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Ruma Mazumdar’s Journey from Paralegal to Law Firm Founder

Welcome back to another episode of The Founding Partner Podcast, where we dive into the intriguing and often inspiring stories of legal professionals and their journey to where they are now. In this episode, we’re thrilled to feature Ruma Mazumdar, an attorney who has carved a niche for herself in the real estate law sector in New Jersey. With a practice that focuses on residential and commercial closings, Mazumdar brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our listeners.

## From Physics to the Courtroom: Ruma Mazumdar’s Path to Law

Ruma’s journey to becoming a lawyer was not a straight path. It began with aspirations of becoming a cosmetic surgeon, but a challenging physics class and the 2008 market crash led her to reconsider her career path. Her parents, being mortgage brokers, had always been immersed in real estate, which later influenced Ruma’s legal focus.

What’s particularly interesting about Ruma’s story is her proactive approach to understanding the legal field. She didn’t just rely on her college’s career center; she took the initiative to cold call attorneys in New York City to gather insights about the profession. This go-getter attitude is a testament to her determination and willingness to step outside the box—a quality that has undoubtedly contributed to her success as an attorney.

## The Birth of Key Esquire

One of the highlights of the conversation is learning about Ruma’s decision to use a trade name for her law practice, Key Esquire. She shares how she wanted to set herself apart from other solo practitioners and build a law firm that could grow and evolve without being tied to a single attorney’s name. The story behind the name is clever and shows Ruma’s strategic thinking: Key Esquire is not just about unlocking doors to homes but also to successful transactions and legal solutions.

## Building a Firm and a Future

Ruma’s setup at her firm is lean but effective. With a team comprising two paralegals and an assistant, she’s able to handle the dynamic and often complex real estate law landscape in New Jersey. Her discussion about the differences in real estate transactions between New Jersey and New York offers an interesting glimpse into the nuances of practicing law across state lines.

## A Lawyer’s Tale: The Real-Life Experience

Listeners will be captivated by Ruma’s candid recount of her first job as a legal assistant and her subsequent roles that led her to law school and eventually to founding her own practice. Her experiences as a litigation paralegal, including living at the Ritz Carlton while working on a big pharma case, give a real sense of the diverse experiences that can come with a legal career.

## Tune In to The Founding Partner Podcast

Ruma Mazumdar’s story is filled with twists, turns, and plenty of learning experiences. Whether you’re a law student, an aspiring attorney, or just someone who enjoys a good story about perseverance and ingenuity, this episode of The Founding Partner Podcast is for you.

Don’t miss out on the full conversation with Ruma Mazumdar. Head over to The Founding Partner Podcast to listen to the episode and gain more insights into the life and career of this dynamic attorney. Her journey is sure to inspire and might just give you the key to unlocking your own path to success in the legal world.

[00:00:00] Jonathan Hawkins: how did you make your way to becoming a lawyer?

[00:00:03] Ruma Mazumdar: So I started college in 2008, which is when the market crashed, of course, in real estate. And my parents who are mortgage brokers have always been in the real estate realm, their entrepreneurs themselves started a mortgage brokerage about 20 some years ago. You know, I kind of knew I didn’t want to go into that end.

[00:00:19] Ruma Mazumdar: And of course being South Asian. Most of the time your parents push you towards doctor, lawyer, engineer, and whatnot. So I started college with these big dreams of becoming a surgeon, a cosmetic surgeon. I was watching all those like cosmetic surgery shows back then. I was going to move to California and have my own practice and, you know, do all of that.

[00:00:41] ​[00:01:00]

[00:01:10] Jonathan Hawkins: All right. Welcome to Founding Partner Podcast. I’m Jonathan Hawkins, your host. Excited for the guests this week. We’ve got Ruma Mazumdar. She’s an attorney up in the Northeast. I’ll let her tell you a little bit, introduce herself and tell you where she is and what she does, and then we’ll dive in.

[00:01:28] Jonathan Hawkins: So Ruma, take it away.

[00:01:31] Ruma Mazumdar: All right. Hello. So I’m Ruma Mazumdar. I do practice out of New Jersey. I have my own law practice called Key Esquire, the law office of Ruma Mazumdar, where we focus mainly on residential and commercial closings here in the New Jersey area. I’m also licensed to practice in New York, which is where my career started.

[00:01:53] Ruma Mazumdar: But now I primarily focus in New Jersey.

[00:01:56] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, I wasn’t sure. I knew you were in New Jersey, but I wasn’t sure. If you [00:02:00] crossed over in New York anymore, I guess occasionally,

[00:02:04] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, I mean, I go for, you know, social reasons. But as far as practice is concerned, I really only handle anything law related over there. For example, if my friends are buying in New York City, they usually call me up and they’re like, I know I could probably go with the New York City attorney, but like, can you just do it as my friend?

[00:02:23] Ruma Mazumdar: And I’m like, okay, fine, I’ll do it. You know, it’s a momentous occasion. So like, I’ll help you out.

[00:02:29] Jonathan Hawkins: yeah. There’s New York real estate purchases cost a lot, I’m sure.

[00:02:33] Ruma Mazumdar: Yes, and but the reason I also don’t practice in New York is because the way the transactions work is so different between the two states. And it just doesn’t make sense sometimes for my time for my team to, you know, cross the river and go for closings there because their closings run so differently from New Jersey.

[00:02:53] Jonathan Hawkins: Great point. So let’s let you mention your team. Let’s talk about what’s your setup. It’s you and who else at your firm?

[00:02:59] Ruma Mazumdar: So, [00:03:00] so far, attorney wise, it’s myself, and then I have two paralegals and an assistant.

[00:03:06] Jonathan Hawkins: Cool. So, so you mentioned the name Key Esquire, you use a trade name. I use a trade name. I like trade names. So what led you to that decision? Why use a trade name instead of something else?

[00:03:18] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, so like, when I ventured into, like, even thinking about starting my own practice, I obviously looked into, You know, how do people’s names come up? And I, it wasn’t ever really something I thought about, but I was like, everyone uses their name. And I was like, do they have to? And then I was like, yes, they have to according to the bar rules.

[00:03:36] Ruma Mazumdar: And then I also saw in New Jersey that they do allow the use of a trade name. So I was like, okay, that’ll You know, set me apart from other law practices and solo practitioners who named the firm, you know, after themselves. I knew I didn’t want to just be a solo practitioner. I wanted to have an actual law firm in the future with different practice [00:04:00] areas, with multiple attorneys and whatnot.

[00:04:02] Ruma Mazumdar: So I was like who wants Esquire. And so as I was ruminating over real estate and what areas I’d want to go into. You know, keys to a home. I came up with key Esquire, the key to all your transactions.

