Mital Patel, 39, founder, TriAmicus Law, PLLC
While juggling her own law firm and two kids, Mital Patel entrenched himself in the business world.
Using her skills, she’s grown her law firm over the past three years, working with nonprofit organizations and small businesses alike.
She hopes to continue working to improve the community around her with the work she does, while also working towards meeting people’s legal needs.
When you reflect on your career so far, which achievement stands out the most?
In early 2020 after 12 years as a partner at a general practice firm, I founded TriAmicus Law, PLLC. I knew my vision for this new law firm was different from a traditional law practice and the unique business model would be uncharted territory. I simultaneously decided to purchase a building and renovate it to provide the office space needed for the firm. Finding the balance between reaching these professional goals and keeping up with young children during the pandemic was challenging. However, after watching all the pieces come together and the consequent growth, this achievement stands out the most.
What is the greatest professional obstacle you’ve had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
Balancing empathy for clients while maintaining objectivity for their legal issues is necessary to being an effective and trusted attorney. Often the negotiations, hard discussions and assessments of the pros and cons to a case are the most difficult when sensitive issues affect a client’s family or livelihood. Nonetheless, both empathy and objectivity are necessary. Overcoming this obstacle required years of implementing best practices, sound policies and sometimes a “tough love” approach.
What will you focus on in 2023?
Growth through empowering others and making positive contributions is what I look forward to in 2023. This has come to fruition with TriAmicus Law, PLLC, through work with various nonprofits and now as co-owner and counsel for SLB The Agency. The beginning of 2023 will mark three years since the firm was founded and pouring into the community and others is by far the best business decision. This decision has led to being surrounded with an intrinsic team of people to contribute to the mission, vision and set values.
What is your biggest professional dream?
It is estimated that about 70% of legal needs are unmet, often related to accessibility, cost and lack of resources when it comes to the law. More automation and educational materials will be critical in making a dent to that percentage. My biggest professional dream would be to create and contribute to the automation of simple legal tasks and provide educational tools to help the public be better equipped to manage and understand their legal concerns.
What mistakes did you learn the most from?
The belief that I alone control my success was my mistake. To learn from my mistake, I had to evaluate and modify where I spent my time, with whom I spent it and what I spent it on. My life changed once I began accepting my most authentic self. This in turn led to paying attention to what I wanted out of my life, what I wanted for my children and the goals I wanted to accomplish. I reminded myself that although I have a lot of control over my journey, my environment and those in it significantly affect it.
What motivates you?
My children, Deven and Milana. They are my reminder that the small decisions lead to big outcomes.
What is the most overrated piece of business advice you’ve heard?
“Never teach anyone how to do everything you do.” This advice stems from the fear that you do so will make you obsolete or you will be training for your future competition. The power to overcome that mindset is by embracing your own values and authenticity so that others may benefit from your knowledge, skills and experience. Having a team of intelligent individuals who are armed with your mentorship can only be beneficial for the growth of your business and its efficiency.
What trait do you most want in a co-worker?
Strong work ethic because it includes having qualities like diligence, commitment and passion.
What about Knoxville would you like to improve?
As a business attorney and a small business owner myself, I know that the strength of our community can only benefit from a collaborative effort between the businesses and the people in order to create a mutually beneficial relationship. The power, influence and financial resources businesses have can create a significant impact on needs within our community. Educating more business owners on this pillar and how to get involved is a key point on how to garner more success for their own business. Improving the efforts and resources to bridge the gap between the organizations in our community and business owners can only strengthen and improve Knoxville as a whole.
What don’t people know about you?
I went from meticulously planning every detail since early childhood to finally embracing life’s uncertainties in my mid-30s. I was that overly eager child ready to grow up quickly, over-planning every detail and over-thinking every decision. The twists and turns in this journey called life were humbling and in my mid-30s, I finally mastered the art of living for the present and embracing spontaneity.
Family: Son Deven Patel, daughter Milana Patel, father Devendra Patel and mother Bhanu Patel
Years at current company: 3
Degrees and certifications: Bachelor of arts, University of Mississippi; Juris Doctor, University of Mississippi; School of Law licensed to practice law in Tennessee and Mississippi; licensed sports agent
Community involvement: Scarecrow Foundation, Inc. dba XHunger, board member; KYS/WBBL, assistant basketball coach and sponsor; Knox County Schools PTA, advisory board; ACS Women’s Coalition Against Cancer, member; HCC IndiaFest 2019, committee members
This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Knox News 40 Under 40 award: Mital Patel, TriAmicus Law, PLLC