Eric Nixdorf '93 Gets Down to the Business of Practicing Law
Eric Nixdorf '93 says that, overall, he has positive memories of the years he spent in law school. He recalls the informal titles his peers bestowed upon him, such as "Law Student Most Likely to be Disbarred," and "Law Student Most Likely to be Disbarred First." He happily reports that he has not lived up to either prediction. "I was also named the 'Self-Proclaimed Greatest Law Student at Ohio State,'" he says, adding, "That was funny."
Not only has Eric failed to live up to the forecasts of his failure as a lawyer, he has excelled both in law and business. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Nevada, Alaska, and California. He earned a California real estate broker's license in 2006 and was named a member of MENSA a decade before.
After graduation from Moritz, and earning an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida in 1994, Eric headed to California. He lived out of suitcases in a residential hotel while saving money to start his own law firm. That firm grew exponentially from a two-person partnership to one with more than 60 attorneys and legal professionals.
He attributes the success of the firm to a few of its hallmarks. First, it was "one of the first firms to tie its advertising to the Internet." Moreover, despite having a focus on consumer tax law, the firm charged its clients on a flat-fee basis, rather than hourly.
Now that he's financially secure, Eric has set his sights on a new career goal: teaching law students and even lawyers about how to run a law firm. "Being a lawyer means running a business," he says. However, he laments, "Once lawyers get into the 'Real World', they don't understand the business side of practicing law." Lawyers need to learn "business structure" so can they pursue legal work that matches their skills and interests, he says.
If he is successful at implementing the business-based curriculum he envisions at a law school, Eric plans to encourage students to "establish relationships with professors. That's important." He recalls the warm relationship he developed with Prof. Howard Fink by working as his research assistant. "Professors at OSU do a good job making relationships with students," he says.
While an undergraduate student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, he became close with several professors. He fondly recalls the friendship he developed with Dr. Rich Hart, one of his economics professors. Professor Hart was equally as effusive about him. "Eric was one of those students who just stood out from the crowd," he says. "Eric has a lot to offer and will be an outstanding teacher," he says.
Author Tami Kamin-Meyer is an attorney and writer based in Columbus.