[00:04:21] Jonathan Hawkins: I like it. I like it. That’s cool. You know, every state is a little different, obviously on trade names, but it’s, it seems to be opening up. I know it’s opened up a lot of places and more and more opening up and it’s, you If you can encourage people to do that, for some of the reasons you just went through, you know, another part of my practice is lawyers sort of coming and going, and then there’s always a fight about whose name goes where, and if somebody leaves, then you got to change the letterhead and blah, blah, blah.

[00:04:49] Jonathan Hawkins: If you have a name, it’s just, it’s easy.

[00:04:52] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah. And then, you know, I’ve seen like solo practitioners who merge together and then you’re right. And then it’s like all of these random, like four different last names, like [00:05:00] slapped together. And I’m like, that doesn’t sound great.

[00:05:02] Jonathan Hawkins: I love it when you’ve got like eight names. It’s just like, yeah. It eventually just ends up with one. So, well, let’s hear about your journey. You know, how did you make your way to becoming a lawyer?

[00:05:16] Ruma Mazumdar: So I started college in 2008, which is when the market crashed, of course, in real estate. And my parents who are mortgage brokers have always been in the real estate realm, their entrepreneurs themselves started a mortgage brokerage about 20 some years ago. You know, I kind of knew I didn’t want to go into that end.

[00:05:33] Ruma Mazumdar: And of course being South Asian. Most of the time your parents push you towards doctor, lawyer, engineer, and whatnot. So I started college with these big dreams of becoming a surgeon, a cosmetic surgeon. I was watching all those like cosmetic surgery shows back then. I was going to move to California and have my own practice and, you know, do all of that.

[00:05:55] Ruma Mazumdar: And then I got to physics in my first semester and I was literally about to fail it. [00:06:00] So I was like, Oh, I can’t even get through my pre med requisites, so that’s not gonna work. And then I ended up, you know, essentially also because it was 2008, market had crashed, my parents were tight on, on funds as well.

[00:06:13] Ruma Mazumdar: I was living in New York City as a student, and I got a job. In order to help with expenses of just living in the city and day to day things. And I ended up with a solo practitioner as his legal assistant. So I was like, oh, okay, like, this is interesting. He was doing landlord tenant stuff, evictions, things like that, which I didn’t find thrilling.

[00:06:33] Ruma Mazumdar: But I was still just like, you know, working in the legal area seems interesting. So before I could fail physics, I went and withdrew from it. And started, you know, heading towards more the legal field, talking to more attorneys. I started cold calling people in New York city and I was just like, Hey, I’m a student at NYU thinking about becoming a lawyer.

[00:06:54] Ruma Mazumdar: What are your thoughts? At that time, everyone was just don’t do it. The market just crashed. I’m out of my job. But [00:07:00] then as things got better over the next four years, I started interning at like a music law firm. Attorneys that represent musicians and you know people in showbiz and started getting my feet wet in that way. And then Once I prepped for the LSAT I knew the biggest consensus was everyone’s like prep for your LSAT take it But don’t go to law school immediately go get some actual experience under your belt So against my parents better wishes, I like changed my major. I went full blown into like history and economics.

[00:07:32] Ruma Mazumdar: I was like, I’m still doing economics. It’s still, you know, respectable. And I was like, history is all like reading, writing. So I was like, it all comes together, you know, change my majors and everything. And then. And then also to their dismay, decided not to apply to law school right away. They were like, what are you doing with your life?

[00:07:49] Ruma Mazumdar: And so I was like, don’t worry. Just like, trust, trust the process, you know, ended up getting a job at a huge law firm in Washington DC. So after I graduated, I moved to [00:08:00] Washington DC. I was a litigation paralegal there. And learned just the whole world of court system, pretrial work, and then actually preparing for trial briefs, motions, and then going to trial.

[00:08:14] Ruma Mazumdar: I actually went to my first trial as a paralegal. We were living in New York city for like two weeks at the Ritz Carlton, you know,

[00:08:20] Jonathan Hawkins: That’s rough.

[00:08:21] Ruma Mazumdar: Pharma client,

[00:08:22] Jonathan Hawkins: rough.

[00:08:24] Ruma Mazumdar: we were defending a big pharma client. So, you know, I didn’t like the particulars of what, you know, I was doing in that sense, you know, the parties that we were representing, but the whole process of being an attorney and what you do in your attorney role was appealing to me.

[00:08:40] Ruma Mazumdar: So I was like, okay, great. Now I’m going to apply to law school. And then subsequently went back to New York and went to Cardozo. And that’s really where I got all my education. And I also then started out in like the big law, mid law world.

[00:08:56] Jonathan Hawkins: that in a second. I want to go back. You mentioned you, you did a bunch of cold calling. So [00:09:00] you were you were talking to lawyers. Is that, so how did, I think that’s great. I, you know, people that do stuff like that. I mean, it’s just your go getter. I mean, you can tell because a lot of people don’t do that kind of thing.

[00:09:14] Jonathan Hawkins: So,

[00:09:14] Ruma Mazumdar: And also I learned also attorneys love talking about themselves. So like everyone was answering my phone because all I just wanted to know about you. Like how did you get to where you are today?

[00:09:23] Jonathan Hawkins: great. So how did you find the names and then, you know, what drove you to do the calling? I mean, did someone say suggested, or did you say, I’m just going to do it?

[00:09:32] Ruma Mazumdar: Well, I also I went to my career center and I was like, you know, do we have like We didn’t really have a formal pre law program or track or anything like that, but they were like, of course, there’s attorneys that have graduated. The law school is around the corner. Why don’t you go talk to students and things like that?

[00:09:48] Ruma Mazumdar: And I was like, okay, cool. Like, I’ll go do that. So I like walked around campus because NYU campus is just open. Anyone can really walk on it. It’s the city is the campus. So I met some students and professors too. And then I was like, [00:10:00] Oh, I’m just going to take it 1 step further. And, you know, I just started typing it.

[00:10:03] Ruma Mazumdar: Like I was Googling, literally just Googling attorneys in New York

[00:10:07] Jonathan Hawkins: Wow.

[00:10:08] Ruma Mazumdar: And then I was, and then I was learning that there’s so many different practice areas and that there’s people that are in court, which is different from people that look at contracts. Like I, my mind was like blown, you know, because everyone’s just like, Oh yeah, you’re an attorney.

[00:10:21] Ruma Mazumdar: So like they, they put you in like a role, right. But then don’t realize that there’s so many different areas of it. Yeah. And so I started talking to like entertainment lawyers. I started talking to litigators in civil practice. And then of course, when I fell into like being a legal assistant, it was nice to just have this solo practitioner tell me about his journey as well.

[00:10:41] Ruma Mazumdar: And then I was calling probably people in like big law, but then also like the small boutique firms too, just to get a feel for you know, different

[00:10:51] Jonathan Hawkins: That’s so smart. I mean, cause they are completely different and which you know personally now. So you mentioned you’re a daughter of immigrants and they were not lawyers. [00:11:00] Did you have any lawyers in the family? And then what did they say? I mean, I know a lot of you know, first generation or second generation of immigrants type folks that, like you said, it’s like med school, largely, and law school maybe, but you know, what’d your parents, you know, how was that?

