My Story

Welcome, my name is JP Box. Born in 1981, I am a Millennial lawyer-turned-entrepreneur and author. Let me tell you, briefly, how I got to this point.

JP Box, Entrepreneur and Millennial Lawyer Consultant. (Photo by Yan Palmer).

JP Box, Entrepreneur and Millennial Lawyer Consultant. (Photo by Yan Palmer).

On paper and in practice, I was a great lawyer. I graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center where I served as Executive Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.

I practiced law for six years in Washington, DC and Denver, Colorado. I worked for three firms. You could call me the "Goldilocks" of associates -- trying on for size a large international firm in DC, a large regional firm in Denver, and a small regional firm in Denver (the last of which became a mid-sized national firm). My practice focused on government investigations, commercial litigation, and real estate transactional work.

Unlike Goldilocks, I didn't find the right temperature law firm. I worked at each firm for roughly two years (which coincidentally is the national average for a millennial in a new job).  At each firm, I quickly earned the trust of partners, and clients would often call me directly about ongoing and new cases. And, yes, I could make a legal brief sing. But it wasn't enough to sustain me. I pulled the plug on firms whose partners told me they were looking for the "next JP Box" when hiring new associates.

When I left each firm, disappointed partners would ask me a seemingly simple question: why are you leaving us? At the time, I couldn't articulate a good reason. I was simply following a voice within me to continue searching for myself and my place in this world.

After six years as a lawyer, I switched gears and co-founded a merino wool children's wear company called Chasing Windmills. For that story, you'll have to check out the company that my wife (Sarah) and I co-founded and launched in 2015.

Time has given me perspective. I've realized that my journey -- the successful but unfulfilled associate -- is not all that unique. The internal conflicts that drove me away from practicing law could be traced, in part, to the generational divides between Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. I began to wonder: what would a Millennial-friendly law firm look like, and how could it thrive? What steps can law firms take -- big and small -- to attract and retain their best young associates?

These questions led me to where I am now: a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur and consultant. I help law firms understand how to attract and keep their best Millennial associates. In a way, I'm hoping to create the perfect firm for all those young Goldilocks associates out there -- a firm that will thrive financially because of its ability to motivate and keep its best young talent.

My wife has asked me: what if a law firm followed your advice completely? Would you go back to practicing law? My answer is: no. I love what I do now. But if you had asked me that question in 2013 when I was still practicing law? I'd probably still be a lawyer today.

When I advise law firms on Millennials, it's not coming from an outsider who never practiced law or a person who belongs to a different generation. I am a lawyer, licensed in two states. I am a Millennial born in 1981. I've lived the life and I've done the research.

I can help law firms bridge the gap with their Millennial attorneys and usher in a new era at law firms where all attorneys -- Boomers to Millennials -- work together effectively and harmoniously. Sure, it might sound idealistic, but that's lesson number one about Millennials: we dream big.

Book Release, December 2017!

For more of my story and additional insights into the Millennial generation, please check out my book: The Millennial Lawyer: How Your Firm Can Motivate and Retain Young Associates.

Published by the American Bar Association, The Millennial Lawyer: How Your Firm Can Motivate and Retain Young Associates weaves together personal tales of my life as a young attorney with exhaustive research into the Millennial generation. My book identifies commonly held Millennial values and explains how law firms can embrace the Millennial mindset while remaining highly productive.