We are very excited to be featuring our friends Suzanne Henrickson and Kelly Moore of Henrickson Law Group this month! Suzanne is an experienced attorney specializing in Family Law, Divorce, Custody, as well as Wills and Estate Planning. After almost 20 years practicing law in Georgia, Suzanne set out on her own to build a practice serving Cobb and Paulding.
Q: What is the name of your business and when did you get started?
Henrickson Law Group, LLC is the name of the business and I have been practicing law for 20 years, 17 of which have been in Georgia. My entire career has been litigation focused. For the first ten years, I was a prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Services and then a staff attorney for the Honorable Jerry W. Baxter (now retired) of the Fulton County Superior Court bench, managing his civil litigation docket. Working for Judge Baxter was a fantastic experience. I learned the Georgia Civil Practice Act (essentially the civil litigation Bible for the state of Georgia) while being exposed to a wide range of civil and criminal proceedings, including a products liability action filed on behalf of a paraplegic child against Ford Motor Company due to a defect in Ford’s rear seat safety latch and a death penalty murder trial. For the last 10 years, I have focused on family law matters including uncontested divorces, contested divorces, legitimation/paternity actions, step-parent and relative adoptions, name changes, contempt actions, and modification cases. I also enjoy consulting with clients in need of estate planning documents, including their Last Will & Testament, Healthcare Power of Attorney with or without an Advance Directive, Financial Power of Attorney, and sometimes the modification of their real property deeds to further their estate planning needs. I also assist clients to probate the estate of a departed loved one. Occasionally, I will represent clients in their civil litigation matters, but prefer the personal involvement and strategy required in their family and estate law matters.
Q: Tell us about your business. What products and/or services do you offer?
Henrickson Law Group, LLC is a specialty law firm dedicated to helping those in need of any litigation or non-litigation service related to family law or estate law (not elder law). These are two, specific areas of the law that dove-tail. They are also areas of the law that are unique and handled very differently than any other civil litigation. Under the canopy of family law falls divorce, pre and post-nuptial agreements, legitimation and paternity, modification and contempt actions, adoptions, name-changes, and grandparent/relative custody and visitation actions. Under the canopy of estate law falls the drafting of estate planning documents and the probate of a loved one’s estate whether they have a Will or not. The first step when confronted with one of these issues is to call us to determine whether we can help, and if not, what to do next.
Q: How did you get the idea or concept for the business?
Interestingly, the business brought itself to me. During my career, I have worked as a federal and Georgia state employee, for corporate offices, and a large and then medium-sized law firm. While working as a litigation associate at the last of the law firms I worked for, I started getting business referred to me. One satisfied client at a time, I created a book of business. It then became apparent to me that I could work for myself and provide a better quality of experience for my clients and myself if I started my own firm. That was 10 years ago and I haven’t looked back. There is something very satisfying about being able to conduct business one’s own way.
Q: Why did you choose your industry/business?
Honestly, I chose to go to law school because my older brother went to law school. Good ol’ sibling competition.
Q: What was your mission at the outset?
When I graduated from law school, I was determined to be an immigration law attorney because immigration law covered all three main categories of law: business, family and criminal. Fast forward a few years, have an intervening marriage proposal, relocation from Miami, where I was an INS attorney, to Atlanta, and a marriage (then divorce) and the career path changed due to employment opportunities in Atlanta to that which it is today.
Q: Which channel(s) do you feel has been the most beneficial to the growth of your business (Social media, web-presence, word-of-mouth, networking, etc)? Why?
By far, the method by which my business has grown has been word-of-mouth, predominately resulting from former clients whom have been serviced professionally and with compassion, colleagues who know that I perform quality representation and courthouse staff in front of whom I have tried a multitude of cases.
Q: What do you feel has been the biggest contributor to the success of your business?
Having a work ethic and taking the time to talk to people.
Q: Can you tell us about a client experience that made you think, “This is why I do what I do!”?
A recent experience that comes to mine pertains to a 10-year-old girl who has lived with her grandmother since she was about 6 months old. The mother of this child is, unfortunately, a drug addict, and the father, who has been absent in the child’s life has sought to remove the child from her grandmother’s loving home so that he can receive social benefits. I have been hired by the grandmother to represent her in the adoption of her granddaughter so that this child cannot be used as a financial pawn by her biological parents in the future.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote, book, or blog that has inspired you as you have grown your business?
When I am in need of inspiration or encouragement, I turn to Farnoosh Torabi’s podcast “So Money” and select an interview she conducts with an entrepreneur. It’s fascinating to hear how so many success stories derive from perceived failures earlier in one’s career or from putting into action ideas of how to make something that exists, better.
Q: What was the most valuable lesson you learned in your first year (or first few years) of business?
Oftentimes, the person who undervalues your services does not make the best client or source of future business.
Q: What has been the biggest obstacle you have faced while starting and growing your business?
Sadly, the lack of support by some colleagues due to a perceived negative impact on their business. Fortunately, the ill intentions of some have been greatly outweighed by other colleagues who have been a wonderful support.
Q: What words of wisdom or advice would you offer to someone starting their own business?
Set client expectations appropriately and then meet them. If you fulfill your promises and perform the task for which you’ve been hired, your good work will be rewarded with client referrals. There are fantastic perks to being one’s boss provided you don’t forget that the client is the one that provides you that opportunity.
600 Kennesaw Ave. NW
Marietta, GA 30060
2487 Cedarcrest Rd
Acworth, GA 30101