Parag Amin is the Principal at the Law Office of Parag L. Amin, P.C., a firm specializing in business litigation, employer defense, partnership disputes, entity formation, and contract matters. Recognized for his expertise in navigating complex legal and business disputes, Parag has been honored as a Rising Star by SuperLawyers for seven consecutive years, an accolade reflecting peer recognition and professional achievement.
With nearly a decade and a half in the legal field, Parag has saved and recovered tens of millions of dollars for his clients representing public figures, small business owners, and individuals. His unique financial skill set, acquired from his involvement in various industries, enables him to provide legal strategies that deliver results. Parag holds a JD from USC’s Gould School of Law and a BS in Finance from the University of Maryland.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Parag Amin’s approach to resolving business disputes and arriving at settlements
- Why Parag chose to focus on business law
- Pivoting from large law firms to small business clients
- The importance of marketing and networking in growing a business
- The challenges of starting and growing a law office
- Parag’s personal growth as a leader and the evolution of his law practice
In this episode…
Can mastering both business law and entrepreneurship be the secret to a thriving legal career? What does it take to navigate the complexities of both fields successfully?
According to Parag Amin, a distinguished attorney, success in these interconnected fields hinges on a deep understanding of clients’ business objectives and a commitment to resolving legal challenges through creative, strategic approaches. His approach centers on aligning legal strategies with each client’s unique needs and goals, ensuring that every legal solution not only addresses the immediate issue but also furthers the client’s overall business aspirations.
In this episode of 15 Minutes, host Chad Franzen speaks with Parag Amin, Principal at the Law Office of Parag L. Amin, P.C., about the intersection of business law and entrepreneurship. They explore Parag’s motivation driven by his family’s experiences, his strategic approach to litigation focusing on client objectives, and the unique challenges of starting and growing a law practice. Parag also discusses the importance of continuous learning and setting goals for sustained growth and success.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Chad Franzen on LinkedIn
- Gladiator Law Marketing
- Parag Amin on LinkedIn | Instagram
- Law Office of Parag L. Amin, P.C.: Website
- USC Gould School of Law
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential.
To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decades of experience to outperform the competition.
You’re listening to 15 Minutes, where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know but likely don’t.
Chad Franzen 0:12
Hi. Chad Franzen here, one of the hosts of Share Your Voice where we talk with top-notch law firms and lawyers about what it takes to grow a successful law practice. This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, delivering tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential. To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI your firm needs to have a better website and better content. Gladiator Law Marketing uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and decades of experience outperform the competition. To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com where you can schedule a free marketing consultation. Parag Amin helps business owners successfully navigate business and legal disputes. He’s been rated as a rising star by Superlawyers every year from 2017 to 2023. And his work has recovered and saved his clients 10s of millions of dollars. Hey, Parag. Thanks so much for joining me today. How are you?
Parag Amin 1:04
Hi, Chad doing great. Thanks for having me. How are you?
Chad Franzen 1:07
Yeah, great to have you. I’m doing great. Thanks. So want to start off here. Tell me about a little bit more about your firm. It’s called, I believe the Law Office of Parag Amin, and give me an example of a creative strategy to leverage what your client is looking for, that you guys might use?
Parag Amin 1:23
Yeah, absolutely. Great question. So whenever whenever we have a case, we know that despite the fact that were equipped as a law firm, to handle the case, from A to Z, including from pre litigation all the way through trial, we understand that most of our clients, almost none of our clients would really want to be involved in in an extended dispute. So we’re always looking for is an opportunity to potentially leverage a settlement. And so many times, what we can do is we can look at potential third parties, who might also be involved in the lawsuit, and look for additional sources of revenue that might help contribute and resolve the dispute. So what can happen is in any given business deal, there’s a number of parties that are involved. And so it’s just really looking at the business situation itself, breaking it down, and really understanding what the client’s goals are. So that’s one of the things that I’ll do and my lawyers that my firm do is, we’ll sit down and talk to the client about what is their ideal outcome here? And what is it that they’re looking for, because looking at something from a win from just a legal perspective is one thing, but really kind of achieving the client’s business goals. I think that’s what we’re really here to do. And that’s so important. And the art of communication and in getting that deep understanding of what the clients really looking for, is something that we take pride in.
Chad Franzen 2:50
You know, when you decide to go into law, there’s a lot of avenues you can go down. I think if I were to choose to be an attorney, I picture myself like, you know, yelling, arguing passionately in front of a judge or a jury or something like that. What attracted you to business law?
