Solo Practice Incubator Lawyers
Lawrence Boothe II
My goal has always been to follow in my dad’s footsteps by establishing a private practice and I’m extremely fortunate to be in a position to do so at such an early phase of my professional career. Through Cleveland-Marshall’s Solo Practice Incubator Program, I have access to a wide variety of resources that many smaller firms cannot afford such as electronic legal research services, practice management software, and a 4-story law library and research facility. These resources allow me to maintain a primary office in downtown Cleveland and a branch office in Dillonvale, Ohio so that I’m able to work with my father and expand both of our practices into new areas.
People often ask why I’m choosing private practice over the comfort and stability of an established firm. My answer is that I’ve seen firsthand the difference that a great lawyer can make in someone’s life. People hire lawyers when they have a problem. Each individual problem is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to the practice of law. All too often, I think that this profession gets a bad reputation for a number of reasons, from lack of communication to overcharging for legal services that don’t fit the bill. That is why I founded Boothe Law LLC on the idea that the practice of law requires an individualized, client-centric approach to each specific legal issue. By utilizing the law school’s immense resources and channeling my father’s extensive experience as a sole practitioner, I am able to provide clients throughout northeast and southeast Ohio with affordable legal solutions while maintaining the same competency, sophistication, and advocacy that is expected of larger firms.
Eric J. Cherry
Melissa A. Gawelek
Melissa Gawelek practices family immigration and removal defense in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. Attorney Gawelek graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2013 with a concentration in International and Comparative Law. Focusing her curriculum on immigration law, she participated in many hands-on learning opportunities during school. One of her favorite experiences was studying international human rights in Strasbourg, France where she was inspired by visits to the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights. During her second year of law school, she externed for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, where she gained a behind-the-scenes look at removal proceedings. As a third year student, she worked as student associate for the school’s civil litigation clinic where she worked with clients in various legal matters, including a complex appeal of a detained asylum seeker’s removal order. For her volunteer work during law school she was awarded the Pro Bono and Community Service award in 2013.
Attorney Gawelek truly enjoys the challenging and changing nature of immigration law. She has helped refugees and immigrants from many different nations file hundreds of applications and petitions. Among her many interests, Mrs. Gawelek is greatly interested in refugee issues and human trafficking cessation. A compassionate advocate, Attorney Gawelek has participated in relief work in many developing nations. She has additional training in Critical Incident Stress Management and Disaster Response, tools which aid her in compassionately representing clients who may have survived torture, domestic violence, or displacement. Her current and former clients have appreciated her down-to-earth approach, her warmth, and ability to connect on a human level.
Attorney Gawelek is licensed by the Ohio Supreme Court and can practice immigration law in all fifty states. She is a proud member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, the Akron Bar Association, the West Shore Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She assists several local non-profits with pro or low-bono representation for needy clients, and she sits on the Board of the Cleveland Marshall College of Law Alumni Association.
On a personal note, attorney Gawelek lives in Parma, Ohio with her husband and two adopted pugs. She enjoys traveling, music, and adventures in the great outdoors.
Amanda J. Hawkins
My practice centers around real estate, estate planning, and business law. I believe the goal of wealth is personal liberty. I help hardworking people to stay on the right side of the law and obtain financial security. Basically, I want to be the first phone call when people are concerned about the legal implications of a transaction.
I started a solo practice because I have been interested in Entrepreneurship for a long time. I am impressed with the market for services a lean startup is able to offer. In my practice, I leverage technology and an excellent referral network through the Incubator program to deliver cost effective legal solutions to my clients. I think we are capable of great things as a network of independent attorneys.
In my spare time, I teach a course on Critical Thinking at Herzing University. I also volunteer with the 3R’s (Rights, Responsibilities, and Realities) program teaching High School Juniors about the Constitution and as a Tree Steward with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.
Leigh S. Prugh
Leigh S. Prugh has been practicing law for nearly sixteen years. She started her practice with the City of Cleveland representing Hopkins International and Burke Lakefront Airports in their transactional matters. She then spent several years in Portage County as an assistant civil prosecutor. Ms. Prugh directly represented numerous elected officials, department heads, and board officers in both transactional and litigation matters. She has advised on contract matters ranging from small service contracts to multimillion dollar construction projects. She has litigated cases in Ohio trial courts, the Eighth and the Eleventh District Courts of Appeals, and has handled one matter before the Ohio Supreme Court.
Only recently, at the beginning of 2016, did Ms. Prugh launch her own solo private practice. After spending much of her time representing large governmental entities, Ms. Prugh aspires to be a problem solver for regular people with legitimate matters.She enjoys advising and representing clients on business contract matters, appellate advocacy, general litigation, criminal defense, housing law, and probate matters concerning incapacitated persons. Where a potential client has an issue in an area of law where Ms. Prugh does not practice, she has a vast number of contacts in the legal community to whom she can refer the issue. She takes great pleasure in providing clients with as much assistance as is necessary to address their problems.
Alyssa A. Sidelka
I’m a Cleveland native. I was raised in Old Brooklyn, studied Criminology at Cleveland State, and then attended Cleveland-Marshall College of Law after receiving a generous academic scholarship. While in law school I clerked for personal injury and consumer law firms because I was and remain interested in both trial practice and helping those in need. I graduated with honors and was selected by the Ohio State Bar Association to be the recipient of the first ever Women in the Profession Section Award for Solo/Small Firm Practice.
Since being admitted to the bar my practice has been focused on largely on criminal defense. I have represented individuals accused of assault, domestic violence, theft, drug possession, and driving under the influence, among others. I am also accepting clients with consumer law, family law, personal injury, probate, and estate planning matters.
The practice of law has taught me that clients are more than just their legal problems. As such, I strive to be an advocate, counselor and advisor to my clients knowing they are working through difficult situations. Most importantly, this means I make myself available for consultation at times that are convenient for the client, make sure I understand their needs, guide them through the process, and work with them to achieve the best outcome.