Unless your father or mother is one, my guess is that there aren’t any children who say, “When I grow up, I want to be a debt collection attorney!” Even law school graduates probably don’t envision themselves practicing in a law firm that specializes in debt collection.
Lee C. Rogers attended North Carolina Central University Law School and is Managing Partner at Sessoms & Rogers, P.A. He has been working in the debt collection industry for more than 25 years. Ninety-nine percent of his law practice is dedicated to debt collection. Lee told us, “I don’t think anyone sets out to be a debt collector or a collection attorney. It seems like it could be a very dry practice, but I have found that every day brings something new and interesting and real opportunities for learning and development. It is an area of law where you are providing a tangible, measurable service to your clients, helping them to achieve the goal of increasing their collections and remaining compliant with the law. I have the ability to assure that consumers are treated fairly and with dignity.”
I am not an attorney, but I have worked for companies that provide services to the debt collection industry for 26 years, six of them with The National List of Attorneys. When my son, a graduate of William & Mary Law School, was offered a position in a law firm specializing in debt collection, I was able to “sing the praises” of the industry and give him some direct quotes from NL attorneys on what they like about their jobs. Here are just a few of the quotes I have on file.
What I Like About My Job
“I enjoy negotiating with opposing counsel and the challenge of getting the best outcome for my clients. Interestingly enough, debt collection has taught me to be more compassionate towards people, and that there truly are people out there that have experienced unforeseen, devastating events that resulted in them being in overwhelming debt. I’ve learned to treat every interaction with a debtor or his or her counsel with no preconceived notions. Every case is unique and as such, must be handled in a unique way.” Morgan Doughty, J.D. U of AK, with Hood & Stacy, P.A.
“Over the years, I have found that, for the most part, debtors truly want to pay the money they owe. I enjoy finding unique ways to locate and collect money for my clients from debtors who refuse to work with the creditors amicably. Whether it’s negotiating with a debtor prior to suit, litigating a collection case, or aggressively pursuing the collection of judgments, I take pride in achieving and exceeding our clients’ goals and expectations.” Mark Moore, J.D. GA State Law School, with Lazega & Johanson, LLC
“Occasionally, I have gone to local stores where the cashiers, after learning my name, have told me that they had owed money on an account that my law firm was handling, and that they were satisfied with how the situation was resolved. I tell this story to my law firm team to emphasize that we must always treat the debtors in a civil and professional manner, and we must ensure that any resolution of their accounts is done on a ‘win-win’ basis.” Marvin Dang, J.D. George Washington University Law School, with Law Offices of Marvin Dang
“The fast pace of the litigation and the people with whom I work are what I enjoy most about my job.” Michael Starzec, J.D. DePaul, with Blitt & Gaines, P.C.
“[I have] been working in the debt collection industry for 35 years. My work has taught me the value of personal integrity, honesty and accountability in our society. I love the pace and energy generated from the practice.” James Lloyd, J.D. Brandeis School of Law, with Lloyd & McDaniel, P.L.C.
“Everyone from the witches of Salem to representatives in government are owed money and owe money. I am most energized and happy when I am in the middle of negotiations on a matter.” Jeremy Cohen, J. D. Clark U. & Suffolk Law School, with Schreiber/Cohen, LLC
“After 32 years of working in the debt collection industry, I have learned that most people are honest and sincerely want to repay their debts. Given the wide variety of creditors we represent, I am always learning something new about how businesses operate in this country.” David Dubord, J.D. U. of Maine School of Law, with Gosselin & Dubord
“Many debtors live up to your expectations of them. If you see them as wanting to repay and wanting to be honest and they see that, there is a higher likelihood of settlement. Resolving conflict is the thing I enjoy most about my job. Ronald Reynolds, J.D. Gonzaga, with Reynolds & Associates
“Years ago, the best part of the job was going to Court. Lately, my partners cover that part, and I try to stay in the office and troubleshoot the processes that keep things going. Regardless of whether I am working on the office computers and processes or trying to resolve a difficult case, problem solving is what I like most about my job. Jay Niederman, J.D. Rutgers, with Niederman, Stanzel & Lindsey
Other NL firm members have said they enjoy:
- having the pleasure to work in a truly innovative and vibrant environment where creativity is rewarded, and where teamwork amongst all is encouraged.
- having a job where I can honestly state that I have a true passion and zeal for what I do.
- the variety: dealing with clients, office and litigation procedures and strategies, account resolution.
- working to help people satisfy their obligations with my clients.
My Son the Debt Collection Attorney
In addition to the testimonials I sent him, my son was drawn to the debt collection industry because most attorneys in a debt collection law firm work set hours on a salaried basis (vs. billable hours.) This gives him more time to spend with his family and more flexibility in when he can take time off. He agrees with Lee Rogers that probably no attorney would say working for a firm specializing in debt collection would be their first choice, but now I can add him to my list of attorneys happy to be doing just that!