[00:11:16] Jonathan Hawkins: And what’d your parents say?

[00:11:18] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting because they weren’t very supportive at the start of it, which I think fueled my, you know, passion even more because I was like, okay, fine, that’s fine. I’ll show you that it’s all going to work out even though you’re doubting me. And I know, like, they weren’t doubting that I could do it.

[00:11:34] Ruma Mazumdar: I think they were just worried about, is that a sustainable, you know, successful business because all they’ve really seen, like, the formula they’ve seen is. You work hard, you get your job, you make money and you live a good life. I think they just weren’t exposed to attorneys that were successful and knew what they were doing and any attorneys that they were exposed to.

[00:11:57] Ruma Mazumdar: Just didn’t seem like they had it all [00:12:00] together.

[00:12:00] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah.

[00:12:01] Ruma Mazumdar: so, you know, I took like kind of the different route where I was like, I’m really going to work on like my own pedigree. I’m going to educate myself. Well, I’m going to make sure I get into a good school. I’m going to make sure I work at a name law firm.

[00:12:13] Ruma Mazumdar: I’m going to make sure I create contacts in the industry so that when I ultimately do graduate and I have to get a job, I’m going to end up somewhere where I’m making as much as a doctor might make, you know? And in that way that, and then once I got there, they were like, Oh, okay. You figured it out.

[00:12:31] Ruma Mazumdar: Bad.

[00:12:32] Jonathan Hawkins: showed them

[00:12:33] Ruma Mazumdar: attorney now.

[00:12:34] Jonathan Hawkins: your big time. You showed them. So, so after law school, you went to big law, I think you said. So tell us what you did there and how that experience

[00:12:42] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, I guess it’s not like big line. It was more mid law. I didn’t end up at one of the, like, you know, Kravath or Skadden or anything like that. I started out my career at Fox Rothschild which is a national firm, you know, and their headquarters was in Philadelphia. But I worked in their New York City office within the litigation group, and it was just kind [00:13:00] of like anything that would fall on my desk.

[00:13:01] Ruma Mazumdar: I had the opportunity to go to court within, I think, a week of starting my job, which was crazy. And it was trial by fire. You just, like, learn as you go. One of the craziest experiences I remember, I had passed, I learned I’d passed the bar. I’d finally gotten, like, approved and I was licensed. And so they were like, okay, you can actually, like, you know, appear before the court. I was like, okay. And they’re like, you’re just going to go, you know, the other side’s not going to, you know, Show up, so you’re just gonna wait for the judge to basically say you’re getting your judgment, and I was like, okay, sounds good, so I go. There’s no one in the court except me and the judge, and he’s just like, so are you ready with your, you know, to prove like the amount of damages, and I was like, excuse me? I was like, I was just told that I’m coming here. The other side is not going to show up and you’re just going to stamp, you know, this document that I’m supposed to submit to you. And he’s like, where do you work? So he was actually so kind enough. He took me back into chambers, which is where all the judges, you know, their office and stuff is.

[00:13:58] Ruma Mazumdar: Literally pulled out the statute [00:14:00] book and he’s like, in order to prove damages, this is what you need to go through and show me. So did you bring your evidence? Like you should have brought your evidence. You should have brought your client today to attest to all of these things. And I was like, literally no one told me that,

[00:14:15] Jonathan Hawkins: And then he

[00:14:15] Ruma Mazumdar: but then.

[00:14:16] Jonathan Hawkins: what a continuance was, right?

[00:14:18] Ruma Mazumdar: Right. I was like, Oh, okay. That extension thing. Can we get that for next time? But that was like a super cool eye opening experience because what judge takes the time to like sit down with you and like explain really how they see the case and what, how you should be prepared. So I really enjoyed litigation.

[00:14:35] Ruma Mazumdar: I, I know when I like summer, did they give you the chance to rotate through the different practice groups and transactional works just seem really boring to me contracts and the deals taking forever and the due diligence and all that stuff. I was like, I don’t really love it. The litigation, like, just seemed more fun.

[00:14:51] Ruma Mazumdar: And it did end up being fun. And then after a bit at Fox, I ended up moving to another firm Ackerman, also another national law firm. And there I [00:15:00] got to work with a team within litigation as well. That’s specialized in. Real estate litigation involving hotel owners and commercial landlords. And this was at the time, and then once the pandemic hit, a lot of the cases that we were working on was representing landlords where their tenants, you know, stop paying all the little restaurants and delis and things like that.

[00:15:24] Ruma Mazumdar: So we were on that side of the case law, kind of really just pushing the precedents that was coming out of it. So it was a really exciting time.

[00:15:30] Jonathan Hawkins: So eventually you decided you wanted to leave and start your firm. So what led to that? I’m interested in what was the spark or the impetus I’m going.

[00:15:43] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, so there was none. If anyone asked me whether I ever thought about running my own law firm or anything like that. Absolutely not. I watched my parents. Entrepreneurs build a business from scratch and all the risks that came with it. I mean, I saw the reward too, but I feel like [00:16:00] I honed in on more of the stress of it and the uncertainty of it of relying on really yourself for a paycheck and taking care of your family and whatnot.

[00:16:08] Ruma Mazumdar: So I was very much just like, you know, I’m great. I’ve made it. I’m at this law firm. I’m at this practice. I’ve got a great boss. Like I’m on the partner track for sure. I’m working on all these great cases. But then I went to like a trial in January of 2020 and it was an arbitration actually. And we were in Panama city, Panama.

[00:16:29] Ruma Mazumdar: And my boss was just like, you know, cases like this, they come around like once or twice in your lifetime. And as a fourth year associate, I was like, in my mind, I was like, so I peaked in my career here, you know, in what I’m doing. And of course I could, I was like, I could go on and like, Really specialize in the niche down in this area and probably create more than once in a lifetime cases for myself.

[00:16:53] Ruma Mazumdar: But, you know, my own boss, like saying that to me, who’s very reputable and known in the industry. I was like, you know, he knows [00:17:00] what he’s talking about too. But other than that, my family also saw how hard I worked all the time. You know, in litigation, you work crazy long hours Thanksgiving, Christmas, like even though you’re allowed to shut off, you don’t really shut off because like things just still keep moving.

[00:17:14] Ruma Mazumdar: Trial prep is like 80 hours a week. You don’t see anybody. And so, you know, the pandemic, everyone has like a hard look at their lives. And my mom also had a hard look at hers. And she was like, so do you want to take over the family business? And I was like, I’m flattered and honored, you know, that you would consider me for that.

