I’m gonna make a short story shorter. When I came out of law school in 1975, it was… Remember, we had the oil embargo, we had gas lines, people were backed up for miles, we had inflation. And no one was hiring lawyers. So I had a choice to make. I could try to find a job not being a lawyer, or I could strike out on my own. And so, I decided that I would just pack my wife and I think my son, my oldest son at that time was like six months old. We got in a car, drove over to Kansas city, found an apartment, moved up. I found some lawyers, they had some office space, and I opened up my law practice. And I started developing what I do today. It was hard. I’m not trying to kid you. It wasn’t easy. But I learned, by going through that, I had to start it on my own and had to develop my own area of practice. I learned how to do it ’cause I had to start… There’s no really… At that particular time, there’s no one there to tell me… Wasn’t a senior partner to tell me how to do it. I had to learn on my own. So every lesson I learned was self-taught. And although I could reach out to other lawyers in the area, I learned these lessons on my own and made it a lot easier because of that. And it didn’t take long. I was surprised. Within just a few years, I had a pretty good thriving practice and I never had to worry about getting clients before. And this is back in the days, before lawyer advertising.

So it was referral or word of mouth?

Referrals. Today, even today, 90% of my cases that I handle are referred to me by former clients or by other lawyers. And I would say 2/3s of the cases I get are from clients, former clients that refer cases to me. And to me, that’s the best way to have a law practice is to have your clients send you new clients because I think it speaks loudly about the type of work you do, about the quality of work you do, and the relationship you have with your clients. Like I said, I’ve been doing this for like 42 years now, and this is kind of a common refrain. And at some point in time, the client will eventually say, “Jim, you act like we’re part of your family.” And I had to answer, “Well you are, okay? We work together, we strive together, we fight together, we cry together. You are a part of my family.” And I feel like they are. And the client will say, “I just never knew that’s how lawyers were.” I said, “Well, this is how we are. And this is how we’re always gonna be. I’m Jim. Mr. Thompson’s my dad. And Mr. Thompson will always be my father, and I’m always gonna be Jim Thompson to my clients, to my friends, and my family.”