Meditations on a Life in Law A Decade Behind Us, and a Lifetime Ahead The Mottley Crew Review (804) 823-2011 January 2019 www.MottleyLawFirm.com
As the 10-year anniversary of forming The Mottley Law Firm approaches, I look back at what was, what is, and what’s to come. It’s hard to believe, but 10 years ago today, I was scrambling around trying to figure out the ins and outs of starting my own firm from scratch. I had exactly one client, one case, and one laptop. To the outside observer, things looked grim, but on the inside, I was full of hope. Looking back over the last decade, I think of the clients I’ve helped (many I now call friends), the battles we’ve fought together, and my beautiful supportive family. In all that time, my passions never changed. Today, I am more aware than ever that making it this far was made possible by the support of those around me, some of whom had no reason to help other than their own goodwill. If it’s taught me anything, it’s that a kick in the rear is sometimes a push down the right path. exploring the fields and woods withmy friends. My dad, the principal of the local elementary school, andmy mom, a teacher at the local high school, were always supportive of my dreams. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” As a kid, this natural law of averages worked tomy advantage. My childhood dreams are exciting to recall. I wanted to pull off the impossible: playing for the Yankees in the summer, for the Redskins in the winter, and being a scientist who builds robots. When my physical body didn’t keep up with these dreams, I became more realistic. In high school, I discovered an interest in law and politics. I was elected president of the student body at Virginia Tech, which taught me two things: I will never seek elected political office again in my life and, more importantly, personal relationships can make all the difference. Growing up in Hanover County, being the rural farming area it used to be, I spent my days
That’s when I turned to the law. I left my beloved Virginia Tech to study law at the University of Virginia School of Law. I began my legal career with Mays & Valentine, which was, at the time, the third-largest firm in Virginia. After a brief stint in the real estate department, I started getting involved in large business litigation cases. The partners liked my work, and I eventually worked my way up to defending railroads and other larger corporations against personal injury claims. As a young lawyer, I was getting courtroom experience — something a lot of young lawyers in big firms don’t get today. But I wasn’t just getting any old trial experience, I was going up against some of the best plaintiffs’ lawyers in the state. That experience played a large role in molding me into the trial lawyer I am today. After the firm merged with a larger nationwide firm, I became a partner, thinking that the path ahead was going to stay on the up-and-up. In 2008, the recession hit, and some of the finest lawyers I’d ever known were left on the cutting room floor. As a young partner with no large corporate clients to my name, I saw the writing on the wall. Sure enough, on November 19, 2008, I was called into a conference room and told that I needed to start looking for a new place to practice law.
I always imagined getting this news would be the worst thing in the world. Like, right up there with death. But that’s not how it was. You see, for years, I’d been doing what I did when I was a kid: dreaming of building something on my own. So, after thanking the folks and shaking their hands, I got up, walked to the conference room door, and suddenly realized something. I was smiling. These guys had just done something I hadn’t been able to do for myself. I came home, set my bag down, and gleefully told my wife, Tricia, “Well, honey, I lost my job today!” A beautiful, befuddled frown played over her face. Our three kids, then just 2, 7, and 9 years old, were playing in the other room. We had a mortgage and a car payment that weren’t going anywhere. But I had a crazy plan, and Tricia stood by me as always. On March 1, 2009, the day after my 38th birthday, I left the big firm and started The Mottley Law Firm. The rest is chronicled in the satisfaction of all of the clients who came to us for help. Every minute I spend with my clients now is a minute I spend helping others, of my own volition. I love to see them love their results. I am a man who is full of love for his amazing family, full of zest for life, and full of ambition to help those who need it. These are ambitions worth chasing.
www.MottleyLawFirm.com | 1 -Kevin W. Mottley
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