[00:17:34] Ruma Mazumdar: And I think like I do one day, but like, I’m just not ready right now. Now, because I’m on the up and like my career is on a great track. I’m, I’ve been really successful. I’ve been put on these really great cases. Like I’m really enjoying myself and I’m not done, you know, practicing as an attorney and really honing that, that skill. And she was like, well, then why don’t you just start your own practice? And I was like, you don’t just like start your own practice. you know how much overhead [00:18:00] that is and staff and machines and all these things you know, you, then you start thinking about, you know, all the resources that I have at my fingertips working at an established law firm.

[00:18:09] Ruma Mazumdar: And I was like, and what would I even practice? I’m like, I can’t be a litigator on my own. That’s crazy. And she’s like, well, why don’t you just start doing some, you know, like residential closings? Like, we’ll just feed you some of our clients because they’re mortgage brokers. So they work with the borrower and you can be their attorney for when they purchased the house.

[00:18:27] Ruma Mazumdar: Once their offer finally gets accepted. And I was like, I don’t know. That just seems very simple compared to what I do now. And I was like, all right, you know what? I’m up for the challenge. So I was like working from home. I started taking on some clients. I also found a mentor. And experienced attorney in residential real estate in New Jersey too.

[00:18:45] Ruma Mazumdar: Actually, my mom found him and then pushed him on me and was like, you’re going to help my daughter see her next path.

[00:18:50] Jonathan Hawkins: So you started taking this kind of cases before you left the firm or after you left the firm?

[00:18:55] Ruma Mazumdar: yeah, before I left the firm, but it was more of like, it wasn’t, I wasn’t practicing under my name. I was [00:19:00] practicing under essentially like my mentor’s name. You know, he would give oversight. When I spoke to the clients, he Explain the contract to me just like the gist of how the transactions run And that’s really all you can do because like being an attorney in any field you learn on the job So I wasn’t too worried about that portion of it.

[00:19:18] Ruma Mazumdar: I was like I could pick it up It’ll be fine. I was more concerned like will I be okay going from like this very You know, quote unquote, sophisticated world of practice in New York City to really just helping the day to day consumer, you know, and managing their stresses and emotions and things like that, because the contract is the same, the transactions, they have the same milestones, you know, they typically run the same way. But the more people I worked with, the more I was like, wait, this is actually really nice. It started adding like more of a human side of the law to me, empathy and other things that I had totally lost because I was just doing research, writing, putting these arguments together in a brief. There was no actual client.

[00:19:56] Ruma Mazumdar: It was a corporation, you know? And so I started seeing the stark [00:20:00] difference of it. And I was like, I actually enjoy this. And three months after I started dabbling in it, I quit my corporate law firm

[00:20:08] Jonathan Hawkins: they think you were crazy?

[00:20:09] Ruma Mazumdar: No, my boss is like, I’m so happy for you. I, you know, I know you’re going to be successful and asking you if there’s anything I can do to keep you is probably fruitless.

[00:20:19] Ruma Mazumdar: But like, just know that you always have a seat on the team. It’s like, you know, you change your mind and you want to come back. So like, that was really encouraging.

[00:20:26] Jonathan Hawkins: That’s cool. So, you know, it sounds like, you know, people leave and start their firms for all sorts of reasons. And the timing is different. And then, you know, you are shifting to a completely different practice area. So, but it was nice that you had sort of some runway. To sort of practice or figure it out figure out if that’s practice area that you would you know, enjoy building a firm on You know, I sort of sometimes say it’s like riding a bike with training wheels, you know You’re you’ve got your firm and your regular sort of practice, but you’re developing something else on the side So that was good.

[00:20:58] Jonathan Hawkins: You got to do that. But [00:21:00] like you said earlier, you know, you’re at a big firm you’ve got All these resources, you know, everything’s done for you. You don’t have to worry about really anything, you know, the hiring, the onboarding, all that kind of stuff, the, all of it, and then all of a sudden you’re on your own.

[00:21:13] Jonathan Hawkins: And then, so that’s a whole different skillset. So how did you prepare yourself or did you, and then how did you learn that part of it?

[00:21:23] Ruma Mazumdar: So I think I was in a fortunate position, one, having, you know, family in the industry already. So business development of course, was on top of my mind. Because I was like, without clients, I don’t really have a business. You don’t really have a law practice. So that was, you know, I was fortunate to have that.

[00:21:42] Ruma Mazumdar: And then the next thing I also had to figure out was, do I want a physical space? How am I going to work out of it? Okay. What systems am I going to use? Do I need a case management system? Like all this kind of stuff. But everything I was doing from the get go was just, you know, Microsoft word. I went to go [00:22:00] daddy and created my domain.

[00:22:01] Ruma Mazumdar: After I figured out key Esquire, I did my entity formation and DBA. And I was like, oh, and then I should work on a website of some sort and social media presence. So I think those were the key things that I started thinking about. And then. I joined some Facebook groups, actually, with a lot of small, solo and small business owners.

[00:22:20] Ruma Mazumdar: To see what were they doing? And what were they thinking about? Because now it was just me and I had to make all these decisions by myself. And I was like, okay, they just started off with my laptop and my Excel spreadsheets as a tracking system. And then people started talking about like, okay, that’ll work for now.

[00:22:38] Ruma Mazumdar: But like, you know, once you get busy and then that was like another mindset shift that I had to go through, like, Oh, Once I am legitimate and I do have all of these clients coming in, like, how am I going to manage that?

[00:22:49] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, it’s, you know, it’s never been easier to start a law firm. Like you said, you see laptop. But that only take you so far and I think, you know, the mindset shift is [00:23:00] a big thing. The other thing you mentioned, you know, about getting clients and business development, you know, you sort of had some family connections to at least start the pipeline, which is cool.

[00:23:09] Jonathan Hawkins: And, you know, I always tell people to, you know, we all have advantages and disadvantages in life. And you can focus on the disadvantages and say, blah, blah, blah, or you can focus on the advantage and lean into that. That’s where it sounds like you started at least and that’s where I encourage other people to go whether it’s who you know or What you’re interested in or what your background is in terms of experience?

[00:23:34] Jonathan Hawkins: Lean towards that and then get your feet on the ground and then you can start branching out from there so It’s just you in the beginning. You start getting some work in you’ve got your basic platform and then probably you start getting pretty busy and then it’s, you know, that’s another challenge.

[00:23:52] Jonathan Hawkins: I want to hear how you went through it, but you’re busy doing the work. You’re busy, all of that, managing that. And then all of a sudden you got to start [00:24:00] building the firm on top of that. You know, you gotta go find new software, maybe hire people, onboard people, all that. So how did you go through that?

[00:24:09] Ruma Mazumdar: yeah. So my biggest thing, I think also while I was doing my business development and getting out there it was great to have that, the pipeline through my parents, but that only goes so far. So then once I started talking to other people in the transaction, like real estate agents, other mortgage brokers, title companies, all of these people, I’m talking to them, I’m making all those connections.

[00:24:29] Ruma Mazumdar: The business starts flowing. And. I worked on really like quietly working on my website. So I took about three, four months and then I announced that I had this practice. So it was like August, 2021, I quit my job, started my practice, built out my social media, built out my website. And then I had a launch date of like December 15th, 2021.

