Your Name: Braden Drake
Business Name: Braden Drake Law
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? Family? Pets? Hobbies? Etc.
I was born and raised in Indiana and went to Indiana University where I graduated with one major in Slavic Language and Literature and another in political science. After deciding to pursue law, I explored my options, and ultimately decided I would be happiest in San Diego (who isn’t?). I went to California Western School of Law where I found a passion for tax and business law. I took and passed the July 2016 bar exam and then went on to complete the University of San Diego Law’s LLM program in taxation.
Aside from being a tax law and small business enthusiast, I enjoy training for and competing in endurance athletic events. I have finished two marathons, three IRONMAN triathlon races, and four IRONMAN 70.3 races. I’m married and have three dogs. I play tennis, basketball, and volleyball and also love to cook.
Tell us about your business. How did you start your business and why? What do you do? Would you go back and do anything differently?
I decided mid-way through law school that I wanted to start my own law firm. I interned in a large law office. It wasn’t for me. After meeting solo attorneys who seemed much more enthusiastic about their day-to-day, I decided I wanted to do whatever I could to have that enthusiasm for my work as well.
My law school has an “incubator” program for new attorneys. Those who get accepted into the program go through a two-week training program on running a solo practice. You then share work space with your fellow participants. Being a part of that program gave me the confidence to go it alone.
If I could go back in time, there are some small changes I would make. However, the one thing I certainly would do differently would be to wait one to two years before going back to get my masters in tax law. It would have been a much more enjoyable experience had I been able to contextualize the material with the client work I have been doing over the past year.
Has it been a smooth road? Have you encountered struggles that you could share?
It has been a bit bumpy. I maintained a part-time job through my first year and a half of solo practice. I’m also very lucky to have a spouse with a full-time job, which has allowed me to slowly build my practice. Entrepreneurship is a high risk/reward scenario. I’m starting to see the rewards and am excited for my business to continue to grow.
What do enjoy the most about what you do? What do you enjoy the least?
Initially, I planned to do estate planning, tax law, business law, and health law. I soon realized I needed to narrow my scope and found that working with new business owners was what I really wanted to do. Starting a new business is always very exciting, so I’m lucky in that most of my clients are excited to work with me and eager to begin their businesses. I love educating clients on business tax and other small business legalities. Regarding what I enjoy least, I am still handling some matters that are outside of my now more niche areas of interest. I don’t mind the work, but I will be happy to really focus in on small business law and tax once I complete those other projects.
What inspires you?
The first inspiration for my business is freedom provided by self-employment. I come from a family of business owners. My father is a self-employed contractor and my sister has her own personal training studio. I have an uncle who owners a flower shop and many uncles who farm. My family inspires me by demonstrating the success that can be had through entrepreneurship. I’m inspired by my clients and also the community of business owners with whom I have grown close as they each radiate enthusiasm through their own businesses. Lastly, I’m inspired by my husband who is a fantastic attorney himself.
What is your farewell piece of advice for someone interested in taking the first steps toward entering into your field?
I have too much advice for one paragraph, so my main suggestion would be to find a mentor willing to meet with you and go into detail on most the advice I’m skipping here. Also, try to find a small group of individuals in a similar position to yourself, so you can share knowledge through the process.
What is your favorite Candy Bar?
Probably the Hershey’s cookies and crème, although, if we’re just talking chocolate bars, I generally prefer the European varieties.
What is your favorite Childhood Memory?
That’s a tough one. I was raised in Midwestern farm country. I grew up near a lot of family. I had some cousins on one end of our rural road and other cousins at the other end. Most of my favorite memories involve playing outside at family functions whether that be in our back yard with a soccer ball, in the driveway with a basketball, or going on hikes on the trails around my grandma’s cabin.
You are a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be?
Something blue or gray.