We had the good fortune of connecting with W. James Moore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi W. James, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
You’ve probably heard the term “calculated risk”. There is no such thing as a calculated risk. When you are 31 years old, expecting your first child and you leave your good government job to pursue starting your own law firm, nothing is calculated. Most people think that risk takers are without fear. No. Risk takers move regardless of fear or apprehension. My law partner, Marc D. Hawthorne and I set out nearly 30 years ago in the face of uncertainty to build a law practice. We had no money. We had no blue print for establishing a law practice. Nor did we have any clients. We had a dream. We were motivated, not only by the desire to succeed, but also by the risk of failure. Today, our law practice is one of the longest tenured African American owned law firms in the state. With great risks come great rewards.
What should our readers know about your business?
Moore & Hawthorne, LLC is a boutique a/k/a small personal injury law firm in Atlanta, GA. M&H, as it is affectionately called, was established on April Fool’s day 1991 by me and my law partner, Marc D. Hawthorne. I am most proud of our longevity and our endurance. I have often joked that “self employment” is a close cousin to “unemployment”. But M&H has weathered the storms for 30 years. Also, our firm’s commitment to the community is important. Through our foundation, M&H Foundations, Inc., we have awarded 21 college scholarships to deserving students. Also, the firm has hosted a back to school book bag give-away at several area elementary schools. The foundation has also sponsored holiday events for a senior citizen home, as well as a girls’ group home. But how do you survive in business for 30 years? Our business was also able to morph by changing areas of law practice. The founding dream of M&H was to establish a premiere entertainment law practice. Throughout the 1990s, M&H developed an impressive roster of clients, including Usher, OutKast, Keith Sweat, Akon, Ludacris, just to drop a few names. The music business practice was exciting. But in deciding that we liked to eat regularly, with the 2000s, M&H transformed into a personal injury trial lawyer practice. We continue to evaluate our practice to comport to the times. Stagnation can slow or stop a business. It’s import that we be flexible in our approach to our business operation.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Let’s start the day with a walk, jog or bike ride on the Belt-Line. Then on to Ponce City Market. 9 Mile rooftop is the coolest and with great food. Now, its time for Atlanta culture. Let’s visit the King Center and learn about the home and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. With the evening, let’s fall into Kat’s Cafe for some live music or spoken word. If time permitted, I would recommend my friends to hit Mary Mac’s Tea Room for southern comfort food. If Buckhead was their thing, I suggest Bistro Niko. Also the recently opened Blue Martini is another place for live dance band, If they happen to be here on the thrid Wednesday of the month, must check out Jazz at the High. Atlanta’s High Museum offers live jazz music sets once a month. A perfect outing when the weather is good.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, I would like to shoutout to the other half of Moore & Hawthorne, Attorneys, my law partner of nearly 30 years, Marc D. Hawthorne. Who would have thunk it? Also, thank you to the current staff at M&H, along with all the legal assistants, paralegals, associate attorney who have dedicated themselves to our firm over the years. Also, shout out to my family. Special shoutout to Patrice Moore, you were the rock that allowed me to take the leap of faith so many years ago. Shoutout to my daughter and son-in-law, Chelsea and LaDereke. Also big props to Mel and Zion for being the motivation and inspiration to keep pursuing higher grounds. Finally, thank you to the thousands of clients that have trusted M&H over the years to handle their legal needs. I am forever grateful to you all.
Professional Portrait courtesy of Jason Little Photography
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