[00:24:50] Ruma Mazumdar: I launched my practice into the universe and it started getting like a lot of views and excitement around it and support and people were sharing it [00:25:00] on channels and stuff like that. And I was like, okay, great. Like. Great. But I can manage this for now. I have like, you know, one client calling a week or something like that.

[00:25:06] Ruma Mazumdar: You know, it’s totally manageable. And then two months go by and I’m completely in overwhelm because I start getting like five to six clients a week. You know, I’m doing like the consults and I’m doing the work and I’m trying to push the files along and I’m talking to everyone in the transaction. So I went to a staffing agency cause I was like, I don’t know how to hire.

[00:25:26] Ruma Mazumdar: I don’t know the first thing about hiring. I don’t have time to put together a job description or anything like that. So I went to a staffing agency and hired my first paralegal three months into launching.

[00:25:37] Jonathan Hawkins: You know, it’s like the dog chasing the car, you caught it and all of a sudden the business is coming in and you’re like, oh crap, what do I do? And you know, the other thing, you know, we’ve all gone through it. I’ve gone through it. It’s your first hire. I mean, every time you make the next hire, you get a little bit better at it because you’ve all the lessons you learned the first time.

[00:25:54] Jonathan Hawkins: It was good that you could lean on this you know, agency or whatever to help you do it. Hired your [00:26:00] first, how many did you say you have again? Two or three.

[00:26:04] Ruma Mazumdar: have two paralegals and an assistant

[00:26:05] Jonathan Hawkins: Okay.

[00:26:06] ​

[00:26:19] Jonathan Hawkins: And do you have a physical office or are you guys all virtual? How do you do that?

[00:26:23] Ruma Mazumdar: So my team is remote. I do have a physical office. Like my assistant is in South Africa. My, the first paralegal that I hired three months into my practice, she’s still with me. She’s remote in Ohio and I just hired a more local paralegal who’s here in New Jersey with me, but she set up to work remotely.

[00:26:42] Ruma Mazumdar: We’re not in the office a lot. We use it, you know, mainly for closings.

[00:26:45] Jonathan Hawkins: So your VA, how did you find him or her through, how did you find them? And then how,

[00:26:51] Ruma Mazumdar: Same. I went through a staffing agency again. That’s like geared towards attorneys. And because that was a completely different role. I was like, now I know [00:27:00] how to write something for a paralegal. Cause the second paralegal I hired that was through my own vetting process and everything. But that was the whole journey and learning process itself. But yeah, I really, I keyed into the staffing agencies because that was the best way to just find people when you’re working. And you just don’t have the time, you know, that’s, I think that’s the biggest problem with being a law firm owner in the beginning is you just don’t have the time, you wear all of the hats and it’s hard to

[00:27:27] Jonathan Hawkins: And, you know, another skill that’s challenging for a lot of different challenging for me, for sure. I’ve tried some VAs before and I just get to the point where I’m so busy. It’s like, I’m the bottleneck and I can’t figure out, you know, I got to spend time to then show them what to do and figure out what they can do for me.

[00:27:45] Jonathan Hawkins: How did you figure that out?

[00:27:48] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah. Delegation was, is really hard. How did I figure that out? Okay. So our biggest thing was just, our phones were going crazy. So you’re one of my business. You know, simple laptop. I was [00:28:00] using my cell phone to run my business. And so whenever anyone called, you know, they got me that was not sustainable anymore.

[00:28:07] Ruma Mazumdar: So I was like, okay, I just need the VA to like be a receptionist. You know, she’s going to answer the calls and she’s going to schedule the consults and things like that. And I was like, That’s the minimum of what we need. Then her role just started to evolve because I was able to trust her and her skills.

[00:28:24] Ruma Mazumdar: And she also wanted to take, you know, more on and do more than just be a receptionist. So now she’s kind of like a right hand person for me, not necessarily like firm manager, but like, we’re going to re. evaluate her role anyways, because I would delegate a bit, she would do it, and then she would ask for more work.

[00:28:42] Ruma Mazumdar: So it created that trust also and made it easier for me to be like, all right, let’s try this out. Cause a lot of just being a law firm owner too is experimenting. And once I got comfortable with like making the mistakes and like certain calls not going well, and, you know, Figuring out the kinks like once you [00:29:00] let go of just like putting all that pressure to be perfect it all gets a little bit easier

[00:29:05] Jonathan Hawkins: You just mentioned something that a lot of lawyers have a problem with, and that’s sort of the perfectionism gene, I guess. Do you have it, and how did you get over it, or have you?

[00:29:18] Ruma Mazumdar: Do I have a type A personality for sure. Perfection, not so much. I’m like, I, my motto is just like progress over perfection. You know, the other, one of the other big things I did also eight months into my practice, I hired a coach and I joined a law firm, like coaching program. And, you know, it’s a five figure commitment.

[00:29:38] Ruma Mazumdar: And it’s like four figures every single month, but I was like, if you’re going to do this right. And one of the biggest things that I was seeing in a lot of the Facebook groups that I had joined was get yourself a coach at the start. Right. Because there’s a way to do this. So why like reinvent the wheel?

[00:29:55] Jonathan Hawkins: That’s huge. That’s huge. I’ve hired a number of coaches over the year. I’m in different [00:30:00] programs. I’m always looking to join others. I think that’s huge. It accelerates your growth. But a big you know, Thing that a lot of folks raise is, well, I don’t have the money. I don’t have any money. Why should I spend it on this?

[00:30:12] Jonathan Hawkins: What would you say to those people?

[00:30:14] Ruma Mazumdar: if you believe in yourself, then there’s nothing to worry about. Right. So yeah. And sometimes, you know, you’re going to make money, but the key is really like. If you’re going to do it, the resources are out there. You know, why waste the time to reinvent the wheel? I think that’s another thing that people get really caught up in is like, they want to differentiate themselves, but as long as you’re, you know, your authentic self in the way that you run your practice these resources that you use are these like.

[00:30:42] Ruma Mazumdar: You know, workflows and processes that you learn about is only to make your life easier. So you can run the firm the way you want to,

[00:30:50] Jonathan Hawkins: You know, the other way it’s a mindset shift too, but you know, I view those things as investments, not costs. And, you know, there are all sorts of [00:31:00] investments in the world. We can buy real estate, we can put it in a money market fund. We can buy a stock index fund. We can do all these things. And there’s some return on that.

[00:31:08] Jonathan Hawkins: Typically you hope there is. But I found the biggest return of any investment I’ve ever made is when I invest in myself and grow in my skills. Cause then it just multiplies sort of the return in all sorts of ways, you know, obviously monetary, but others too. So it’s like, again, it’s just a different way of thinking about it.

