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3 Tips for Starting Your Own Firm (And Getting Shit Done)

Karalynn Cromeens has always felt more comfortable in a room of contractors than in a room of lawyers. 

She grew up around the construction industry. Her grandfather built golf courses. Her uncle owned an irrigation company. Some of her first jobs were working with him.


When Karalynn set out to become a lawyer, construction wasn’t the plan. 

She landed her first legal job in real estate development. Meanwhile on the side, she and her husband started a material supply company in Houston. 

Pretty soon, it was all she could do to keep up with the legal work they needed. So in 2006, she started her own firm, the Cromeens Law Firm, primarily for the sake of keeping up with their company’s collections. 

As a young lawyer, she couldn’t find many sources out there on mechanics liens. After a lot of research and losing some cases, she figured out how to collect the right way. She was highly motivated because at the end of the day, her family needed this money to make it. 

She got so good at her job, the people she was collecting from started wanting to hire her. So she started building a client base. It grew as word started getting around. 

Today, Karalynn’s firm serves small to mid-sized construction businesses, usually $10 million or under a year. She’s on a mission to educate and inform subcontractors on the importance of understanding what they’re signing, negotiating a fair subcontract, and understanding their lien and collection rights. 


Even though it wasn’t what she pictured when she first started out, Karalynn feels like everything aligned from her past experience to bring her to where she is now. 

She has the unique perspective of being able to see things from the side of struggling businesses that need legal help but can’t get it because it’s too expensive and takes too long. 

A lot of lawyers won’t return their calls. They aren’t clear on how quickly they can get things done, but contractors need to know right away. They’re trying to reach deadlines and make payroll. 

Karalynn started what’s called a general retainer and uses flat fees as much as possible. If her client has any need for her to review a lien release, they can send it over, and she’ll get it over to them in 24 hours. She cuts through all the legal jargon and says, “Here’s what this document means. No bullshit.”


I asked Karalynn to share 3 pieces of advice for attorneys who are thinking about starting their own firm. Here’s what she said: 

You don’t have to do it the way everybody else does it. 


You can think outside the box and create something completely original. You don’t have to be stuck in the way everyone else does it. 

Be client-centered. 

Look at what your client wants and how they want to be treated. Keep them at the heart of it all. That’s what everybody else is going to be doing (hopefully). 

Implementing processes for people. 


People don’t know what’s in your head. You need to tell them again and explain why. The more you do that, the easier it will be. Even if you don’t have it all figured out, start with something. 

Managing people is probably the hardest part of owning a business, but if you can have processes and things that are clearly expected, it’s a lot easier. Be up front about the processes, how things work, and everything you do as the owner. 


I’m so happy I got to share this conversation with Karalynn with you. The moment she sat down to film the podcast, I knew she was our kind of people. She had a sign behind her that said, “Get shit done.” She was 100% in the powerhouse vibe from the start. 


Here’s where you can find Karalynn:


Email: [email protected]

Instagram: @karalynncromeens

Facebook: Karalynn Cromeens 

Podcast: Quit Getting Screwed

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