Tag Archives: Recession

Surviving the downturn – Part 1  (access required)

Kristin Millonzi made a lot of money in her first year of practice, and she is thrilled that things have since turned sour. In late 2007, Millonzi (pictured), fresh out of the Charleston School of Law, and fellow attorney Steve Abrams created Abrams Millonzi Law Firm P.C. in Mount Pleasant. The firm was prospering. “We were working with defense contractors,” she said. “My first year was very lucrative.” Hmmm, starting a firm in late 2007 … just about the time the fearsome beast, known these days as the Great Recession, was stretching and yawning and preparing to pounce on a complacent nation.

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Surviving the downturn – Part 2  (access required)

Frank Williams, a partner in Smith Moore Leatherwood, says that the firm has had "good economic years the last several years. That shows we probably made wise decisions historically in how we managed our practices. We’ll try to continue on with the same sort of strategy in place." He and other South Carolina attorneys share their thoughts on the Great Recession in part 2 of this 3 part series.

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Surviving the downturn – Part 3 (access required)

Karolan Ohanesian says that because of the recession, her firm is paying more attention to its costs. "It could be something as simple as a new printer or copier or better deals on envelopes. That’s kind of my nature. It takes maybe just a little more time to shop for bargains. They (members of the firm) pretty much gave that job to me. It’s satisfying when you get a bargain. You do feel like you’ve kind of beaten the system. " She and other South Carolina attorneys share their thoughts on the Great Recession in the last of this 3 part series.

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Lower-scale and loving it (access required)

With the chill of recession still lingering in the air, South Carolina law firms might not be ready to party quite as hard for the holidays as they did before the economy turned cold. But they're happy to donate to charity, and several large firms are doing so while continuing the 2009 trend of greater frugality when it comes to parties. What's more, they like it that way.

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IOLTA grantees get by despite funding cuts (access required)

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Economic downturn? Sure, it's meant less IOLTA revenue for the S.C. Bar Foundation to distribute to grantees, but it's fueled determination among foundation officials and grantees alike to keep moving with their respective missions. All along, the foundation made a concerted effort to soften the blow, said SCBF Executive Director Shannon Scruggs. "When we first realized what IOLTA revenues were doing, we went to our grantees and we told them, and, obviously, the economy was changing, so it wasn't a complete and total surprise for them," Scruggs said.

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With market still in the tank, real estate lawyers diversify (access required)

For many of South Carolina's real estate attorneys, the most recent housing and foreclosure reports probably won't boost their holiday spirits. Home sales plummeted nearly 26 percent statewide in October compared to a year ago, according to a report by S.C. Realtors. "I've been doing this for 17 years, and this is the worst I've seen this," attorney Trey Harrell (pictured), founding member of the Chapin firm of Harrell and Martin, told Lawyers Weekly in a recent interview. Harrell said that as recently as 2006, about 80 percent of the firm's business was connected to real estate. Now, that percentage has dropped to about 60 percent, he said. "If you're relying solely on real estate, you're asking for some sad times," he said.

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