Q&A with Scott Yeager
1. Tell us about yourself. Where are you from, how long have you been practicing law, where did you study, what’s your background etc.
I am originally from Birmingham, Alabama. I received my undergraduate degree from The University of Alabama graduating with a degree in Commerce and Business Administration. I began my career as a financial analyst with a small consulting firm in Birmingham. In just a couple of years, I found that I needed more than just numbers. I wanted to know the business and the people behind the numbers. I discovered that I had a real interest in the legal field, and began exploring a career change. I went back to school and obtained a degree in paralegal studies from Samford University. I thought this would be a good test as to my desire to pursue law as a career before jumping right into law school. The director of the program at that time found that I had an aptitude necessary for success and she recommended me to a mid-sized law firm looking for a corporate paralegal. That led to a position as a paralegal and over the years I was fortunate to work for a few well-respected firms in Birmingham such as Rives & Peterson, P.C., Christian & Small, LLP, and Sirote & Permutt, P.C. I gained a great deal of experience in corporate law, real estate, estate planning, bankruptcy and collections. However, what I learned most was the foundation of success from attorneys with decades of successful representation of their clients. I learned that the quality of legal services provided is not just in the research of case law and well-drafted pleadings, but it is in the relationship developed with your client and the feeling of being a part of a team; a family. That is what we are building here at The Yeager Law Firm. It was during this time, I worked full time and attended law school in the evening at The Birmingham School of Law.
After receiving my juris doctorate, I began looking for opportunities to utilize my business background with my legal background. I obtained a Series 7 and 63 license and Insurance license and pursued a career in the wealth management field.
After a few years I was presented with a great opportunity to work in the legal department of a start- up medical software imaging company where I would oversee all contractual obligations of the company. My time there was invaluable as I learned so much about negotiating large contracts with medical facilities across the country, and some international. I was afforded the opportunity to assist the marketing department, the sales team, the finance department regarding Sarbanes-Oxley Regulation as well as the Board of Directors regarding legal issues of the corporation. The company was very successful, so successful that we were eventually bought out, and as usual, the legal department is the first to go.
With that, I decided to see what was next for me and my family. I sent out one resume to a local company here in Mobile for a contracts administrator position, and with that, we moved to Fairhope to start our new life. I learned a great deal in six years working with government contracts, supplier contracts, service contracts, and defense federal regulations. I have always wanted to keep growing and keep learning with each step along the path that is before me.
The next step was The Yeager Law Firm and I have never been happier in life or work.
2. Can you tell us a brief history of the firm?
I reached a point in my career where I just stopped and looked around at my past experiences, my family, the things that I have learned, the things that I enjoyed, as well as a few things that I wanted to change about my life, and I thought about how I had been pondering the idea of starting my own firm. My wife and I had long talks about what it would look like to work together and take on the challenges of starting a new business and have the opportunity to do things that could help other individuals and businesses along the way.
So, in 2015 we formed our firm and have been amazed by the favor God has given us.
Our desire is to take our experiences to help others in a personal manner with quality work and in-depth analysis of the situation. We do this for all of our clients whether it is a corporation or an individual. We practice what I learned years ago, the quality of legal services provided is not just in the research of case law and well-drafted pleadings, but it is in the relationship developed with your client and the feeling of being a part of a team; a family.
After moving to Fairhope, we immediately became involved in the community. I have always coached my children’s sports teams, been an active member in church and service organizations. I am humbled and honored when someone comes to us as a client because we have had an opportunity to get to know each other through a team or school or church. It is for this reason that we have a commitment and dedication to not only handling the legal issues and matters of area residents, but also their quality of life concerns.
3. What kind of law do you practice / services offered?
We are a general practice, and we provide quality legal representation in multiple areas of law.
We focus primarily on civil litigation, corporate, estate planning, probate, real estate, criminal defense, family law, and government contracting and procurement assistance. We have been blessed to be in a position to be selective about our representation. We do this so that we can provide quality representation with a one-on-one family approach. We want our clients to know their matter is important to us, and they are not just a call from a toll-free number to the switchboard of a character on television or a billboard.
4. What areas of the law are you seeing more and more people needing advice / representation on in this area?
One trend we are seeing here at our firm is with regard to property disputes, builder/developer disputes and intertwined is the liability of municipalities and governmental organizations. This is a bigger issue in Baldwin County at this time because of the rapid growth the county is experiencing. The county is flush with low lying areas and when you move dirt around for construction and development you redirect the natural flow and topography, which can create problems for neighboring homes, businesses, municipalities, etc. Add in the amount of rain we receive and you have a number of different issues which can arise.
We have also noticed a growing need for small business assistance. We love to meet with small businesses and help with structuring and organizing their dream into reality. Our communities are extremely supportive of local businesses, but that can sometimes become misleading to entrepreneurs as they do not do the “little things” to protect their business. Many believe that we can still operate a business with “handshake agreements” and that is simply not true anymore. Just because we are in a small-town community doesn’t mean we have to run our business in a small-town way. Our goal is to protect the business and stay with our clients through the journey so they can do what they do best.
A growing need in this area is developing within the senior community. We have many senior adults who moved to this area to retire, lost their spouse and have no family to care for them in their latter stages of life. Couple this with a growing number of dementia diagnoses and the community as a whole, the healthcare facilities and probate courts have a growing concern that we need to get ahead of quickly.
5. Who would be your typical client, or is there such a thing?
We really don’t have a typical client, and I really like it that way. We have been blessed to have clients across the State of Alabama, Florida, New York, California, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, Nebraska, and many more. We love the varying dynamic each client brings. We started this firm with a desire to help people. We strive to take the approach that we are servants to this community. We have clients of all walks of life with different backgrounds, economic situations, and life styles. We enjoy being a part of a person’s life and their future; being a part of a company through its growth or transition phase; and changing the lives of people by walking with them through some of the toughest times of their lives.
6. When someone comes to you looking for legal counsel, what happens next?
We usually receive a phone call or often times we are approached by a person when we are out and about in the community. We are truly blessed with repeat clients and referrals. We love this because it supports our mission to provide large firm quality legal services with a small (family) firm approach.
We offer a thirty minute free consultation so we have an opportunity to hear their story, and gather information through document review and questions. Mostly, we want to make sure we are a good fit for our client and to determine if they truly require the assistance of an attorney. We believe this is a noble profession and we want to honor that belief by serving our client. This sometimes requires delivering tough news about the merits of a case, but we believe that is a part of the calling of this profession. We want to provide honest, transparent legal services and not “fast food” legal services where the goal is to pass-through or churn as many clients as possible.
We provide a client portal for each client. With this service our clients can communicate with us, view correspondence between our firm and others, pleadings, documents, email, and any other information pertaining to their matter. This is a secure encrypted portal which provides a higher level of protection than, say email. This service provides transparency between our firm and our client which we hope, in turn, builds trust and a lasting attorney-client relationship.
As you can imagine the family law matters are the toughest area of representation. In any family law matter emotions are high and there is a rollercoaster experience playing out in our client’s life. We strive to be a calm in the storm and to assist in minimizing the peaks and valleys of the rollercoaster. In all of our family law matters we cannot insert our emotion into the matter and we have to remain as much of a calming influence as we possibly can. That is not to say we do not fight for our clients, it is just the opposite. We go to battle every day for our clients. However, we want our clients to walk away from the situation with dignity and a future intact; not with dust and ashes and a larger mess than when the matter first began.