WHAT THE LAST 10 YEARS HAVE MEANT TO ME
MY EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH KIM FRYE AND FRYE LAW GROUP
Most people have a mentor or someone they look up to who offers them advice, guides them through difficult times, and supports them while they dodge the inevitable curveballs associated with mere human existence. Fortunately for me, I met my mentor, Kim Frye, 10 years ago, and she had — and continues to have — a major effect on my life.
I started working with Kim approximately six months after she opened Frye Law Group in 2008. I was a 17-year-old high school student at the time. Her eldest son joined a Boy Scout troop in the area, where I was finishing my Eagle Scout rank. When I met Kim there, she mentioned that she was opening up a firm and needed someone to help. I started a part-time position there answering phones, organizing paperwork, and running files down to the courthouse. It didn’t take long for Kim to notice how much I enjoyed the job and observe that I could complete my work competently. My part-time role quickly grew into a full-time position. As a kid working on his high school diploma with zero legal experience, I knew that Kim was taking a chance on me. But I also knew that I was a quick learner and could discover everything I needed to know to help ensure that operations ran smoothly for her new business.
I worked as Kim’s paralegal through my senior year up until I left for college. While I was at Georgia Tech, I went from studying chemical engineering to environmental engineering. Then I landed on a chemistry degree, which I pursued until the constant classes, homework, tests, and stress left me feeling a bit burned out. At this point, I knew I needed to take a short hiatus from school. Fortunately, Kim and I had stayed in touch. We even went skydiving for her birthday when I was home visiting from school! So when I told her my plan, she didn’t hesitate to hire me back.
Ever since my first day back in 2008, I’ve learned so much from this job and from Kim. All most people know about criminal law stems from the fictional depictions they see on TV, but the actual process is so much different than what is shown to the masses. Getting to meet the real people who are trampled by the system and hearing their true stories of unfair or biased treatment has made me wholeheartedly believe in the work I do. In the last decade, I have watched Kim help thousands of people. After being exposed to that kind of immense impact, it’s almost impossible to opt out of helping Kim assist more people in similar predicaments. I believe in what we do because I’ve seen the inspiring and life-altering results. As Kim has continued to expand her practice to help more people, I have taken on more responsibilities at the firm. Together, we understand that you need more than ample legal experience to run a successful law firm; you have to be able to manage a business as well. With my focus on human resources, information technology, finances, and other operational processes, Kim has been able to do more of what she does best: help her clients in the courtroom. It’s almost as if the two of us have grown symbiotically. Through Kim’s support and encouragement, I’ve found a way to combine my technical skills with my love of helping people. When I think about all the people we’ve helped in the last decade, it’s fascinating for me to look back knowing that I was there at the beginning as her very first employee.