Greg Fitzgerald, of Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC has spent most of his law career helping clients out of precarious financial situations. Although his early practice was spent focusing on the classic “Big 3,” consisting of personal injury, criminal defense, and debt relief, Greg transformed his business model after running into serious financial problems of his own due to an investment in a pub that turned out be a “huge mistake.”
Specializing in consumer debt protection for consumers and small businesses, Greg has dedicated all his resources into successfully watching Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC grow into California’s premier consumer protection law firm. Currently, the firm offers legal expertise in the following areas:
- Debt settlement
- Collection lawsuit defense
- Judgment settlement
- Collection harassment (FDCPA)
The most successful outcome for a case at Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC is simple: when a client’s total out-of-pocket expenses are less than what they owed when they walked in the door. While many factors can be involved in deciding whether to take on a case, Greg says what is most important to him is that the potential client is truly interested in getting back on track financially.
In evaluating further, Greg must assess how the firm can help the client, whether they can resolve their debt issues without having to file for bankruptcy, how they can be relieved of their financial issues quickly and affordably, and whether they assume at least some level of responsibility for the current situation—although events out of their control may have been the root cause, such as illness, injury, unemployment, or crushing student loan debt.
It is not unusual—for obvious reasons—for an individual who is deeply in debt to worry about paying an attorney for help. In a recent interview with Lawyer Minds, Greg was asked what he tells prospective clients who don’t believe they can afford legal help:
“I will usually save them far more money than I cost (in real measurable amounts),” says Greg.
“Their time is valuable. I explain they have a debt problem which is really an income problem. They need to focus on generating income rather than dealing with creditors which can be very exhausting. They need to get up tomorrow thinking ‘How am I going to make more money’ rather than ‘How am I going to pay these bills?’ That is how you crawl out of debt.”
Greg finds it more gratifying than ever to help people navigate the legal system in a measurable way—and especially when they really need help and appreciate it.
“Saving a family from financial ruin is far more satisfying than getting the drunk off or a fat check for someone barely hurt in an accident.”
As so many law students today graduate or leave other firms to hang out their own shingles, Greg recommends that anyone opening a new practice should be aware of and know their niche, along with developing strong systems and processes in their office. It is critical to hire the right people and understand there will be many challenges ahead.
“Makes sure you’re up for it,” says Greg. “Being a good lawyer is only a small part of a successful law practice.”