Andrew Hays: Don’t call me Mr. Hays.
Loredana Lohan: Okay, yes sir.
A: Don’t call me sir either!
L: Good morning everyone and welcome back to another episode of Coffee&Chat! I’m your host Loredana Lohan and today is a very special episode because I have my boss Andrew Hays. Say hello and good morning to everyone.
A: Hello and good morning everyone.
L: Perfect. So I thought it would be great to just give a little bit of an introduction into Mr. Andrew Hays and about his life here at Hays Firm. So my first question for you is what kind of law do you practice?
A: We are a small firm. We focus on estate and trust administration and litigation.
L: How exactly did you get into that practice of law?
A: When I first started out I was working for a firm, and I did, we had some cases like this, some litigation cases in this area dealing with estates and trusts and I really enjoyed the financial aspects of it and realizing that these estates are kind of like small businesses. So I just have always been intrigued by all of the issues could present themselves in an estate.
L: Yeah, that’s really interesting. I know that after you graduated from Kent Law School here in Chicago, you spent about two years working before branching off on your own. My question to you is how did you make the decision to branch off on your own and begin your own law firm?
A: Um, well, I was, as you said, I was working at a law firm for a couple years. Didn’t really know how to be an attorney. That’s not really something they teach you in law school contrary to popular belief. They teach you how to research, hopefully how to write, how to think like an attorney, but the actual practicing of law where you have a client and go into court you kind of learn that on the job. So, I was learning that largely on my own and I just kind of had an epiphany one day that I wasn’t happy where I was and I can do this myself. I figured if I fail, it still would have been a valuable experience so I just went for it. And that was 2008, so it’s a long time, long time ago. And shortly after I opened the business world wide economic collapse happened so that was nice. But we survived.
L: You persevered.
L: You know and that’s actually a great lesson and mindset for me to carry over into my future when hopefully I will be pursuing my passion as well. So what is it about Hays Firm specifically that makes you different than any other estates planning firm?
A: I think a differentiator for our practice is that we do focus so much on litigation. So, everything, all the advice that we give our clients is informed by our experience in the litigation space. So, that can either help our client set themselves up for a stronger position if things go to litigation or most often it is to avoid litigation. So it’s that litigation experience that influences everything we do and that is a differentiator because a lot of firms that are in this area don’t really deal with the litigation side. They handle kind of the more of the routine estates.
L: Okay, interesting. So it almost seems like Hays Firm has more of a sense of preparedness for any challenge that could occur in this area.
A: That’s right, yeah you could say that because we’re always thinking about the worst case scenario. That’s what we’re paid to do. Another thing that makes us stand out from some of the other firms are that we’re a family owned business. So, that informs our culture because most all of our clients are families in family situations in an estate contest.
L: So my very last question to wrap up this segment is what is your favorite part about your job?
A: The most interesting part about my job and therefore my favorite part of the job is just the problem solving that we do day to day. So, clients bring us a situation that is a major event in their life. They are supremely confused, often frustrated, sometimes scared of what will happen and we first are able to calm them down and then go through everything, and they bring us all the facts, all the documents, all the stories of all the crazy happenings amongst the family or whatever the situation is, and then we sort it out and bring them to a resolution and make them feel calm and they can move on with their life.
L: Great! Well that’s the end of our interview thank you so much Andrew Hays for coming on the show today and stay tuned for our next episode.