Parag Amin 3:04
Yeah, so what what brought me into it was actually an experience that I had when I was younger. So my parents are Indian immigrants, they immigrated to the United States from India. And one of the things that everybody kind of hears about is the American Dream is kind of this dream of entrepreneurship, and being your own boss and making it in America. And so my dad took his life savings from working on a W two job, and he invested it into this business in the store in Florida. So I still remember I was younger, but we moved to Florida. And my parents would be working like 7080 hours a week, and I’d hardly see them, I’d usually spend my time with my grandmother, my my dad’s mother. And during that time, my parents are trying to make this store work. And what happened is my dad had bought the entity that owned the store, like the company that owned the store from the former owner. And so after working like all these hours, after about two years, the franchise or the taxing authority in Florida comes knocking on his door. And what happens is, they tell him that he owes a couple $100,000 in unpaid sales taxes. So he says, Well, I can’t be right that how’s that possible? I don’t even make that kind of money. So how is it possible that I can owe hundreds of 1000s of dollars in unpaid sales taxes. So what he didn’t know is that the person he bought the entity from, had not paid his sales taxes for years. And so what happened on my dad is that unfortunately, he was faced with the choice of either pay all the sales taxes or shut down the business and he chose to shut down the business because he just didn’t see a way out. And so unfortunately, he ended up shutting down the business and went back to a W two job that he still works and so not that you know, at this point It’s more of a choice that he continues to work. He’s he’s got this passion for work. But still, you know, it was it was, you know, it was it was the reality check in terms of having the right kind of legal representation is so important. And I didn’t want that to happen to my family or somebody I cared about, really, ideally to anybody else again. And so that’s why I’d set the target, even as a as a younger person to eventually go on to college, and then law school, so I could help business owners avoid this very kind of thing.
Chad Franzen 5:34
So that was when you knew that you wanted to become an attorney. Yeah, that’s right. How did you get started in the legal industry?
Parag Amin 5:44
So I graduated from the University of Southern California back in 2011. So at that point, the economy was was still reeling from the OA collapse. And so I got my store doing a lot of contract type work at large law firms, which like the am law 100, of the top 100 biggest law firms in the country. And so a lot of the work that I did, though, as a lawyer was was more like menial type work document review, I like to refer to it as essentially glorified monkey work, right? I’m just looking through documents, saying, Okay, this is responsive to this issue or that issue. And they were large scale types of disputes. So like antitrust, one huge company suing another company over antitrust type accusations and unfair competition accusations. Another one related to a pharmaceutical company, who needed to do an internal investigation about potential off label marketing, that kind of thing. So, you know, at that point, while I was doing that work, I kind of gotten this advice from somebody that, you know, project your life out from the path you’re on, by about 10 years, and see what that looks like for you. And if you look at somebody who’s been doing this for about 10 years, and has been successful at it, what does their life look like? And is that something that you really want? And so I did that one day, and I really kind of took a hard look at okay, what is that path like? And is this something that 10 years down the road that I want to still be doing, you know, whether it’s whether it’s as a senior associate, or as a partner, at a large law firm, do I really want to be representing huge corporations, and antitrust disputes or relating to internal investigations and that kind of thing. And during that, that internal reflection, I realized that that’s not something I really wanted to do, what I wanted to do was work with business owners. And so I made the choice then to just go ahead and try to start my own firm, it was always a goal of mine, to go ahead and start it. And it’s kind of like that Chinese proverb, The best time to plant the tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is right now. And so I just decided that if the economy is struggling, and it’s a little bit of a challenge, and I’m not satisfied with the work that I’m doing right now, like I don’t find it personally fulfilling that I might as well just take a chance on myself, start my own law firm and see how it goes. And luckily, because when I was in law school, I was in the USC Small Business clinic, which helps business owners throughout Southern California. And, and now like, then it was mostly Southern California. Now, it’s kind of expanded throughout the state. But they’ll provide essentially free legal services to business owners in terms of forming companies and that kind of thing. And so I did have that experience. And so I decided that that’s where I would start. And I got a number of just client referrals and that kind of thing. It just kind of snowballed. I got a few clients, and then a few more. And then what happened is that a lot of the cases and inquiries that I was getting was about litigation. And so I was told that when I was in law school, a mentor told me, you know, if you want to be a really well rounded lawyer, you need to learn how to do both transactional work, and how to do litigation work. And so I started doing more litigation work, partly out of that advice and partly out of necessity. And I found that in the necessity being that being a business owner, you’ve got to keep your doors open, you got to keep the business running. And I found that I actually enjoyed it a lot more. So I enjoyed the competitive aspect of it, I enjoyed the strategic aspects of it. I enjoyed that ability to try to write a wrong kind of the case similar to the situation that are analogous to the situation that my dad had is that you know, I can now fix a problem for a business client. So I found that really exciting.
