I walked away from traditional law to embark on a decade plus career in banking (Anti-Money Laundering Compliance) with the hope of moving closer to doing meaningful work. Even though I worked in large global financial institutions, at least there I worked on the side of protecting the savings of the middle class and safeguarding our financial systems from being utilized by criminals.
Nonetheless, there was still a small voice that said there was more for me to do. I could never feel fulfilled getting paid for the hours I spent in front of computer. I knew I wanted to be out in the world, bringing value directly to people. I knew the real reason I went to law school was to serve others and in my free time I did just that. More and more people in my circle were pursuing side hustles, or starting businesses after long stretches of unemployment
(especially in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse), or finally making the decision to go after their creative dreams. They would reach out to me for help, sometimes much later than they should. I loved all of it, especially helping owners start off on the right foot. In part, I secretly wanted to be an entrepreneur just like the brave people I helped, but more importantly, I finally felt of service.
However, the idea of returning to hourly billing, spending more time on matters involving large institutional clients because that’s where the money is, and crafting complex documents in lawyerly language that only other lawyers understand, did not sound appealing.
I knew I could not follow the traditional law firm mold, because what I loved about the work was being a trusted advisor to everyday people.
I wanted to serve real people and support them in bringing their dreams to reality.
I wanted to make the process accessible, uncomplicated, and affordable.
And I wanted to do all of that with no hourly billing!
Melanie Cunningham Law Office P.C was launched as an alternative to the traditional law firm to serve entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Melanie Cunningham, Esq
University of Maryland, College Park – B.S. in Finance: 2000
Emory University School of Law – J.D.: 2003
New York State: 2004
So, with that out of the way, and before we get started talking specifically about your situation, take a look at how we work and what makes this online based firm different.