Tammy Friederichs is not a doctor, but she still makes house calls. The chair of the Hennepin County Bar Association Solo and Small Firm section often visits small businesses in her hometown of Hastings to assist them with legal issues.
“I do counseling for small businesses that can't afford or choose not to run downtown Minneapolis when they have questions, so I make house calls in Hastings,” she said.
Friederichs, a partner and co-founder at Friederichs & Thompson, located in Bloomington, focuses her practice in employment litigation and employment consulting.
In addition to her pro bono work with businesses, she also serves as chair-elect of the Hastings Chamber of Commerce. She started working with the chamber as a way to give back to the community. Initially, she spoke on topics related to human resources and served as counsel for them when they needed legal help.
Friederichs appreciated the connections she made through the organization. “We're always networking and looking for great ways to do that in new and different ways to keep people engaged and excited. But at the end of the day, we're all trying to grow our business,” she said.
She was soon asked to serve on a committee and then to join the board. The Chamber of Commerce has been beneficial on both a personal and professional level for Friederichs.
"It's been a great experience to work with other business owners. At the end of the day, I am a business owner as a solo/small,” she said.
She loves working with business owners in her home community.
“I've met some great people and friends. It's been a wonderful opportunity to use my skill set to give back to those people,” she said.
The small businesses environment is nothing new for Friederichs, who has spent her entire career working in small firms. "The small firm was much more suited to me. I liked the one-on-one contact that I had with the clients. I liked the opportunity to choose clients, which is what I have with my own firm, rather than be assigned. I enjoy working with the people that I choose to be my clients,” she said.
While Friederichs appreciates working in a smaller setting, she said that It takes the right kind of person to set out on their own. Friederichs listed a number of qualities that make for a successful solo/small firm lawyer: strong sense of self, ability to make good decisions, and being able to sell your business.
Friederichs likes helping people and solving problems. “The most rewarding thing for me is helping good people solve their issues wherever they are before and in lieu of it becoming litigation. If all goes well and I've done my job, my clients don't get sued.”