D. Scott Carruthers is the founder of the Law Office of D. Scott Carruthers, a legal practice based out of Stanton, California known for specializing in commercial law, debt collection law, and bankruptcy law, among several other areas of legal expertise. As the founder of the Stanton-based practice, Scott regularly draws on his over 40 years of experience as a practicing attorney and has developed a reputation among both clients and peers alike as California’s premier debt collection lawyer.
In addition to founding the Law Office of D. Scott Carruthers, Scott is also a founding member of the Debt Buyers Association and a member in good standing with the California Bar, the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys, and the California Collectors Association. Scott has also worked with Orange County’s local judicial system, serving the local courts as a Judge Pro Tem.
Prior to beginning his legal career, Scott worked in the collection industry as a debt collector for the nation’s largest collection agency at the time, GC Services. The experience of working for GC Services while attending law school at Western State University deeply influenced Scott’s decision to focus on debt collection as his principal area of legal expertise, and the first client served by Scott’s credit collection law practice turned out to be GC Services.
In the more than four decades that have passed since founding the Law Office of D. Scott Carruthers, Scott has not only worked on over 6,000 legal collection cases in which he has represented debt buyers, large creditors, and collection agencies, but also has extensive experience in non-collection litigation as well.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
During law school, I worked for GC Services as a debt collector, and my experience in the industry was a large part of the reason I decided to focus on debt collection law with my practice, the Law Office of D. Scott Carruthers.
How do you make money?
We provide clients with a wide range of services relating to commercial, collection, and bankruptcy law. Our clients typical include creditors, collection agencies, and debt buyers, but our legal expertise allows us to work with all manner of clients.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
Thanks to an incredibly lean business plan and a little bit of good fortune, it didn’t take very long at all to become profitable.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
It was over 40 years ago, but I can’t recall any specific feelings of doubt at the beginning. I was well-prepared due to my education at Western State and my prior experience working with GC Services.
How did you get your first customer?
My first client was GC Services, the company I worked for during law school. It certainly helped to have such a longstanding relationship with GC Services, not to mention the fact that I had a very clear understanding of their legal needs at the time and was therefore uniquely qualified to represent the company.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
We do rely on referrals — it’s just the way it is in the legal field — but we also work with an outstanding digital marketing agency to help generate exposure each time we deliver a successful outcome for a client.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
In this profession, ethical quandaries are quite commonplace. Although I can’t provide specific details, the toughest decisions I make typically involve the kind of complicated ethical questions that appear almost impossible to resolve one way or the other.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
There are very few practices that can claim the kind of specific legal experience and expertise offered by my firm, and over the course of my more than 40 years as an attorney, I’ve worked hard to earn my title as the state’s premier debt collection lawyer.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
There have been quite a few memorable moments over the years, but there was something uniquely satisfying about being hired to represent my former employer immediately after earning my law degree and passing the bar.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
We have an outstanding team of professionals working for us at the firm, and I’m most excited about continuing to help further the development of our team members while working together on the future direction and vision of the Law Office of D. Scott Carruthers.
What business books have inspired you?
I’ve been inspired by quite a few business books in recent years, including “Running Lean,” by Ash Maurya, and “The Lean Startup,” by Eric Ries.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
I believe it is important to express gratitude to team members in a variety of ways, and I’ve found that a personal gift is one of the best ways to say “thank you.” The most recent gift I gave was a private yoga and tai chi session with this great instructor who works with students on the beach or up on the cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean in Malibu.