For business owners across the country, the year 2020 presented challenges unlike any other. Regardless of practice area, law firms everywhere were faced with the decision of whether to fold their cards and accept the loss of revenue, clients, and stability — or take the road less traveled to find a new route to success.
Attorney Miriam Airington-Fisher and her team chose the latter.
Based in Richmond, Virginia, The Center for Immigration and Criminal Law is a boutique law firm that handles both criminal and immigration cases.
In their criminal practice, they focus on complex cases and wrongful convictions in state and federal courts. Their clients are charged with, or have been wrongfully convicted of, serious offenses in cases that present unique or complicated factual or legal issues.
In the immigration practice, Miriam and her team focus on reuniting families and helping clients find safety here in the United States through family-based or humanitarian immigration petitions.
They represent immigration clients across the country, and they also collaborate and partner with other attorneys on civil cases involving their clients’ rights or injuries.
The Challenge At Hand
When 2020 first began, Miriam had big plans to expand her firm and crush the revenue goals she had set — goals that all had to be reassessed once the novel COVID-19 pandemic hit the States.
“The very beginning of the crisis was a frightening time. The courts closed and many jurisdictions were not equipped to go to phone and video initially. We were struggling to schedule hearing dates for clients who had been waiting on their day in court,” Miriam explained.
Due to the nature of their work, fears arose for both her team and her clients.
Many of Miriam’s criminal defense clients with incarcerated loved ones worried about the mounting threat of COVID-19 outbreaks within the prisons. Additionally, a large number of her immigration clients were stuck in limbo waiting for interviews to finalize their cases and be reunited with the families.
With courts closed and a slew of travel restrictions introduced, the stress only seemed to mount. However, these obstacles were no match for Miriam Airington-Fisher.
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way
Determined to succeed in spite of the odds, Miriam and her team got to work, turning to Crisp Coach for guidance, motivation, and resources along the way.
“Crisp Coach inspired me to be bold and continue to grow, despite COVID-19,” she shared. “So many industries were impacted, and economically it was a frightening year. I joined Crisp Coach because I wanted to keep that momentum and grow, even in a challenging year.”
In an effort to adapt to the new normal, Miriam and her team went remote for 10 weeks. With 3 young children at home, she worked to find a balance between motherhood and law firm ownership, regularly taking calls from the backyard while her kids played outside.
Additionally, she often woke up in the early hours of the morning to get work done for her clients, who remained her priority in the midst of the madness.
“We instantly began pushing for video and phone meetings and hearings. We continued to ‘meet’ with clients, even incarcerated ones, by advocating aggressively for legal video visits and calls,” Miriam says. “We did everything we could to avoid delays for our clients.”
Once the firm received the green light to reopen the office, she diligently advocated for her team’s health and wellbeing by investing in air filters, plexiglass barriers, and of course all of the cleaning and masks needed to keep everyone safe.
The success Miriam achieved in 2020 is a testament to her commitment to her clients, team, and community — but she couldn’t have done it alone.
“Working one-on-one with my Crisp Coach to grow my team, improve our systems, and think big allowed me to achieve those goals. I had been considering working with Crisp for a while, and all of the fear of 2020 gave me that push,” she shared.
“Since working with Crisp, I have added two team members, redefined team roles, used our Kolbe training to improve firm communication and workflow processes, and refined and verbalized my vision for the firm.”
Going Bigger in 2021
2020 proved to The Center for Criminal & Immigration Law that anything is possible, and with an unwavering commitment to success, Miriam believes this is just the beginning.
Feeding off the momentum of the previous year, the firm anticipates 2021 will be a year of immense growth.
Having already added a new attorney in January, they plan to move to a larger office space in the summer to accommodate the growing team.
Looking forward, Miriam declares, “I am excited to continue to see the results of Social Stack and expand our reach so that we can serve more clients and families. I want to share our message of providing the level of representation we would demand for our own families.”