[00:31:28] Jonathan Hawkins: And you know, it sounds like you’re in my camp, you’re in the camp of a lot of folks find the coaches and, you know, how did you find the one that Did you look around and look at different ones or did you just found one and went with them?

[00:31:41] Ruma Mazumdar: So, so again, you know, I’m scouring all of the posts. I’m like law firm coach, and I’m writing down all the names I’m getting. Some people it’s like one to one coaching. Some of them it’s a group coaching and then some is like a hybrid, right? So I did I picked like, I think I had a list of 10. I started doing research on them, narrowed it down to three.

[00:31:59] Ruma Mazumdar: [00:32:00] And then did like info sessions with these other, with these programs essentially, and then whichever one felt, you know, what like spoke to me, I ended up going with, of course, I had to look at the pricing and the pricing definitely made me super nervous. But I was like, you need to do this because I also hit a point, which is crazy.

[00:32:18] Ruma Mazumdar: Eight, eight months into my practice. I was like, I think I’ve done everything I can do by myself. Like I’ve hit my bandwidth of knowledge on how to run. A practice, you know, and I’m like, I just don’t know what to do next. And I’m like, and I can’t, I can ask people around me, but like a law firm is so different from like, you know, even my parents mortgage brokerage, right.

[00:32:39] Ruma Mazumdar: They’re entrepreneurs, but like, I also saw how I didn’t want to run my business. Because of the way I saw them run their business. So that was like another thing where I was like, I need to, like, I need to find a community. And, you know, that was another thing that pushed me to, it’s just like being an entrepreneur and a business owner, it’s kind of lonely.

[00:32:57] Ruma Mazumdar: So like, you want to be around people who are going [00:33:00] through similar problems. Or doing better than you or have been where you’ve been so that you have something to strive for.

[00:33:07] Jonathan Hawkins: That is a great point. It does get sort of lonely and you need others that have been, that are in the same boat and that may be a little bit ahead of you. And then when you get to a certain point, you can look behind you and sort of help people up. So I noticed on your LinkedIn, there’s something listed as morning brew accelerator.

[00:33:25] Jonathan Hawkins: Is that what you’re talking about? Is that something different? What is

[00:33:27] Ruma Mazumdar: no, that’s something different. So that, that I did before I actually joined a coaching program, the coaching program I’m a part of is called law firm mentor run by Alison Williams. It’s like phenomenal program. I’ve been in it for two years. And it’s definitely changed my practice and me as a person, I would say.

[00:33:43] Ruma Mazumdar: But Morning Brew Accelerator was like a crash course in going to business school. It was like a six week kind of after hours program where you just kind of learn the basics of, you know, how Finances and things like whatever they teach in like business [00:34:00] school because I was like, I don’t have time to go get my MBA.

[00:34:03] Ruma Mazumdar: And and I don’t know anything about business and owning a business and running a business. Right? Because another key thing is. Sure. You’re the attorney and you do the work, but then the whole operational side of it is like a completely different beast. So that was like a, it was just like a program that I signed up for to do quickly to just kind of orient my mind, I guess, to thinking like a business

[00:34:24] Jonathan Hawkins: So, did you do that before you started your firm or after?

[00:34:28] Ruma Mazumdar: and in the

[00:34:29] Jonathan Hawkins: Oh, in the middle. Oh, wow. Yeah. Nice. Well, that’s smart too, because it is different. I mean, again, you know, being at a big firm and doing big cases and having everything taken care of it, you know, for you, really. And then all of a sudden, boom, you got to do it all.

[00:34:44] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, like throwing out words like KPIs and I had to look at spreadsheets and I was like, How does this translate?

[00:34:51] Jonathan Hawkins: yeah. So I get the sense that you are a natural born. Business developer. So tell [00:35:00] us what you do. Tell us some of the stuff you do now to go get

[00:35:03] Ruma Mazumdar: So I definitely learned that I do have a knack for business development and you know, that was something I never really had to think about in the law firm, working at a law firm in the city and whatnot, because my client was my boss and all I had to do was impress my boss and not really care about generating business.

[00:35:18] Ruma Mazumdar: And as long as my boss was happy, I’d get my raises, I’d get my bonuses. And I’d be on track to partnership. So I never thought about business development, but I was definitely influenced by my family. My father is a huge sales guy. It looks super personable, charming and things like that. So I think I, on some level I’d been observing him all of my life.

[00:35:39] Ruma Mazumdar: And then I kind of. Started to do it on my own to see what results I would get. But the biggest thing was like joining networking groups. Like I joined BNI right away. Because that was like a really nice training ground because you work on your elevator pitch and you introduce yourself and you talk about your services and, you know, see how people are receptive to it.

[00:35:57] Ruma Mazumdar: So I joined things like that. And then [00:36:00] happy hours are great because people, you know, Loosen up at those things and you’re able to talk and get to know people. And then I figured out my style and I figured out like, what do I like to do? Like, I’m not a person that likes to go in front of big groups and like shake everyone’s hand and things like that.

[00:36:15] Ruma Mazumdar: I realized what’s authentic to me is like. You go to an event and then you sit down and you meet and you make like two to three really good connections Because you’ve spent like a decent amount of time with them And you know, they might be a producer or they might know someone who can connect you with someone, right?

[00:36:30] Ruma Mazumdar: so just keeping an open mind and talking to people and, but also like not being so like salesy and like networky more of like, Hey, I just want to get to know you. I’m, you know, new in this business. Like, you know, teach me about it.

[00:36:44] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, that’s huge. So you’re up there in the Northeast, you know, I was not up there, but my understanding is, you know, COVID everything shut down and I have friends that are, you know, Lawyers in New York. And at least the last time I spoke to them, which maybe some months ago, it’s sort of like the city is still largely [00:37:00] sort of.

[00:37:01] Jonathan Hawkins: Quiet, at least in terms of people coming into the office. I don’t know if that’s changed or not, or if you experienced that, but you know, the point was no, one’s going to ride the train or come into the city just to go grab lunch and then go back home. So it’s like the in person business development, networking type stuff is less than it used to be, or at least, you know, a little while back.

[00:37:23] Jonathan Hawkins: Have you seen that? Is it changed? Is it getting looser? And what do you, what are you finding?

[00:37:29] Ruma Mazumdar: I think, so I, when I launched my practice, it was end of 2021. So things were definitely opening up again. And. What started happening was because things were opening up and then in the warmer months, like right around March, April, May, a lot of people in real estate just started putting together these like smaller events because I think people had, like, people were craving going to.

[00:37:55] Ruma Mazumdar: In person interactions. So I almost feel like that worked to my [00:38:00] advantage. You know, like when I started my practice to like people actually wanting to come in person, I don’t do a lot of business in the city. I mainly go there for, like I said, like social outings, maybe a networking event or two, but like.

[00:38:12] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, I don’t think anyone is commuting to the office too much, but there’s definitely people that like are required to go in now, like three times a week. So, you know, the after hours networking and stuff I think is bustling again.

