Founder Friday: Stephanie Adams, The Law Office of Stephanie Adams PLLC

When you think about a typical law firm, their billboards, TV ads, and phone numbers that consist of just one number (like 888-8888 for you Buffalo folks) probably come to mind. But The Law Office of Stephanie Adams (LOSA) isn’t your typical law firm.

They’re a firm for thinkers and builders, with attorneys on staff that are experts in municipality, non-profit, education, and intellectual property law, among many other concentrations. And the Ignite Buffalo winner’s office space is hardly what you’d expect – “The Work Room” is a collaborative space with a bright, rainbow-colored table designed by local craftspeople that is meant to inspire creativity and speaks to the client base of LOSA.

Learn more about Stephanie Adams and how her law firm is serving “culture builders” around WNY in today’s Founder Friday!

Tell us the story of how your business got started.

I wanted to run a law firm that met my vision of what is inspiring, innovative, and responsive to client needs.

What do you do? Your business?

I run a law office for culture builders – artists, educators, religious groups, athletics clubs, small businesses, not-for-profits, craftspeople.

What has been the biggest accomplishment for your business to-date?

Aside from some legal results that are confidential, opening our new space at Grant and Potomac, where we have a piano, a training space with theater lights, and client-themed conference rooms to put clients at ease and help us all get down to work.

Goals for the next year? Three years?

Next year: to develop our staff and client base in a way that deepens our connections to the West Side of Buffalo and certain key business arenas (libraries, educators, small businesses), and to find a mission and vision-aligned immigration attorney and an experienced litigator to join our team of attorneys.

Three years: to take those “next year” goals and use them to earn and grow a strong reputation as a creative, innovative, and excellent boutique firm for culture builders.

Five years (because you have to dream big): construct a building worthy of joining Buffalo’s architectural legacy.

Why Buffalo?

There is no better place to serve those who prioritize creativity.

Share some ways that you give back to the local community – and how others can get involved.

I co-administer the “West Side Alive!” Facebook group, which is part local news, part neighborly slap-fight, and all heart. I also help run a group pushing for better design in Buffalo’s new buildings. I started a program to bring routine micro-programming to Massachusetts Ave. Park, and am hoping my office will hit enough fiscal goals to become the business sponsor of the program. We use our space at Grant and Potomac to host community meetings.

I am on the board of the Hostel. I am on the community advisory committee for the Richardson Complex. I was on #Squad for Slow Roll, but running my own business put my bike on the rack…I can’t wait to get back. I am the chair of the intellectual property committee for the Erie County Bar Association. In Buffalo, if you see a need, you just step up and do it.

Who has been your biggest motivator through the ups and downs of owning a small business?

My husband. By now I owe him about 5 vacations to various exotic locations. And of course, my parents and in-laws and my kids, who give me the motivation to align my work with the rest of my life. And my office team makes the ups that much better, and keeps the downs rare.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

I have been blessed by many mentors, most of whom were very different from me. Surround yourself with people of integrity – even if you don’t agree with them at all times – and consider it an honor when they challenge your ideas. They will make you better and give you a diverse array of friends to draw on when you need an extra boost, reality check, or input. And listen, listen, listen to what they have to say – but never stop heeding your own inner voice.