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S.J. Quinney College of Law

  Apr 16, 2014   |   Last update: April 11, 2014 @ 2:26 pm

Solo Practice Careers: Zeke Dumke, Dumke Law LLC & Jacque Ramos, J. Ramos Law Firm PLLC

Zeke Dumke, Dumke Law LLC

1. What do you do?  What is the name of your firm? 

 Managing Attorney of Dumke Law, LLC (formerly Quinn Dumke LLC)

2. At what point did you decide to start your own practice?  What steps did you have to go through in order to make this a reality?

I had been practicing for a little over a year and a half and had a client that needed additional assistance not being provided by then current firm.  After speaking with my then boss, I had his blessing to provide additional services through my own firm.  I organized a new entity, established a brand and location, altered past and current clients to the change and set a budget.  It is exciting to start a new firm, and you can quickly burn through a lot of money getting items that may not provide a return on the capital invested.  Early on it is very important to do a cost benefit analysis on your expenses.  Now is the time to take advantage of all of the great new technology that has been developed for small firms and solo practitioners.  The new technology must be tempered with a good network of experienced practitioners to turn to as you start your practice, to not only answer questions, but to provide insight and strategy.

3. What do you love about what you do?

I love working with other skilled and honest attorney's to problem solve.  A successful resolution for your client is a flash in the pan, you need to be working with other honest and skilled attorneys (on both sides of the isle) to make the day to day better.  You are not always in control of who your opposing counsel is, but you can control how you interact with them.

4. Where did you go to law school?  Why did you decide to go?

 I went to the University of San Francisco School of Law.  I went to law school with the business world in mind, so I chose a school in the Bay Area that would take me.  In hindsight I would not have gone to the school, or the U for that matter, but I got lucky with some very good professors and adjuncts who changed the way I viewed the practice of law.

5. When you came to law school, what did you think you wanted to do?

 I went to school with the intent to work in business.  I had been working with the University Venture Fund at the U as an Associate and realized the importance of IP in the due diligence process.  It was this focus on protecting IP that led me to law school.  I figured that I would be forced to strengthen my analytical abilities and get a better insight to IP for my business position after graduation.  There is some overlap in what I do now, but it is in a very different context.

6. What is the best thing about starting your own firm?

 Flexibly to work how you want to work and choose who you work with.

7. What advice do you have for law students who may be considering establishing a solo practice?

Keep it lean, have at least 2 experienced attorneys that you can run things by or ask for guidance, sit on a fiery response for at least a day (the instantaneous nature of email makes it too easy to escalate what are already contentious interactions), have clear expectations between all parties, get a good retainer up front, do not be afraid to fire clients, and always be honest with the client and the Court.

Jacque Ramos, J. Ramos Law Firm PLLC

1. What do you do?  What is the name of your firm?

My firm name is J. Ramos Law Firm PLLC; we are a general practice firm. On the plaintiff’s side, I do catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability, and workers compensation claims.  My practice also includes commercial litigation, usually defense oriented. Other matters that we handle are also in the area of intellectual property and immigration.

2.  At what point did you decide to start your own practice?

I started my solo practice over two years ago.  There are many steps both procedurally and networking that one must do to make their solo practice successful.  A major step is confirming and/or arranging support relationships with fellow attorneys.

3. What do you love about what you do?

I love litigation, including trial and motion writing.  I also enjoy my clients and the variety of cases that having a general litigation practice fosters.

4. Where did you go to law school?  Why did you decide to go?

I went to Indiana University of School of Law.  I decided to go IU (Indianapolis) upon receiving a scholarship and an opportunity of living outside Utah.

5. When you came to law school, what did you think you wanted to do?

Purely transactional work.  I did not want to go to trial, argue before judges, or motion write. I was terrified!

6. What was the best thing about starting your own firm?

 Flexibility between life and the practice.

7.  What advice do you have for law students who may be considering establishing a solo practice?

Have a mentor or senior partner to assist you.  The relationship you will build will be essential in whatever area of law you practice.