[00:38:25] Jonathan Hawkins: And that’s the fun part, the happy hours plus is better than the coffee breakfast, right?

[00:38:32] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, exactly. Although, you know, lots of coffees and, but like for attorneys, I mean, even for my schedule, like lunch is hard. People will be like, Oh, can I drop by your office? And like, we can grab lunch. And I was like, You know, I’ve got closings going on. Like I can’t just, you know, I can’t in the middle of the day.

[00:38:46] Ruma Mazumdar: I’m more either like first thing in the morning, we can grab, you know, coffee or I do evening evening events.

[00:38:52] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah. So you’ve been at this for a little while now running your own firm. What do you find or what has been sort of the biggest challenge for you?[00:39:00]

[00:39:01] Ruma Mazumdar: Hiring has always a challenge. It’s really hard to find people who are open to, you know, working in a smaller place in a startup environment. That’s how I, that’s how I, Describe my practice. I’m like, you know, every day is different. We’re still building out our systems. We’re still growing and we’re growing rapidly and it’s an all hands on deck kind of operation where we all jump in for each other.

[00:39:26] Ruma Mazumdar: We all work together. You know, you’re going to be involved in decisions if I want to. Buy new software. I’m gonna ask you if there’s, you know, efficiencies in our process. I’m gonna let you know, give me feedback about what’s working and what’s not working. And if you want to just show up for a job like you’re just not going to be a good candidate.

[00:39:45] Ruma Mazumdar: This is not, it’s not Technically a 9 to 5, but you know, what might be in the job description, you’re going to go above and beyond that. So, like, you know, you have to be prepared for that. And it’s really hard to find people who can sign on with that sort of [00:40:00] mentality and get excited about it. Yeah, I think that’s the

[00:40:04] Jonathan Hawkins: Hiring is hard and, you know, there, there are folks out there. I’m now in the camp. Yep. Yep. It’s always be hiring it’s like always be looking and if you find the superstar, I will make a position for that, right? Because they’re, because they are hard to find.

[00:40:20] Ruma Mazumdar: exactly. And I think the other thing too, is it’s knowing what positions like to hire for outside of just, you know, like staff, like now I’m getting into a place of like, Oh, I need like a marketing person. Who’s going to set up my, you know, sales and marketing person. Who’s going to set up my sales like funnels.

[00:40:37] Ruma Mazumdar: And how am I going to nurture a lead that comes in and you know, getting Benefits for my employees. And when you have to, you know, record like an HR issue, it’s like, I’m HR. I’m like, I know. Yeah. And then, you know, getting your financial straight. Like now I have a great [00:41:00] team. Like I have a great CPA, I have a bookkeeper who I meet with on a monthly basis, you know, the world of like fractional help now, like, do I need a fractional CFO?

[00:41:08] Ruma Mazumdar: Like, do I need a fractional CMO? All this, like. Yeah.

[00:41:11] Jonathan Hawkins: That’s great. There’s so many options out there for all of that and you know, when I, the number one piece of advice I give to new law firm owners, you know, I say this, I say it all the time, a lot of people have heard me say it, but it’s. Go get a bookkeeper not in house outsource. You do not need to be wasting your time on that.

[00:41:27] Jonathan Hawkins: Go do that. And then you can take that same mentality down the line. You know, you can get a CMO, you can get a part time CFO, you get all that stuff. COO until you need it until you can afford in house. I will say, you know, I’ve got a person here full time helping with marketing. And so just be careful because.

[00:41:43] Jonathan Hawkins: The doors will open, then you’re going to have to hire more people. So be ready for it.

[00:41:48] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah. I mean, we’re already at a point, we’re already at a point where my assistant needs an assistant and I’m like, okay,

[00:41:56] Jonathan Hawkins: So are you looking to hire attorneys? Are you there yet?

[00:41:59] Ruma Mazumdar: you know, [00:42:00] I was actually just dabbling in practice area expansion. And one thing that goes hand in hand with real estate is estate planning, because that’s usually the next question I get from a lot of my clients who now they’ve purchased a home. They’re like, Hey, do you do wills and things like that?

[00:42:13] Ruma Mazumdar: And I was like, I’ve always referred that out because I, you know, Residential real estate is kind of my niche and takes up a lot of my day and to sit down with someone and talk through their estate plan is a time that I just don’t have right now. So I did a, like a state planning and trust one on one CLE the other day to just get an overview of it.

[00:42:34] Ruma Mazumdar: And I was like, yep, definitely need to hire an attorney to actually build out this area. And me, myself, I’ve also learned a little bit different from a lot, like, you know, attorneys, I think. Yeah. I really enjoy being a business owner. So I’m all about the backend operations and growth. Like I want to try, I want to replace myself so that I’m not in the day to day the work and overseeing the work.

[00:42:56] Ruma Mazumdar: So I’m kind of excited about the prospect of growing it out that way.

[00:42:59] Jonathan Hawkins: [00:43:00] So, yeah, let’s talk about that. So what’s the vision you’ve sort of touched on it a little bit, but we’re sitting here, you got a blank slate. What’s the vision paint, paint it for us.

[00:43:10] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, ideally, you know, key Esquire is just this boutique practice in New York, in, in New Jersey. And I think about, at least for New Jersey, I wanted to have, I wanted to have other practice areas, you know, get into land use, get into developing, get into tax appeals and things like that. So more attorneys.

[00:43:29] Ruma Mazumdar: And then the other thing I’ve been thinking about is also That there’s about I think like 12 to 15 other kind of attorney quote unquote states for the residential realm of real estate like what I do now and potentially opening up kiosk wire in those places as well.

[00:43:48] Jonathan Hawkins: Georgia is one of those. So

[00:43:50] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, like North Carolina, South Carolina.

[00:43:52] Ruma Mazumdar: I’m like, wow, this could be a kiosk wire can really be a thing. And also just recently. Along with doing [00:44:00] the trade name, I actually trademarked Key Esquire.

[00:44:02] Jonathan Hawkins: Nice. That

[00:44:04] Ruma Mazumdar: So I’ve already been thinking big.

[00:44:06] Jonathan Hawkins: see, I like it, you know, I’m a big thinker. I love big thinkers and you’ve got it and I can see it and I think you’re going to do it. So what about coming out of retirement, doing litigation again? You’re going to do that.

[00:44:18] Ruma Mazumdar: Hire a litigator because sometimes, you know, my, my transactions will get to a place where the escrow money is in dispute. And I’m like, now I got to hand it off because I just won’t touch it. You know, I’ll try to settle it, but I won’t. I’m not filing anything in court.

[00:44:34] Jonathan Hawkins: Well, you know, I mean, you did it. I mean, you know, there’s a lot of real estate litigation, whether it’s residential or commercial or whatever. So it would be a good complimentary practice

[00:44:43] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah,

[00:44:44] Jonathan Hawkins: That another lawyer could do, not you. Right.

