I finally got to read the article in this month’s ABA Journal about lawyers who go out on their own, and the lawyer most prominently featured is none other than one of my best friends, Erik Heels.
Congrats to Erik on the coverage, but more importantly, congrats are due for his success. If you need an IP lawyer, you need to talk to Erik. Period. He’s an author (with yours truly on a couple books), a prolific columnist, and he’s got a great sense of humor to boot.
One of the things that doesn’t explicitly get mentioned in the article is Erik’s discipline; you get a sense of it in reading the article but I think it’s a key to his success. Not only did he write up a business plan, he stuck to it and forced himself to measure his progress against his plan. He included a small group of us in his bi-annual updates, so that he was accountable not only to himself but also to friends who had been part of the genesis of his law practice. The transparency in those e-mails, coupled with his ability to stay focused on his plan (in spite of some pretty remarkable obstacles) took courage and more than a little faith.
Also featured in the article is another friend, Greg Siskind. Both Erik and Greg took paths that at the time seemed non-obvious. And both have succeeded, without sacrificing their families or their happiness.