Position: Attorney and owner
Company: Ogwyn Law Firm
What they do: Provide legal counsel, primarily in matters involving business litigation, real estate, oil/gas agreements or disputes, and estate planning
Revenue: More than $500,000
Next Goal: Do his best every day
The "aha" moment
While attending business school at LSU, David Ogwyn took a business law class and decided what he wanted to do professionally. “There's some truth to the joke that there are too many attorneys in this world,” Ogwyn said. “Unfortunately, in today's society, everyone is going to need an attorney at one time or another.” When he graduated with his law degree from LSU in 2001, Ogwyn had already served as a legal clerk at small, medium and large firms and found he really enjoyed the small-firm work. “As a young attorney I realized early on who I worked for and where I worked would affect my entire professional life,” Ogwyn says. After he worked at a small oil and gas fund, he joined Ellison & Ellison, a smaller firm where he was mentored by David M. Ellison Jr., the senior partner. Ogwyn made partner himself after only three years at the firm, with plenty of oil and gas work. He enjoyed his time there but envisioned getting out on his own. In 2009, he couldn't put it off any longer. “I remember the day I said, 'This is going to be the hardest conversation I've ever had, but I've got to do it,' ” Ogwyn says.
Research and development
At Ellison & Ellison, Ogwyn built a client base and learned what it took to win in the courtroom. He wasn't quite as prepared for the administrative elements of opening his own practice. “When I worked at the firm, I could just show up and practice law,” Ogwyn says. “I didn't have to worry about payroll and finances.” He says he probably underestimated the learning curve, but that by overcoming obstacles in his business he is better able to understand his clients who run a business.
Hitting the market
Ogwyn's irrepressible enthusiasm and legal successes have enabled his firm to succeed, but he points to the value of networking as well. He says he gets together with other entrepreneurs for breakfast or lunch a couple times a month to trade advice and offer support. “As a business owner, when you're in the thick of it, it's very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and lose perspective.”
“Skills are essentially cheap and interchangeable; it's passion that matters.”
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