Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
Virginia native and George Washington University Law School graduate Anthony Coppola launched The Coppola Firm, PLC in October to help alleviate some of the writing and court document preparation burden off other firms with excessive case loads.
“There are a lot of larger firms who know who their strong writers are and utilize them,” Coppola said. “I think a lot of the smaller firms don’t necessarily have that luxury, especially because some of those are trial attorneys that don’t often get appeals. I can help a lot of people like that.”
Trial attorneys, he explained, focus on oral skills as their job is to present spoken arguments in courts. Appeals, however, must have well-written briefs and documents to be successful.
“Larger firms can usually push cases around a lot more easily, but other firms can get overwhelmed with their case loads,” he added. “When this happens and motions start to stack up on people’s desks, I can help by getting them written and getting them out.”
“When I was in school, I didn’t like writing at all and I wasn’t great at it,” he said. “My last year though, I decided to take another chance at a writing class and I really enjoyed it.”
After graduating, Coppola accepted a job with a writing consulting firm in Washington, D.C., preparing appellate briefs on a contract basis. A few years into his time there, mentors and peers started telling the young lawyer he could have the beginnings of a business of his own.
“Career counselors kept telling me I could have a good business here, I would just need to grow it,” he explained. “At that time, I didn’t have any kind of entrepreneurial background, so I didn’t act on that advice right away.”
That’s when Coppola stepped away from law for a bit, working for two different tech companies. Along the way, he kept getting pulled back to the idea of a law firm specifically for writing.
“I gained a kind of entrepreneurial spirit when I was there, and I spent a few months meeting with my mentors and figuring out what this would look like as a business,” Coppola said. “And now I’m here.”
Since he is an attorney at law, The Coppola Firm is, indeed, a law firm, not a consulting business. Taking the advice of both the District of Columbia Bar and the Virginia State Bar, he decided starting a firm would present him with the most opportunity.
This distinction, Coppola said, is an important one to make because he can give both grammatical and legal advice, when the situation requires it.
The Coppola Firm is working on gaining momentum and building a client base. Its founder is focused on connecting with people in the industry and is open to growth in the future.
“I’m just trying to get out there and meet people,” Coppola said. “I’m genuinely interested in getting to know people and hearing their stories through my work.”
After growing up in the area, he’s excited those people will be in Arlington.
“There are a lot of great people and businesses here,” he said. “It just feels comfortable. It’s why I live here and why I work here.”