SpringBoard Series: Patricia Feghali, Esq.
is an attorney who specializes in estate planning and working with small businesses. Her office is in historic Over-the-Rhine
How did you start your business?
I went to undergrad at Columbia as an American studies major. From there, I went to law school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, but I’m from Cincinnati, and wanted to move back. I got a job at the Ohio Justice and Policy Center
, where I’d have clinics in Over-the-Rhine and Price Hill
so that people could come to talk about their legal issues.
I wanted to learn more about urban planning and, through that, how to make Cincinnati a more functional, vibrant place, so I went to DAAP
and got a master’s in community planning. I took SpringBoard
while I was in school and trying to figure out what I could do after school. I knew I wanted to be in the Over-the-Rhine Main Street area; I love the architecture and feel of the neighborhood.
I realized the best thing I could do was to be a lawyer, so I decided to do a solo practice, and now have an office on the corner of 13th
and Sycamore. I bought and rehabbed a building there, and there are six offices here, including mine, and there’s also co-working space available or daily or longer use.
What have you learned along the way?
It’s a lot of administrative work—more than I would’ve thought. It’s also a lot of networking and trying to figure out who you know who can help you figure out how to do this thing you’ve never done before. SpringBoard was great for me, and SpringBoard grads have done my business card, website and logo.
What inspires you?
This is a great neighborhood to be in. Out my window, I can see the old SCPA
arts building, which is beautiful. There are amazing people doing incredible things here, and it’s inspiring to be around that, especially other people running their own businesses. I feel lucky to be in a profession where I’m helping people—not just selling them something, but hopefully providing a service that they need.
What’s next for you and your practice?
I’m trying to get more clients and and more experience to become better at what I’m doing.
What advice do you have for clients of your practice or of any lawyer?
Get back to me with the information I told you to give me; otherwise I can’t do anything for you. If you have questions, ask them. If you’re not comfortable with something, say so—ask why something is done a certain way. Don’t be afraid to talk to your lawyer. I’m working for you, and I want you to be happy.
What advice would you give other lawyers?
When I got out of law school, it took me about a year to find a full-time job, and that was 2007. It’s tough, but don’t be afraid to look at joining a very small firm, a to-to-three person firm, or potentially start your own, even though it’s terrifying. Get to know people in your field who you can ask the questions you’re going to have. Don’t just look at the big firms and think that if you can’t work there, you’re never going to have a career.
What else do you participate in locally?
Until recently, I was the co-host of a local radio show called Queen City Awesome
, and I’m in a band called Day Camp
. I play guitar and sing.
Interview by Robin Donovan