Chad Franzen 9:42
So you started out you kind of got clients. Did you have to do any marketing or was it mostly referrals?
Parag Amin 9:49
Yeah, great question. So I did do a little bit of marketing, but it was like free marketing posting on online websites such as auto answering questions for free, that kind of thing. I didn’t have the budget to just go and spend on marketing. So it was, it had to be more like grassroots type stuff. And then also luckily I was I put the word out to friends that this is what I’m doing. And then being at large law firms, many times we get the smaller one off things that a large law firm couldn’t take, because it was too small. So it was perfect for me. So they’d refer it over to me.
Chad Franzen 10:25
What was something that you kind of discovered that, you know, in the midst of starting your own business, which you’ve never done before? Probably, that you didn’t know that you didn’t know? Like, oh, wow, I didn’t know that.
Parag Amin 10:37
Yeah, that’s a great question. That’s a long list. I will say that, you know, a lot a lot of school including so as a finance major and undergrad, then went on to law school, but I was lucky enough to have a number of internships throughout and varied internships. I worked in like, real estate management consulting, the financial services industry. And so I was able to get, I was lucky enough to find really good mentors in those spaces, too. But the reality of things is, is that, you know, when you learn things from school, or you learn things in an internship at a highly organized company, that is going to be entirely different from when you try to go out and figure things out on your own. Right. So everything from as simple is, you got to have a business license from the city. And then you’ve got to report and pay those taxes to both the city because I’m in Los Angeles, that they had to have a tax on top of state tax on top of federal tax, you’ve got to find your accountants, you got to learn how to handle payroll, you’ve got to make sure that you’re compliant with like employment laws, wage and hour laws in California. So there’s a lot of regulations that go into it. And then also, the one of the hardest aspects of any kind of business, I think, is the people aspect. People have their own motivations as to why they go to work. There are different things that motivate different kinds of people. And then having people come together and work harmoniously to create great outcomes for clients. That I think is it’s not a skill that I was taught. It’s not a skill that, that I’ve heard, many have taught, or have been taught. And so it’s really a process of self education.
Chad Franzen 12:23
What does growth look like for the law office of Parag Amin? And what are some milestones associated with that growth? Like? Did you start out it started out on your own by yourself? And then kind of how is it kind of grown from there?
Parag Amin 12:35
Yeah, so growth has been the number of people when I, when I started, I was doing everything I had to, you know, when I had to mail something, it would take me 1520 minutes, because I’d have to print it, sign it, scan it, put it in the envelope, seal the envelope, put the stamp on, and then take it out to the mailbox, I was depositing my own checks at the bank. So all these little things that that I had to do, then that I don’t really have to do anymore. Because I’ve got people that helped me do those things, one of the more of those menial tasks. So people it has been a big one. Financials has been another big one. The really neat thing is, the more money you make in business, it you know, when you’re when you’re just starting out from like the zero to 100,000, Mark, it feels so difficult. And then you move up from like the, let’s say, the 100,000 to the $500,000. Mark, you know, you think Oh my god, this is this has gotten better. But there’s there’s different stresses now, when you get there, and then you go from the 500,000 to the million dollar mark, and you’re like, Okay, it’s different. They’re different stresses. But you know, at each level, you realize that the really neat thing is, the more you generate in revenue, as long as you’re doing it, well, you’re delivering more value to clients. And it creates a whole nother opportunity for you to be able to have people come in to help you. So a million dollar plus business is going to be easier, many times and running like 100 or $50,000 business. It’s just getting through those different breakpoints. So I would say growth, we’ve grown in every single way. I’ve grown as a leader as well. I’ve taken a lot of workshops and self study, to to improve my skills, everything from from management skills to people skills, to how to actually effectively run a business.
Chad Franzen 14:35
Was it a big leap to hire your first staff member?
