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The first time I met a lawyer, I was 8 years old. My uncle took me to meet his lawyer because he needed a translator to discuss his immigration situation. I remember how stressful that meeting was for my uncle. The lawyer wouldn’t give him any information and wanted $2500 in cash that day. My uncle left that office feeling more worried than when he’d walked in. Later on, he told my mom he wasn’t sure if he should have given that lawyer anything.
Fortunately, it all worked out okay, but the way my uncle looked talking to that lawyer stuck with me. He felt powerless and scared, and this guy who was supposed to help him just made him feel worse. I didn’t decide to become a better lawyer at that moment; I went to law school because I couldn’t afford to start my own business. But I never forgot how a lawyer could make someone feel if they didn’t do a good job
I come from a very poor background and grew up watching my parents work 50 or 60-hour weeks. They worked hard to support our family, but it was barely enough. Whenever their overtime was taken away, it put the family in crisis. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in that situation, and I learned from a young age that if I wanted to support myself, being self-employed was the best path.
As you might know, starting a business costs money, which proved to be a challenge. My
parents couldn’t give me anything, and the banks refused to loan me anything. I could only get student loans, so I decided I might as well go to college. It was at Texas A&M where I met a lawyer who I was able to talk to about my situation.
“You could become a lawyer and run your own practice,” he suggested. “I know a lot of successful lawyers who came from nothing and didn’t get the highest grades in high school. You just need to work hard and be a good lawyer.”
If being a good lawyer meant being better than that guy my uncle hired, I could do it in my sleep. For years, I’d known about the
importance of good customer service. In high school, I worked for a local auto parts store.
When some bigger chains started to move into the area, offering customers much lower prices than we could afford, I asked my boss if he was worried. He told me no because, as he put it, “If you take care of customers well, and you give good customer service every time, then you never have to worry.” He couldn’t beat the low prices, but he always had a better standing in the community because he helped everybody.
After college, I went to the John Marshall School of Law and, as soon as I graduated, I opened my own practice. Right away, I realized that being a lawyer was going to be so much better than working in any other field. It’s gratifying to be there when people need help. In 19 years of running my practice, our motto has always been to provide good, honest customer service.
If our clients have questions, we’re honest with them; we don’t leave them hanging. We make sure everyone gets paid, both our clients and the doctors who treat them. Our honesty has built a great deal of trust with my clients. It feels good to know that when someone comes in, they trust that we’re going to take care of them. I have a responsibility to help people when they feel powerless. I intend to live up
to that responsibility and change their lives for the better every day.
–Ramiro Rodriguez, Jr
El Abogado Ramiro (El Abogado Amigo) y su equipo hablan español