[00:44:46] Ruma Mazumdar: Exactly.

[00:44:48] Jonathan Hawkins: So if you were not building your firm what would you be doing?

[00:44:53] Jonathan Hawkins: If you weren’t practicing law?

[00:44:55] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah. If I wasn’t practicing law, I think I definitely have my own [00:45:00] vineyard.

[00:45:01] Jonathan Hawkins: Nice.

[00:45:03] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah. Which I’m hoping to do. Like, I want to be out of key Esquire in year five of it.

[00:45:10] Jonathan Hawkins: What do you mean by be out? Just, you mean be out?

[00:45:13] Ruma Mazumdar: like not be doing the attorney work anymore.

[00:45:16] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, you know, that I talked to a lot of attorneys that have sort of moved into the CEO role. And you know, it’s, it takes time, but it’s, it can be done. And, you know, you just gotta be thoughtful about it, which it sounds like you’re thinking about it.

[00:45:28] Jonathan Hawkins: It doesn’t just happen by accident. You have to do it. One technique that a lot of folks say is go on vacation a lot and for a long time, because then you figure

[00:45:39] Ruma Mazumdar: You know, the craziest thing is last year I took 35 days off.

[00:45:46] Jonathan Hawkins: very nice.

[00:45:47] Ruma Mazumdar: to four countries. It was the first time in my career that I ever took that much time off.

[00:45:52] Jonathan Hawkins: Couldn’t do that. The big firm couldn’t do that.

[00:45:54] Ruma Mazumdar: No.

[00:45:55] Jonathan Hawkins: Did you take off 30 days in a row though? That’s the goal. That’s the goal.[00:46:00]

[00:46:00] Ruma Mazumdar: But that is the goal, right? That is the goal that I just get to shut off, like at the end of the year, you know, and just not do anything,

[00:46:06] Jonathan Hawkins: Well, keep getting the coaches, keep building the systems, keep hiring the right. And you know, you’ll get there. So, before I let you go you’ve been at it, you were at the big firm. You’ve done your own firm. You grew up in an entrepreneurial family. You’ve seen a lot. You’ve learned a lot over the last few years.

[00:46:23] Jonathan Hawkins: If you could give advice to maybe your younger self or maybe another attorney, who’s out there thinking about, Hey, do I want to start this? What would you tell them? Yeah.

[00:46:34] Ruma Mazumdar: you know, I think it’s always like going back to whatever you set your mind to, you can definitely do it. And just be vigilant about that. Right. And research and talk to people because people want to talk about what they do.

[00:46:46] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah. All right. So, if people want to find you, if, you know, if they’re in New Jersey or maybe they’re looking to make a move, they just want to talk to you about how you did yours. How can they find you?

[00:46:58] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah. So, website, [00:47:00] kiosquire. com we’re on social everywhere as just kiosquire.

[00:47:05] Jonathan Hawkins: Well, let me ask that real quick before I let you get so social. Tell me about your social what are you on and what do you focus on there? You said everything, but what’s your focus?

[00:47:14] Ruma Mazumdar: would say this year is a bigger push of, you know, Instagram reels doing a lot of that. So I like to push out a lot of educational content. I enjoy just, you know, talking about the transactions. All things attorney. And then we’re building out our TikTok too. I’m kind of working on this weird place of like personal branding and key Esquire branding because it’s really like key Esquire is really a we now, even though I’m the face of it.

[00:47:38] Ruma Mazumdar: But then building my own personal brand, which like I said before, is that I really enjoy being an entrepreneur and a business owner and talking about that aspect of it rather than the real estate stuff. So, you know, now I’ve got like my own personal TikTok going where I make or funny videos and just, you know, try to figure that out.

[00:47:57] Jonathan Hawkins: You know, that’s a really interesting point brought [00:48:00] up that, you know, I think about, I think a lot of people think about it’s, you know, there, there are two aspects of a branding. If you own a firm, one is the firm side and what you do there, but then you don’t want to completely give up on the personal branding too, and they may feed each other.

[00:48:15] Jonathan Hawkins: You know, it’s, and then how do you figure out where to focus or what to do, where so on Instagram. Yeah. Are you getting work out of it? You’re getting a lot of work out of that or exposure.

[00:48:25] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, I think the Instagram has really been for trust, building trust with people. I know for me, a huge source of my business is real estate agents. And they’re all over Instagram. And and so that’s really worked in just like a local area. I think Tik TOK is more just just a bigger pool of people, like a more random pool.

[00:48:47] Ruma Mazumdar: But with Instagram, it’s more, I would say more localized focus of, you know, being like having a presence and showing like what we do to, to people. Our business referral partners. [00:49:00] And then of course, you know, a lot of my clients are in my age range, millennials. And the first thing we do is go and Google someone and check out what their presence is, read their reviews before we actually purchase.

[00:49:12] Ruma Mazumdar: So in that way, I’ve kind of set it up for, you know, my, my sort of clientele.

[00:49:17] Jonathan Hawkins: You know, you brought up another good point, the folks that you’re a pool of people that you’re really aiming towards are on Instagram and, you know, I get that question a lot too where should I focus, it’s like you need to go where you’re, where your clients are or where your referral sources are and go there.

[00:49:32] Jonathan Hawkins: And.

[00:49:32] Ruma Mazumdar: Well, and first it comes with just like, who do you want to serve? Right? Like you have to build out your ideal client avatar and your ideal business partner, you know, avatar too, because I work with people in all different age ranges, of course, but it’s like, who do I market towards? And that feels most authentic to me.

[00:49:49] Ruma Mazumdar: And that’s like people that, you know, are in my age range or in my market who think like me, who, you know, have ethics and morals, like me, things like that. So. You know, getting clear on just [00:50:00] who you want to serve and how you want to serve them is also really important before you just start going out all over social media.

[00:50:06] Jonathan Hawkins: And that’s great. It defines your marketing message, but it also defines, you know, your firm and the vision for the firm. So,

[00:50:12] Ruma Mazumdar: And it hasn’t been perfect. It’s been a lot of experimentation, trying out still posts, static posts, blog posts, reels, short videos, long videos. It’s been a journey.

[00:50:22] Jonathan Hawkins: key is you just got to do something and do a bunch of it, right?

[00:50:25] Ruma Mazumdar: No, exactly. And it’s consistency. So, you know, as long as you keep doing it too, people will see you and recognize you and that’s the biggest thing about brand recognition too.

[00:50:36] Jonathan Hawkins: Maybe podcasting is next. Stay tuned. Yeah.

[00:50:41] Ruma Mazumdar: That’d be

[00:50:42] Jonathan Hawkins: Well, well, I’ve enjoyed this, enjoyed getting to know you and learning about your background. So thanks for coming on and sharing your journey and your wisdom.

[00:50:50] Ruma Mazumdar: Yeah, awesome.

[00:50:52] ​[00:51:00]