Ben Council, Esq. speaks.
What inspired you to be an attorney?
First: In my mid 20s, I was heavily involved in the real estate market before its collapse. I noticed that the real estate closing attorneys were making tons of money off the real estate market by just focusing on closing real estate deals. Therefore, I decided that it would be easier to be a real estate closing attorney.
Secondly: Also, in my mid 20s, I had a profound revelation that our society is made of laws and if you do not understand those laws you stand the chance of being taken advantage of by the people that do understand the laws. Therefore, I decided to go to law school to protect myself, my rights and to control my financial future. In order to be successful in America, one must have a firm understanding of the laws and be able to use them as tools to accomplish that success.
You took things a little further and became an entrepreneur. Why?
I inherited the entrepreneurial spirit from my dad. He started his own plumbing company when he was just 24. His focus was not allowing another person to control your future. As a result, I went through undergrad and grad school with the emphasis on starting my own business.
What area of law do you practice and why?
I currently practice bankruptcy, personal injury and tax law.
My practice areas focus on helping people put their lives back together.
For instance, many consumers have been taken advantage of by predatory lending practices of banks that are designed to financially harm the individual. My bankruptcy and tax practice centers on restoring consumers to financial stability.
What advice would you give a college student who desires to be an attorney?
1. Matriculate to an inexpensive law school. The law school education is vastly over priced. One does not need to pay $100K plus to become an attorney. Try to spend no more than $50K on law school. The average law grad will not make much and certainly will not be able to afford paying back $100K in loans.
2. Focus on going into business for yourself. Law firms don’t hire many law school grads anymore and the competition for those jobs is fierce. Simply, it’s hard to find a job. Therefore, when you are in law school position yourself to start your own practice as soon as you pass the bar.
3. Study and focus on practicing law in a field that does not have much competition, like taxation, bankruptcy, international law, aviation law, international shipping/trade law, etc.
4. While in law school volunteer at free legal aid law firms to gain valuable experience practicing law. Volunteer at as many firms as possible to learn the practice of law.
5. Be prepared to work two jobs in order to pay your bills. Attorneys usually don’t start making money in the field until year five.
Tell us about your interest in real estate.
“God don’t make land anymore.” This is a quote used often in the real estate field meaning that there is a limited amount of land and you can never go wrong in buying as much land as you can.
It’s common knowledge that throughout history men rich in land have the most power, wealth, and influence.
One of my life passions is building, rehabbing and developing property. It’s exhilarating to see your thoughts move to paper and then brought to life and seeing a cheerful smile on a buyer’s face when you hand them the keys to their new property.
How has being a father impacted your life?
Scary! Nothing is scarier than realizing that you are completely responsible for another person’s life and they depend on you for everything. As a father you have no days off, no sick days and certainly no vacation days.
Wonderful! Nothing makes me happier than the joy I feel just by looking at my son. Everything I do in life now I do with the thought of how it will impact my son and his future.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
As my maturation continues and as I seek to become a more productive member of society, I would love to move into public service. Political office on the state, national or international level has been a long time goal.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Success comes at a price that only a few are willing to pay.”