Solo and Small Firm Section member Thomas (Tom) Andrews has a solo firm in Columbia practicing primarily in the area of veteran benefits law. He graduated from USC in 1999 and from the law school at USC in 2002. He has been a member of the Solo and Small Firm Council since 2017.
Here’s Tom’s Story:
After I worked as a law clerk to then Circuit Court Judge Michael Baxley and as a staff attorney at the South Carolina Court of Appeals, I practiced insurance defense at a mid-sized and then small firm for nearly ten years. After my first week at the first firm, I knew billing hours and reporting to an insurance adjuster were not going to be my lifelong passion, but it took me a while to find that passion. Finally, I stumbled into a CLE on veterans benefits and ultimately a rewarding solo practice assisting veterans in obtaining there benefits from the VA.
I grew my practice by initially working of counsel at a small insurance defense firm giving most of my time to defense matters while gradually growing my VA practice. In 2017, I finally left that firm and struck out on my own. The transition from a stable paycheck and robust office support was scary, but has worked out better than expected. My work-life balance is amazing, which makes my wife and children especially happy. My practice involves approximately 80% VA benefits work and 20% general litigation, mostly personal injury. My clients are truly grateful for my efforts and have gifted me with everything from homemade barbeque sauce to a hand-carved walking stick.
Outside of the office, I stay busy helping my wife chase after our three young children, serving as a member of my church's vestry, and I am a senior judge with the South Carolina Barbeque Association.