A friend asked me today if I miss being at my former firm. I thought about it for a minute. There are some things I miss:
- being busy all the time (or at least a lot of the time)
- someone else shouldering responsibility for my work
- someone else being responsible for bringing in new work
- having a steady paycheck
However, I know that these are things I miss now. I know business will come in the door in waves, and I won’t always be busy (or always slow). I know I can build a network of people I trust to respond honestly to my work product or my questions, which is something I’m already building. I know I’m getting better all the time at bringing in new business. And I know that the paycheck will come, and it will vary, but it will hopefully pay off in the end.
In short, I miss having a safety net. But the freedom that comes with being my own boss is amazing. And that’s something I would miss tremendously at a firm.
I’m sure at least some of you are wondering why I chose the name “Vesta Legal” for my firm. First, a lot of lawyers use their names as their firm names, something which I believe is rooted in ethical rules. The rules have changed though, and a law firm can choose different names. I thought my name was too complex and hard to remember to be effective as a branding technique. And it would just be clumsy: “The Law Offices of Rachel Kibler-Melby” – ugh. I like my name generally, but as a brand, it’s not so great. So the next step was finding a phrase or name that I liked. I have always had an interest in mythology, so I thought that would be a good place to start. I searched for gods or goddesses with connections to wills, and I had a hard time finding anything. Then I thought having the goddess of the home would be a good bridge to estate planning, my primary area of practice. I’m more familiar with Greek mythology, so I first tossed around “Hestia,” protector of the hearth. But I didn’t like the sound of it. I went to Roman mythology, where “Vesta” is the goddess of hearth and home. I liked the sound of her name, and to my delight, I discovered that the Romans actually deposited their wills with the priestesses of Vesta, the Vestal Virgins. It seemed perfect. I searched the name and “law,” and a Swiss law firm came up, so “Vesta Law” was out. There also appears to be a town in West Virginia called “Vesta,” though strangely, no one had used it in their law firm name. So then it was just a matter of figuring out what I liked, and “Vesta Legal” won out among the various “law firm,” “law office,” “legal services,” and other variations.
If you’re thinking about a name for a law firm, I would encourage you to not use your own name. Having a brand name is frequently easier to remember, and a bonus is that it allows room for growth. If I take on a partner or hire an associate or whatever, I don’t have to worry about changing the name. It also gives no indication as to the size of my firm (thus breaking no ethical rules by stating it is bigger than it is), which can sometimes give more credibility.
So that’s how I came to name my firm what I did. I’m happy with it – I think it sounds elegant, and I like the background of it.