Parag Amin 14:41
Absolutely. Yes. It’s scary, right? Because now you’re taking a big chunk of money and you’re giving it to somebody and you’re not sure that you even really need that person. Because I think that many entrepreneurs at least, I was this way. And maybe to a certain extent I still am I still feel like I can do things better. by myself, and if I delegate it, and there’s that process of learning to trust somebody to be able to take care of it for you, because the reality of it is, is that even if you are the best at sending a fax or drafting a simple letter, is that really the highest and best use of your time? Or is it better given to somebody else? And so there’s that process to just feeling comfortable, of delegating things. And in the art of delegation, that’s a whole nother thing. Right. So it’s the whole idea of delegate, but don’t abdicate. Right, still still keep check in still make sure that things are doing being done correctly.
Chad Franzen 15:37
What are some of the things or maybe highlights that you’re most proud of during the history of your law office?
Parag Amin 15:43
Yeah, so, man, there’s quite a few. So everything from trying and getting great verdicts for clients to really kind of learning how to even appear in a courtroom, right, so so the first time I went into court, I hadn’t really had the experience of somebody teaching me how to handle going to court. And so what happened is, I go to the courtroom, and I’m waiting for my case to be called, and I’m near the front, I’m ready to go in. And then I realized that you know, what, I don’t know what I’m gonna do, once I walk through these doors, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. So what I do is like, I just pull out my phone, pretend like I’m checking it, and then shuffled to the back of the line. So I can actually watch everybody in front of me to see what they do and how to handle it. So what they do is, you get to check in with the clerk for cases. And so you hand out a business card, and you’re supposed to give the clerk your business cards, well, I don’t have any business cards. So I get to the front and I, I tell the clerk I’m like, Well, I don’t have my business cards on me, and which is true, but I didn’t know I didn’t have any business cards I was like, and she’s like, just like kind of disappointed. And she gave me like this pad that I that I call like the pad of shame. It’s like you, you just handwrite your information, and you give it back there. So things like that, just figuring out how to how to handle those kinds of things. And now I’ve gone from from that, to like trying a whole case successfully to feeling comfortable in a judge’s chambers. Whether it’s a personal conversation, or because you’re called back there during trial, or whatever to work something out. One of the one of the most profound experiences, I guess, or one of the neatest experiences that I’m really proud of is, we had this case, randomly, for whatever reason, it’s just just kind of how it’s worked out is like my birthday is on Christmas. And so somehow right around December time, I get these random cases where it’s like, usually, it’s an elderly person that something bad has happened to. And it’s usually like a case that like, doesn’t really fit the type of case that we take. But nobody else has taken this kind of case. And so this case that came in was a referral from a friend of mine from law school. And he said that there was an elderly woman, she’s in a wheelchair, and she lives on the third floor of her apartment. There’s one elevator, and that elevator repeatedly breaks down, it repeatedly breaks down. And whenever she calls, they just kind of ignore her, or just tell her Okay, well, we’ll take care of it, but they don’t really. And so what happened at a certain point is the elevator broke down. And it had been broken down for about six days. And she calls the management company and says, you know, I’m I’m running out of food and running out of water. Can you please fix this elevator or possibly, you know, help me like my pharmacy is down the street, can’t use the stairs. And the person on the other line says, it’s not my job to go get you food or medicine, and then hangs up. So that’s the case that comes to me. Now, this isn’t really the kind of case that we take. But it wasn’t even a case that I really thought it would be worth any kind of money. And but that nobody else was going to take this case. So I was like, You know what, I’m going to try to give back like nobody’s helping this woman. I will take this case, I’ll try to help her. So we filed this lawsuit. we litigate against the company. It turns out during discovery that they fought us tooth and nail to prevent us from getting this information. I find out that the part that they needed to replace was about $6,000. And they go on and on about how they don’t have money to make these replacements. So I’m like okay, and then I do some additional work, we issue some subpoenas. Turns out this company had over $30 million in cash and cash reserves that they simply chose not to use for the repairs. So they had it but they just kept the art of the repair budget artificially low just refused To do it despite the problems that would cause the clients. So anyways, we litigate this case, we, we asked the court for leave to a man to ask for punitive damages with which the court grants. And this particular judge was known to have a little bit more of a defense slant, not really plaintiff friendly. But even that judge was like this, this seems pretty egregious to me, counsel, allowed for us to have a punitive damages, which is to punish the Corporation, which can be very difficult to even get added into a lawsuit, let alone by a judge that’s got more of a defense slant. Anyways, fast forward, we were able to settle this case for over a million dollars for the client shortly before trial, and it’s more money than she’s ever had in her lifetime. And this is like, you know, it’s like an older age. So what was really neat was, she was able to take that money. And she gave it to a number of of nonprofits, to support them. And she actually ended up donating most of the money. And I met up with her because it was in downtown Los Angeles. And I was there for a trial call. And she wanted to come meet me. And it was, it was a little bit challenging for her because she is in a wheelchair. So she asked to take special access transportation in my office is in West LA. So it takes her about two and a half hours or so to get here. So I said, You know what, I’ll find the time to come meet with you. And I did. And it worked out perfectly because it was just before, just before my trial, and I had to be there anyways. And she gave me a couple of nice gifts and told me and that’s actually the banner right there is one of the gifts that she gave me. So it’s like, supposed to be like, intended for good luck and that kind of thing. Yeah, she just told me how much it meant to her that I stepped in and helped her. So that really meant the world to me.
