Wow. Cannot believe how fast May is passing. Time flies when you are having fun. I had a pleasant conversation with some lovely ladies earlier this month who wish to have a career in agriculture law. Here were a couple of the questions.
1. How did you get started?
I started my law practice by moving to New York City with very little in my savings account and without a single client. I had to hit the ground running an hustle. I have also been around the food and agriculture industry my entire life. If you are considering hanging your own shingle, it’s never too early to start networking and get involved with agriculture commodity groups to help familiarize yourself with the important issues.
2. What advice do you have for someone who is entering law school and hopes to shingle afterwards?
Start networking now and try to meet as many solo and small firm attorneys in your city that you can. I also recommend read this book (which is considered the bible for solos) and this book by a blogger I look-up to in a very big way.
3. Do you recommend any reference books?
I recommend a few publications from the Agriculture Law Press including this book on farm estate planning and this desk manual. One of the participants recommended Neal Fortin’s book titled “Food Regulation– Law, Science, Policy, and Practice.”
As an aside, I have been interested in reading books by Stephanie Kimbro on Virtual Law Practices and Limited Scope Services: Unbundling the the Self-Help Client. I didn’t mention this during the Skype convo but I have been considering adding this dimension to my practice. It is my hope that everyone in the food and agriculture community can afford legal services.
4. What is on the horizon for the ABA, General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division’s Agriculture Law Committee?
Thanks to hard working faculty, I’m very proud that the Committee organized two CLE’s in 2012: (1) Crop/Livestock Insurance, and (2) Local Food Law. What’s next? I hope to reach out to the various subcommittees to help get activities going. I would like to establish a leadership board. Our next meeting will be on Saturday, October 20th in Nashville during the American Agriculture Law Association Annual Meeting. I really hope that the Committee can help form a much needed community among agriculture attorneys in a solo or small firm setting.
The next Skype convo will be on Friday, June 1st (i.e., first Friday of the month) at 2pm ET. I have Group Skype so folks will be able to see the video of one another. It is limited to 10 people. To RSVP, please email me directly at email@example.com and provide your Skype username.