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While many law school students envision their names on the door of a big law firm someday, Larry Pino saw law school as the key to opening a lot of other kinds of doors.
“Once you pass the bar, you can hang up a shingle, you can go into a law firm and practice law, you can go in-house and act as a general counsel in a business or you can operate a business,” Pino says. “You can even run for office if you have political ambitions. It’s just an enormously flexible degree.”
Even though he founded his own law firm in Orlando, now called Pino Nicholson, PLLC, Pino didn’t hang a shingle for his commercial, law and business consulting firm until well after earning his Juris Doctor from NYU. In fact, his first step after law school was returning to a sporting goods business he started with his father while he was still an undergraduate at Notre Dame. The father-son duo built that business into a chain of nine stores and the largest institutional athletic distributor in the state of Florida, before selling the business, along with the distribution center.
“Along the way, I decided it would be fun to start a law practice,” he said.
Now, with extensive experience from owning and operating some 80 start-ups, while simultaneously practicing commercial law, Pino is uniquely qualified to help his business clients not just in consulting on their legal needs, but in answering their operational business and marketing questions too.
“When it comes to entrepreneurs, my value add is that I can pretty much finish their sentences because I’ve operated businesses myself, from a small retail shop to a tech company doing $250 million in sales a year and everything in between.
“We work with entrepreneurs, professionals, business people and investors to help them with the business aspects of their businesses, along with operational components.” The firm splits its legal work about 50/50 between transactional and litigation work, all of which is handled in-house.
“We represent our clients in all aspects of what they do, whether it’s securities work, structural and transactional work, litigation, and even anything that relates to the operational aspects of their businesses.”
On top of his extensive business and legal experience, Pino supplemented his Notre Dame Bachelor’s Degree and NYU Law School Juris Doctor with a Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Florida.
With so much experience of his own, Pino has an abundance of advice to pass on to the legal and business world. He has written fourteen books, including The Small Business Intensive in Live Seminar Format, Morphing: Radical Evolution for Revolutionary Times, Finding Your E-Niche, Finding Your Niche, Cash in on Cash Flow — How to Make Full-time Income with Part-time Effort in America’s Hottest New Business, The Desktop Lawyer, Reinventing Senior Living: The Art of Living with Purpose, Passion & Joy, Success Mastery, and countless others.
In addition, Pino is an Adjunct Professor at a local college in Florida, teaching one class per semester. For any of his students who may be unsure about the best course of study to follow in college, Pino makes no secret about what he thinks: “Law school gives you an incredibly flexible education. It gives everyone the same opportunity: Pick what you want to do and who you want to be.”
And for anyone who already has a law degree who might feel a little lost about how to make a living during what may seem like very difficult times, Pino encourages them to take a step back and think about the things they really love to do before taking the next step.
“If you don’t like what you’re doing, do something else. There’s never any reason to feel stuck when you have a legal education.”
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