Chad Franzen 21:47
Yeah, very cool. That’s a That’s a great story. Thanks so much for sharing that. Hey, I just have a couple more questions for you. You know, you talked about going to USC and then starting your own firm in LA, what were some challenges that might be unique to that rather than, you know, starting? You know, LA is huge, and it’s got a huge number of people. What are some challenges that are unique to that maybe rather than starting in a smaller community?
Parag Amin 22:12
Well, so it’s a great question, I think that you’re up against a lot of competition. So the bigger the community, the more the competition, as opposed to a smaller community where everybody, let’s say, if you’ve got connections, family connections, or something where people already know you, that makes it a little bit easier, because you already have a built in network. Whereas when you’re going in to city like Los Angeles, starting from scratch, you got some of the biggest law firms in the country, located in Los Angeles, it’s a major market. So you’re up against a lot of competition. You have a lot of lawyers here in Los Angeles that you’re competing against as well, including solo lawyers, so and you got lawyers who have been here for decades. So they’ve got that built in network as well. So the question is, how do you get that trust? How do you how do you get that credibility with people, especially just starting out such that they’re going to trust you with their case? So so that that is kind of a unique challenge compared to other cities?
Chad Franzen 23:13
Yeah, I would imagine. Hey, I have one more question for you. But first, how can people find out more about the Law Office of Parag? mean,
Parag Amin 23:20
Yeah, to find out more about my law firm, you can go to my website at www.lawpla.com. Or you can follow me on Instagram @paragaminesq. And we’ve also got a YouTube channel. So if you just type in the law office of Parag Amin, you should be able to find our videos which are free. And we’re we’re creating more of them to help business owners to provide just free advice and free tips that business owners can use to navigate some of the more common issues that come up.
Chad Franzen 24:01
Hey, my last question for you. So you talked about how you kind of did that exercise where you extrapolated your life 10 years down the road and saw your kind of what you thought about your own future? Do you still do that exercise? You’re still, you know, quite young, relatively? Do you still do that? And what are your goals for the future?
Parag Amin 24:19
Yeah, you know, it’s funny, it’s all relative, right? Of a person who’s like in their 30s Feels like Well, I’m getting older, and but the guy who’s 40 is like, I would love to be 30 again. So to answer your question, though, Chad, I do I do self reflection and thinking about where it is that I am and where I want to go, is something that I do pretty frequently. And the reason I do it is because if you don’t really make a decision about where you want to go, then it’s really hard to get there. So a good analogy is like if you went and said, Well, I’m going to build a house. Somebody came to you and said, I’m going to build a house. Chad, you said okay, What’s the house gonna look like? You see? Well, I’m not sure. Oh, okay, I get it. How many rooms? Is it going to have? I’m not sure. Okay, how many bathrooms? I’m not sure I think I’ll figure it out, then you might not have confidence in the person to build that house. Right? But that seems so simple and common sense. Like, how are you going to start building a house? If you don’t know exactly where it is that you want to go? Oh, the reality of it is like, how do you build the life that you want? If you’re not really kind of looking at? How do we do this? Right. And we’re not taught this, unfortunately, at least I wasn’t in the public school system that I went to. So, you know, it’s just it’s a process. But I would, I would encourage everybody to do it. Because it’s been profound. For me. It’s made amazing differences in my life and my family’s life in terms of where I was versus where I am now. Both like, personally, spiritually, financially, huge differences.
Chad Franzen 26:00
Sure. I bet. That’s great advice. Thanks so much. Hey, Parag. It’s been great to talk to you today. Thank you so much for your time and sharing your story. I really appreciate it.
Parag Amin 26:09
Yeah. Likewise, Chad. Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Chad Franzen 26:11
So long, everybody.
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