The Ernst Law Firm — A law practice dedicated to serving the small and mid-sized businesses of Ohio
Why do I practice law? It’s simple — to help people. It’s the whole reason I became a lawyer in the first place.
When I realized that my dream of playing lead trombone for Count Basie and his Orchestra was never going to be anything more than a dream, I had to have a fall back position.
So rather than entertaining people, I decided I would help them.
And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since…
I graduated from University School on the east side of Cleveland and then went to college at Tufts University, just outside of Boston. I graduated in just three years … and with a double major in International Relations and History. I returned home to Cleveland and enrolled in the School of Law at Case Western Reserve University where I had received a merit scholarship. It was special to me because I was following in the footsteps of my mother who graduated from (then) Western Reserve University in the late 1950s. I graduated from CWRU Law, took the bar exam and settled down to make Cleveland my home for life.
In my career, I feel that I’ve done it all. Judicial Law Clerk, Partner in a small law firm, partner in a couple Big Law firms, and now solo practitioner. I’ve worked with clients as small as sole proprietorships and as large as Fortune 100 companies on corporate matters. I’ve been lead counsel on lawsuits for as little as $5 to as much as $160 million. I was trial counsel for the only public official in Ohio to be acquitted at trial of all corruption charges in the Justice Department's Cuyahoga County public corruption investigation. I served as Special Master overseeing the $420 million settlement of the Ohio BWC class action litigation.
I’ve done a lot …
But the work I’ve enjoyed the most? Working with businesses owners, helping them in their day in, day out affairs. Addressing their legal issues, strategizing with them for future growth and helping them be both the best business they can be — to both their customers and their employees — is what helps to feed the soul.
Simply put? Because law firms — particularly Big Law firms — are no longer geared to help small to mid-sized businesses. Anymore, Big Law firms are primarily concerned with billable hours, revenue generation, realization rates and the like. Like a wildfire that consumes anything in its path, Big Law firms suck and bleed small and mid-sized businesses dry.
Being in a solo practice allows me to work with — and help —my clients without the burdens of Big Law … and that benefits you, the client.