Tre Lovell is recognized as one of the elite litigators in Los Angeles, having been named Lawyer of the Year, finalist in 2016, by the Los Angeles Business Journal, and further honored by The National Law Journal as one of the Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers in the country.
Mr. Lovell has been recognized among the top 1% of attorneys in the United States as a litigator through such esteemed organizations as the American Academy of Trial Attorneys, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Rue’s Best Attorneys of America, and the Trial Lawyers Board of Regents. He received the 2014 Litigator Award for extraordinary litigation achievement, an award given to less than 1% of attorneys in the U.S. and approximately 12 firms per state or DMA each year. Mr. Lovell was further profiled in Forbes Magazine in September 2014.
With over 20 years of experience, Tre Lovell practices in such areas as business law, corporate law, entertainment, intellectual property, employment, and general civil litigation. He received his B.A. from Pomona College and J.D. at McGeorge School of Law in 1992. Furthermore, he was a gold medal national champion and a black belt instructor in martial arts.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Tre to discuss his journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I was raised in Las Vegas where my father was the youngest elected city attorney at the time. Las Vegas was a small town back then although the gaming industry was huge. I ended up following in my father’s footsteps and went to law school. Then eventually settling in Lo Angeles with a large firm. Ultimately, I realized I wanted to be my own boss and have my own practice so I started my law firm in 2004.
When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?
While I was working at a large firm. I didn’t like the idea of having to follow orders or work hard while the partners were making all the money. The thought of calling my own shots, being responsible for all of my own decisions, and reaping both the benefits and the risks were very appealing to me.
How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?
Stagnant. I felt like I was missing out on something. Many people work for others or chose to be part of a large firm because of financial security and sharing responsibility. I never felt like I needed those things. Not having to account to anybody except for myself was very enticing and a bit scary too.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
In the legal world, it’s being able to choose whatever cases I want to work on, make all of the decisions, grow my name and reputation and when I succeed, reap all of the benefits. Plus, I deal directly with clients. If I worked for a law firm or even had partners, I would not have the freedom to call my own shots.
In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.
Exciting. I am at a point in my career where I see many voids in the law and feel the need to make a difference. It’s always challenging and never easy, but there is this amazing sense of worth and achievement. Plus, I just love being in the game and being in the fight.
What were your top three motivations for starting your business?
Autonomy, ambition, and success.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
First, you need to be able to take the risk. The biggest difference for me from going from an associate at a big firm to starting my own practice was that all of a sudden, I needed to get clients. When I was working with the firm, the clients were there and I just needed to focus on the work. When I started my own practice, I needed to get clients and do the work.
Second, you have to put in the time. It’s funny that when you start your own business, you often think that you make your own schedule and can leave or come whenever you want. However, just to end up spending even more time working and never really take advantage of your open schedule.
Third, it’s about the work. If you focus and do good work, money and success will come. No shortcuts. If you realize this early and remember that it’s all about quality and results, then everything else falls into place.
Fourth, in the legal field, the client comes first. Always take their call, always keep in contact with them, and always be there. It doesn’t matter how great of a job you are doing on a case, f the attorney-client relationship is bad, nothing but problems will emerge.
Finally, take risks. You have one life. You can either run to the corner and take the easy and comfortable way out or jump into the middle of the ring go for the great successes with a chance of getting knocked out. As an attorney, I can either take the bread and butter, easier cases, or take on the hard ones that can yield great results and possible change.
Whenever I have a big case come to me and I know I’m going up against big defendants, big law firms and maybe it would just be easier not to do it and avoid the stress and challenges; I remember that I have one life and it’s either go for it or just be average and comfortable.
What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business and how did you overcome them?
Getting clients when I first started, finding quality attorneys to hire and work with, and then balancing work with life. Balance is just so important for you. Of course, you want to work hard and develop a livelihood, but you don’t want to be 60 years old only to look back and realize you did nothing else but work.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
It started with placing ads in different trade magazines then moving on to developing an online presence – that truly takes years.
As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?
Always be honest. never avoid giving bad news or having tough discussions – face the problems head-on since they’ll never disappear on their own and just enjoy working. We sometimes forget that our businesses are also our passion, and many of us would not rather do anything else, so don’t forget to pull over and see the sunset. Work hard, but also take a step back and be proud of what you’ve done and accomplished.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
One of my mentor attorneys once told me: “sometimes you need to bite off more than you can chew. But just remember, it will always go down.” In other words, sometimes you have to take on challenges that may seem too big for you, but in the end, things will always work out.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
First, be very excited!
You are about to do the most amazing thing you will ever do. You will be your own boss, call your own shots and exclusively reap the benefits. Second, always keep your word and focus on the work. Quality is the most important thing and if the work is good, the client, customers, and business will come.
Tre Lovell, Esq.
THE LOVELL FIRM, P.C.