“My father was one of the most brilliant people. He inspired me to learn many things and continue my education, which is what I did, and it is why I am where I am today.” — Attorney, Greg C. Okwuosah.
Gregory Okwuosah attended the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, where he received his B.S. in Economics. He then continued his education until he obtained his M.B.A/B.S. in Accounting, this time from Utah State University in Logan, Utah. After some years working as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), his desire to challenge himself to learn a related, but new field of study brought him to Pennsylvania for his law degree. After receiving his J.D., or Juris Doctor, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, he completed his LL.M., or Master of Laws degree, in Taxation from Villanova University School of Law, followed by an additional LL.M. in Corporate and Finance Law from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. After years of practicing law as a Special Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Department of Justice, and as a Senior Attorney with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Office of Chief Counsel, Gregory is now a successful owner of The Law Offices of Gregory C. Okwuosah, LLC in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Gregory strives to keep a healthy work life balance. After years of trial and error, he believes he has finally accomplished this goal by closely guarding his free time. Now, at the end of the day, he makes every effort to leave his work at the office. At home on the weekend, he refuses to allow himself to be called back to handle a file he can manage on Monday, if possible. Although it isn’t easy for him to break his old habits, he maintains that showing his family how much they mean to him is more important than constantly monitoring the business of his office. Gregory Okwuosah enjoys the quality time he spends with family and friends all that much more now.
What do you currently do at your company?
The law practice is owned and operated by me; therefore, I am in charge of everything from consulting clients to attending court, as well as all the standard day-to-day operations of the business. It is my plan to add more lawyers to the practice in the near future.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
One of the main objectives of my law firm is to help people in any way I can. My mission is to ensure that all people have competent, legal representation that is affordable to them. I tailor my services to people’s ability to pay while not compromising the quality of the legal representation.
What defines your way of doing business?
My philosophy has always been to stick with it and strive to do better with every client. During the initial consultation, I listen carefully and diligently to the potential client’s needs. Beyond that, providing legal services to them means meeting their needs and answering all their questions. If, in the end, I am confident that I have provided them with satisfactory-to-excellent legal counsel, I believe I have accomplished what they were looking for and met their expectations.
What keys to being productive can you share?
Being productive means preparing yourself for whatever will happen throughout the day. It also means completing the research regarding a case or preparing the client for their court hearing, so there are no surprises. You must communicate throughout the process and fight hard for whom you represent.
Tell us one long-term goal in your career.
As my roster of clients increases and the community’s need for legal representation grows, one long-term goal I have would be to employ additional lawyers and, further down the road, open multiple law offices in and around Lawrenceville, Georgia.
How do you measure success?
First and foremost, success comes from not giving up and taking on the challenges of each day. I ask the questions that help evaluate what I am doing for the client, such as whether the client is happy with the outcome that we provided them, whether they feel like we listened to them, and finally, did we achieve what they expected and what we set out to do. That is how I measure success in my business.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
When I reflect on all the lessons I have learned throughout my career, and there have been several, the one that stands out the most is to actively listen to the client without thinking about how you will reply. In the legal profession, this is key to building relationships and trust with the client. As professionals, it is easy to assume that you know what the client wants and is thinking; therefore, you fall into the temptation of telling them before they say it. You can guide them, but they should be the ones that tell you what they are looking for, and then you tailor how you will respond to meet their needs. When the client is satisfied, you will know you have completed the objective to their satisfaction.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
Each day comes with its challenges, opportunities, and successes. Be sure to enjoy what you do every day, so it doesn’t feel like work. I come to work daily to listen and assist clients with whatever may be happening to them, no matter how difficult. I enjoy listening to clients and working to change their outcomes for the better. You have to enjoy what you are doing.
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
I try to make a healthy work-life balance a priority, which is sometimes difficult to achieve. When I do have spare time, I like to work out. My favorite way to stay in shape is to play tennis. I am in several tennis leagues around Atlanta. And, of course, I very much enjoy spending time with family and friends.
How would your colleagues describe you?
My colleagues would see me as a ‘glass-half-full,’ positive person. I can be reserved at times, but am hardworking, ambitious, and considerate to those I encounter. I also really enjoy learning new things.
How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
Again, this can be a challenge, but I strive to take the weekends to exercise, spend time with family and friends, and read a lot for enjoyment. I sometimes like to watch television, especially comedies. Structuring weekends for fun times and relaxing is an important goal of mine.
What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
My cell phone is something I consider an ‘office in the palm of my hand’ because I can access anything from it at any time. It is vital to contact clients who may need me, and for checking files remotely, as well. My cell phone has everything necessary for me to conduct business within easy reach, and I can access it all 24/7.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
I see them more as challenges, as opposed to obstacles. When I define a situation as a challenge, I look forward to assessing it, coming up with a plan of action, and solving it. It becomes a learning opportunity if you look at them as a challenge rather than an obstacle.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
The role model who inspired me the most in all that I have done is my dad. He was probably one of the most brilliant human beings I have ever known, and he was very disciplined. He worked extremely hard and built a construction business all by himself. I aspire to be like him.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
I have had lots of good advice along the way, from the beginning of my career until the present-day. The best advice that comes to mind is ‘look before you leap.’ In other words, make sure that you have as many facts and as much information as you can gather before trying to make the best decisions for your client.