Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with Big Auto Accident Attorneys CEO and Managing Partner Nic Edgson to discuss his career and the “big” plans he has for his firm.
AALM: Tell us about your experience playing football. How did that experience shape you?
NE: I love sports. The lessons, skills and discipline learned as an athlete have shaped my life. I learned early that results are directly tied to hard work and dedication. That mindset and effort allowed me the opportunity to play football in college and in the Canadian Football League.
Football isn’t just a game. It teaches you so many attributes that are necessary to succeed in life. You learn to communicate, collaborate, trust your teammates, be accountable, dedicate your efforts to a team goal and many other skills that extend far beyond the field. The discipline required and the ability to bounce back from defeat mirrors life’s challenges.
AALM: How did your experiences lead you to pursue the law? And your personal injury practice in particular?
NE: My father is an attorney. He taught me being an attorney is something you can take pride in, gives you independence to work where you want and allows you to provide for your family. I admired his success and ability to provide for our family, which led me to want to pursue a similar career. When playing football ended, law was the next step.
Early in my legal career, I represented the family of seven killed in a head-on truck collision. As a father of five boys, I too am a family of seven. The devastation and trauma heightened my view of the law through a human lens. It gave me an immediate appreciation for how vehicle accidents and deaths can so quickly devastate a family.
Representing clients in personal injury cases also allows me the ability to work on a contingent fee basis rather than the traditional billable hour. Clients often get worried that each call, email, message will cost them more money. A contingent fee based on the total settlement affords me the ability to spend the time, effort and resources needed to achieve the best outcome for each client without the client worrying about paying fees ahead of time.
AALM: How is your practice different today than you envisioned in law school?
NE: I went to law school thinking about business; but when I came out of law school, the job market quickly forced me into a more traditional billable-hour law firm. Fast forward more than 10 years and now I am seeing how my initial interest in business merges with law. It’s fascinating to work as the managing attorney and CEO.
AALM: Tell us about your federal judicial clerkship. What lessons did you learn?
NE: It was a unique experience — getting to see the other side of the bench. You see how a judge reads and interprets pleadings. You see how their mind works to solve the problem or get to a reasonable solution. I learned early to get my point across quickly. The judge only needs to hear your arguments once. After you bring it up again a second, third, or worse fourth time, you lose your credibility.
I am extremely appreciative of my time spent with the Honorable Judge Kent Jordan and Sherry Fallon. It takes a significant amount of patience to guide young attorneys through judicial clerkships and the experience has continued to shape my career.
AALM: What first attracted you to Big Auto Accident Attorneys?
NE: Easy answer: I was fascinated and excited about joining and building the team. I’ve been a fan of the Alternative Business Structure concept since its inception. The possibility of working in and helping to manage a law firm that is business centric — innovative, focused, efficient — that was wildly intriguing. Many traditional law firms function in antiquated ways that do not serve the best interest of the client or the business. The idea of working for a law firm that is at the forefront of an innovative business idea was something I could not pass up.
There are so many successful and intelligent people that support Big Auto. Whether it is the members of the managing board, our executive team, vendors, co-counsel firm, referral firms, etc. We are all working together for the benefit of our clients. It has been a lot of fun getting to build that.
AALM: Since joining Big Auto Accident Attorneys in June, you’ve been named the CEO and managing attorney. What plans do you have for the firm?
NE: Growth. Expansion. Process. We are growing fast, and we are already having a big impact in our community. Providing help to the community in Phoenix and nationally is an exciting endeavor. The larger our internal team, the more support and care we can give to our clients. I am looking forward to seeing Big Auto Accident Attorneys working in our community – as THE source for those who need help the most.
AALM: Tell us about some of your professional inspiration?
NE: I have been blessed with great mentors in my life. I learned from a close friend to appreciate the mentors you have, both good and bad. Some of my best mentors may not even know they were mentoring me.
A major shift in my recent legal career came when reading the book: “Fireproof: A Five-Step Model to Take Your Law Firm from Unpredictable to Wildly Profitable,” by Mike Morse and John Nachazel. This book highlighted that data, clarity, culture and teamwork can create a path to financial and professional success, all while having a little fun along the way. Little did I know at the time I read the book that I would later work hand-in-hand with the authors. Their book and mentorship have been pivotal in the foundation for my business strategy.
AALM: Looking back on your career so far are there any changes you’d make?
NE: I believe mistakes aren’t by accident. They help you grow, learn and further your career. An area I always want to improve is time with my family. I feel lucky that our board members, who have all had successful careers before getting involved with Big Auto, shared similar career advice with me when I stepped into this role.
Growing this firm will take a lot of time and energy, but you will never regret missing a meeting. You will regret missing a milestone in your child’s life. My priority is steadfast: Be present. Whether at games, activities or family dinners.
AALM: What goals are you still hoping to accomplish? What’s the next big milestone for you?
NE: All my professional time and attention is focused on the growth and success of Big Auto Accident Attorneys. I want this firm to be the go-to innovative source for those injured in car and truck accidents.
I want us to be known in the community for our work product, for giving back and for being more than just a law firm.
I want to give my team the chance to further their own career goals – to feel valued and heard.
A big milestone would be Big Auto being recognized for the value we bring to the community – helping people – as more than simply a law firm.
AALM: Outside of your legal career, what are some of your hobbies or interests that you enjoy pursuing in your free time? Do you still play football?
NE: I love being on the field and in my backyard with my kids. Oftentimes that means kids from all over the neighborhood coming over for backyard football, basketball and baseball. I enjoy coaching, mentoring and nurturing youth in our communities. And I enjoy date nights with my wife, Katie, and traveling when time allows.