is honored to have been quoted in Mr. Cameron’s new book. A couple of the quotations Mr. Cameron chose to use from Mark include the following:
In discussing whether or not a recent law school graduate can open a small town practice, Mr. Cobb replied, “Perhaps with family or very close friends in the area it might be possible. [Opening a rural practice straight from law school] takes someone willing to throw themselves into the community: church, nonprofits, local boards, etc. Also, when I first looked into moving into the town in which I now live, a resident lawyer advised me not to move here until I was married. There are few marriage prospects [he said], and single life is boring! [At the time] that infuriated me, but now that I am married and living here, I understand the wisdom of [his] statement.”
Mr. Cameron also quotes Mark regarding maintaining a sophisticated practice area such as lien and payment bond law. Mark was quoted to say, “It’s a misconception that [small town lawyers] cannot handle substantial, complex matters. After making partner [in Atlanta], I decided to leave, and I’m as good a lawyer now as I would be [had I remained] in a big city.”
In discussing whether or not small town lawyers can have a legal specialty, Mark was quoted as follows: “Yes, I have a statewide practice in construction law which means that I do a lot of document review, materialman lien filing, payment bond claims, and commercial collections so I am not dependant on local clients. I also represent several national companies with all their legal needs in Georgia.”
Mr. Cameron was kind enough to quote Mark on several other occasions. To read these and the other sections of this book, you’ll have to get your own copy of the book (to order a copy today, click below!
Thank you Mr. Cameron for encouraging lawyers to look at all the various aspects of maintaining a small town practice. Personally, I agree that such a legal practice is very fulfilling and offers a much greater quality of life than the alternatives.