Q. Give the readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations.

A. The Oceanside divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel have built a reputation on settling family law disputes quickly and effectively. We offer high quality, personalized legal services to all of our clients. Our staff of qualified and experienced family law attorneys can help you cope with and resolve your family’s legal matters, no matter how complex they may be.

Our law firm focuses on several different aspects of family law, ranging from divorce to child adoption. We can provide aggressive representation and put forth strong arguments when needed, and for other cases, we can offer knowledgeable and helpful mediation. No matter what your situation may be, we will always stand by your side.

The Oceanside family law attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel have the experience and qualifications necessary to help you with your circumstances and with offices in Oceanside, Carlsbad, San Maros and La Mesa we are also convenient.

Q. Provide a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

A. Michael Fischer is a licensed California attorney licensed to practice in both state and federal court. Mr. Fischer has handled hundreds of contested and uncontested family law matters. He is known for his ability to guide his clients through the tumultuous processes of family court in an aggressive yet compassionate manner.

Mr. Fischer graduated Cum Laude from Saint Joseph’s College in Rensellaer Indiana with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing and a minor in Political Science. For twenty-two years he oversaw the growth of his photography studio and photo processing laboratory in Soldotna, Alaska as well as owning and operating commercial salmon fishing permit and beach site in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. Mr. Fischer’s experience as a business owner uniquely qualifies him to assist his clients through the financial turmoil a separation or dissolution may present.

After experiencing his own very contested divorce, he chose to go back to get his law degree in order to help others who have to go through the unwelcomed experiences of divorce. Mr. Fischer graduated with a Juris Doctor from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento California. McGeorge is an American Bar Association accredited school and has been recognized as one of the top 100 law schools in the United States.

Mr. Fischer has raised a daughter who is a military spouse, mother and successful business person, and a son who left the Marine Corp. as a corporal after his second tour of duty in Iraq. Mr. Fischer feels himself very fortunate to be married to his wife of twelve years who is able to juggle her second career as a nurse and the full time job of mom. Together they have a ten year old daughter with special needs and a nine year old adopted son who originally joined the family as a foster child through the County of San Diego.

With his extensive business and financial background and his inimitable life experiences, Mr. Fischer’s uniquely qualified to assist his clients with their family law matters with intelligence empathy and compassion.

Q. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

A. After having grown a one-hour photo lab to include a photo studio an art studio and a custom frame shop, life threw a curve ball and via divorce the need for absentee ownership (which never works) and the change of photo technology to a digital world set the need for a career change.  Recognizing the multiple directions and opportunities available through a law degree it seemed the obvious choice and then going into practice as a sole practitioner was just the logical start of growing  a firm.

Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs in your industry?
A. If you don’t like working hard, go to work for the government and not yourself.

Do what you are best at, hire out the things you are not but always know and understand what your contractors are doing

Never forget who the customer is and that you and your services are the product.  Customers buy the product not the other way around.

Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

A. Understand marketing and how to cost efficiently get your product in front of the customer and make them want your product/service.

Successful business is about relationships.  To a great degree customers are buying you.  In the legal profession there are hundreds if not thousands of attorneys who practice the same type of law.  When clients are asked why they retained us, the number one response is “I liked you.”  Further the number one, by far, page viewed on our website is the bio page.  People prefer to work with someone who has life experiences they can relate to, have common life experiences and that they like.

The ability to understand accounting and book-keeping processes.  Even if the work itself is hired out you must be able to read and understand financial documents and what the information they present means to your company.

Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?

A. Eight to ten

Q. To what do you most attribute your success?

A. Perseverance and empathy (the ability to relate to the feelings and experiences of clients.)  And a lot of long hours.

Q. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?  

A. Having been in business for over 35 years I realize there is no one correct way to market a business and part of being a successful entrepreneur is being able to determine which marketing channel or channels works best for your company/industry.  Although we incorporate many channels, we find that more and more different methods utilizing the internet are the most successful means of marketing our company and services.  Traditional print media is a smaller and smaller portion of our budget and radio is not utilized at all.

Although I know of others in our field who successfully use these channels I prefer marketing channels in which it is not “subliminal” but rather ones in which I can directly measure the value of the marketing dollars.

Q. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture (if any)?

A. Our firm started as a sole practice initially utilizing our own savings.  In hindsight we were in such a dangerous situation of being undercapitalized.  Fortunately, we were very lucky to be accepted by a couple of legal referral agencies despite having just obtained my bar card, and was always able to cover expenses, pay ourselves and still have money to grow.

Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success in your industry?

A. Provide the best to your customers always and remember it is easier and less expensive to keep existing clients/customers by satisfying their needs than to find new clients.

Q. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

A. I still have the goal of growing the business to the point of needing an additional two attorneys and three additional support staff.  At that point I will have reached the firm size I had envisioned when I started.  Large enough to provide a multitude of professional perspectives and experiences to the client but also small enough to not lose the personal feeling of the small firm.

About Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP: The Carlsbad divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP have a wealth of experience handling a wide variety of divorce- and family-law cases!  We pride ourselves on the diversity of the legal experience we have! Our Carlsbad family law attorneys have particular experience handling cases involving divorce, child custody, domestic violence, juvenile court, adoption, mediation, etc.

Company Name: Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP
Address: 701 Palomar Airport Rd, #300. Carlsbad CA 92011
Contact No: (760) 722-7669