How I Practice-Laurie Vahey

Laurie VaheyLaurie Vahey
Leclair Korona Vahey Cole LLP

1. What are your areas of practice? I practice in the area of civil litigation, with a focus in insurance coverage and disputes, personal injury and commercial litigation. In sum, I try and help individuals and businesses solve conflicts. 

2. Describe a typical day for you? Often, what I plan for the day is not what happens because of a new or urgent matter. However, most of my days are in the office researching, investigating facts of a dispute, and speaking with clients or claims representatives, drafting legal documents, supervising delegated work, getting cases ready for trial or oral argument of motions. On the best days, I am in court.

3. Where do you practice? Do you have a stand-alone office or home office?  My firm’s office is located in downtown Rochester, New York.  However, my practice can take me across the state.  

4. What is the most rewarding thing about having your own practice? The great thing about having your own practice is the direct contact with clients and seeing your work to completion.  

5. What are some of the challenges about having your own practice? Having your own practice can be challenging, at times, because of the constant need for making decisions, supervising delegated work and need to be constantly accessible. Responsiveness is very important.
6. What are your must-have tech tools/apps?  A large screen, constantly charged and fully functional smart phone is a must. Of course, a fast and reliable computer with internet source is also invaluable. To date, I have not found an app that is a go-to for me.  However, for defending personal injury cases the social media sites are a gold mine!

7. How do you market your practice? How do you find new clients? Marketing is so personal to the individual. You need to do it in a genuine way and I enjoy networking and making friends through all kinds of organizations – legal, non-legal and non-traditional. For example, I am a spin instructor and have made business contacts from that endeavor. I believe that everyone is a potential referral source. The largest focus of my marketing, however, is involvement in bar associations – especially the New York State Bar Association. The NYSBA has been invaluable in developing professional and genuine friendships for me that have brought repeat clients through referrals. 

8. When and where do you interact with other attorneys?  I interact with attorneys everywhere. We are all over. Everywhere you turn, you trip over an attorney.  Specifically, I interact with legal colleagues on community boards and very heavily through bar association events, continuing legal education courses and through the various sections and committees of the bar associations. Joining the New York State Bar Association and being active in a section established my network of attorney friends across the state. 

9. How do you stay informed with legal news/developments?  Staying on top of legal developments is easy with the internet and I read every New York State Bar Journal, TICL Section Journal and State Bar News. There are also great newsletters from various firms, email listserves about recent cases and the New York Law Journal is a tremendous resource.

10. If a fellow attorney decided they wanted to start their own practice, what is the one thing they should know? Starting a law firm has so many layers beyond just practicing law, but if you love what you do – then do it. Do not listen to naysayers. Why not try and fail, then wonder what if?