Rachel Kugel is an entrepreneur, mother, and lawyer living in New York City. In 2004 Rachel Kugel founded The Kugel Law Firm which is a multi-state law practice serving clients in DWI and Criminal Defense with the best in customer service, experience, and cutting-edge strategies.
Rachel’s path to The Kugel Law Firm involved lots of jobs including everything from bartending, criminal defense investigation, legal assistant, and mediation in order to get through school and to her dream of owning her own business.
Now Rachel owns and operates the Law Firm, which serves all of New Jersey and most of New York, and she lives with her husband and two kids in New York City.
When she’s not defending clients or appearing as a legal analyst for some of the countries most respected news networks, Rachel loves to spend time with her little girls, travel, and volunteer in her NYC neighborhood.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I have always wanted to own my own business and I really saw law school as a path to that. I loved that I could get an advanced degree that would allow me to hang a shingle and give me a means to open a business that would provide a service to my community. I loved the idea of criminal defense and being involved in the human drama of it all, I love that I get to work with people and help see them through some of the most difficult times in their lives.
Along the way, I had the opportunity to work in the private sector for law firms and I was able to see some places where I felt my business ideas could make improvements on the delivery of legal services and so when The Kugel Law Firm was founded I incorporated these ideas and I believe as a result we are able to simply deliver a better experience for our clients.
We are able to utilize technology to provide the best in customer service and really be there for our clients and that makes me feel great to know that we can convey how much as a team we actually truly care about our clients and their situations.
How do you make money?
We get paid a fee to deliver legal services. The focus of my practice has been on providing defense to those charged with DWI in New York and New Jersey.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
We were lucky to be profitable in the first year by keeping overhead very low.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Of course! Part of being an entrepreneur is taking risks and since you always have to generate new business each and every month I think it’s only natural to always wonder if you’ll “make it”. The way I handle it is by managing and calculating that risk and keeping overhead costs low which helps both my clients and me. I also focus on delivering the best possible service because I truly believe if you focus on serving the money will flow from that.
How did you get your first customer?
When I first started I developed a relationship with another law firm and handled some of their overflow and per diem work in order to ensure a steady income. I was lucky to be able to wean off of that pretty quickly as my practice grew.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
I utilize the web for marketing a lot as I find many of my ideal clients will go there for research when they are faced with a legal problem. Rather than focus on pumping myself up I try to focus on providing answers to their questions. By providing education I establish myself as the expert in their problem and begin to develop a relationship with the client rather than just putting up a “brochure” to see my services.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Probably where to spend marketing dollars and where to cut.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Determination and desire to serve as well as a strong success mindset.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My best days are always my “not guilty” verdicts after trial.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I am excited to expand to offer more ways to serve clients and to bring in additional team members to keep costs down without sacrificing personal attention and strategy. I want to be able to simply help more people than I can help alone.
What business books have inspired you?
I love Wayne Dyer and Tony Robbins.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
I bought some new but old-fashioned computers because my MAC could not handle playing the State Police videos I am often provided with so I had to go old school.