Helping Michigan Businesses Thrive
What do they do?
Thrive Legal provides transactional legal services to small businesses, nonprofits, and creative individuals. Or in laymen’s terms, they provide any legal service which does not involve litigation– the process of taking legal action. Some of these services include providing financial advice to smaller businesses, helping smaller businesses start, and aiding non profit business owners in understanding their business.
Who’s in charge?
Noel French (Founder and CEO)
How did his business start?
When in law school, Noel wanted to work with a big law firm. However, he also wanted to work directly with individual clients. “I realized that I wouldn’t be able to do this in a larger firm for 2-3 years, if ever,” Noel said. And after desperately wanting to quit his second year due to the overwhelming nature of law school, Noel chose to try something new. “I worked with a clinic in Cincinnati. Afterwards, I decided that working with startups without much financial backing was something I really enjoyed and was passionate about.” Noel also realized that since legal services are expensive and small businesses often can’t afford them, it’s the lawyer’s job to make their services more affordable. A way Noel does this is by being housed at the Green Garage, which helps keep his costs low, a savings he can pass on to his clients.
What are his goals?
One of Noel’s major goals is to remove the administrative burden placed on himself, which would allow him to focus primarily on the legal side where his passion lies, without hiring additional employees. He hopes to achieve this by placing the responsibility on various technologies such as document automation software. “This allows me to charge less for things like contract drafting and focus more on actually advising clients. It also helps me standardize many of my processes and reduce technical errors.”
How did Noel’s life affect his career choice?
At 4 years old, Noel wanted to be a fire truck (no, not a fire truck driver; a fire truck). However, after realizing that was a pretty impractical career choice, he felt sure, even at the age of 4, that he wanted to be a lawyer. Considering he enjoys problem solving, rules, and has argumentative qualities, it seemed obvious to him that he would become an attorney. When asked what reasons motivated this passion, Noel responds by saying he always wanted to help people. At first, he wanted to do that by being a social justice advocate. Now, working as a business attorney, he provides pro-bono legal service for struggling artists while also charging a much lower rate than most law practices.
Green Garage business-in-residence spotlights are written by Nehe-Miah Scarborough, a student at Detroit Cristo Rey High School who’s working with the Green Garage during the 2015-16 school year.