From the time he was a child, Eric Slepian knew that he would be a lawyer. It wasn’t a dream, or a boyish aspiration: it was a fact of life.
“When I was in the sixth grade our teacher asked us to write what we wanted to be when we grew up,” he said. “Everyone else wrote down three or four careers – the usual: fireman, doctor, soldier, veterinarian – but I wrote one word: lawyer. It was all I ever wanted and all I ever thought I would be.”
He has become one of the most successful lawyers in South Metro Atlanta, building a practice from nothing into the region’s premier full-service firm.
After graduating from Rutgers University and then Boston University School of Law, Eric came south to visit his father in Stone Mountain, Georgia. While on the trip, he interviewed with a local law firm and was offered a job as an associate in Peachtree City making less than minimum wage. Newly married, he and his wife at the time lived in the cheapest apartment they could find and survived on pizza coupons and day-old bread. Eric worked 18-hour days and racked up a quarter of a million dollars in billings before he finally asked his boss for a raise.
“To my shock he said, ‘Rather than give you a raise, I think you should go out on your own,’” Eric said.
Forced into entrepreneurship, Eric founded what is now Slepian, Schwartz & Landgaard with no money and a few simple rules: no one would ever outwork him; he would always be a good citizen in his community; and, most importantly, he would run his firm the way he lived his life: by the Golden Rule, always treating others – clients, employees, and competitors – the way he would want to be treated.
“No phone calls goes unreturned,” he said, pointing out just one of the firm’s longstanding policies. “It’s a small thing, but it’s a vital thing. I don’t want someone leaving the office until everyone has been called back, because if I were on the other end of the line, I would want my lawyer getting back to me.”
Eric proved that a law firm built on kindness could become one of the most successful businesses in the area. He alone has conducted more than 15,000 real estate closings and helped countless people set up their small businesses, prepare their Wills and protect their Estates.
Eric has two children and remains devoted to his town, his friends, his clients – past, present and future – and the firm.
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