Internet entrepreneur finds law degree an asset
By Spencer Solis
Despite having never practiced law, Internet entrepreneur Brad Fallon (JD 97) has found plenty of opportunities to put his degree to use.
“It comes up all the time in business,” Fallon said. “I often say that I would recommend that people go to law school 10 times before they get an MBA.”
Fallon has started several successful online businesses, including KateAspen.com, MyWeddingFavors.com, StomperNet and Free IQ. After he founded his first company, an online network of wholesale and retail businesses called Smart Marketing Inc., Fallon’s law degree came in handy when one of his competitors copied all 10 of his products.
“I’m in federal court trying to get a TRO (temporary restraining order) to enforce our copyright on some of our designs the month after we started our wholesale company,” Fallon said. As a businessman, Fallon has come into contact with everything from employment law to intellectual property and contract law.
“It’s hard to think of an aspect of the law that we haven’t had dealings with.” Fallon, who describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur,” started in sales and had several small businesses for five years before attending law school. Fallon’s real-world experience prepared him for the amount of work law school required.
“I was in first semester classes with a bunch of people just out of college who were complaining about the workload,” Fallon said. “I had just come from a small business working 80 hours a week and struggling to make payroll.”
After graduating second in his class from UF Law, Fallon was faced with a tough decision: take on a coveted position as a clerk for a federal judge or work in a more lucrative sales job.
Fallon found the sales job, which paid three times as much as the largest law firms at the time, simply too enticing to resist.
“For the income, going back to sales paid a lot better,” he said. “And it seemed to be a more direct route to entrepreneurism and owning a business, which is what I’d always wanted to do long-term.”
For Fallon, the Internet has proven to be an effective medium to practice business that has enabled him to succeed in ways that weren’t previously possible.
Fallon founded MyWeddingFavors.com in an Atlanta basement in 2004 with a $50-per-month Yahoo! Store. In its first year, the company sold more than $1 million.
The next year, Fallon and his wife started their own line of wedding favors and began manufacturing overseas and supplying all of their competitors. With the wholesale company, Kate Aspen, sales exceeded $18 million by the fourth year.
“We decided that there were a lot of people like us that wanted to start a business and run a Web site from home or their kitchen table and not have to buy inventory until they’d already sold it,” Fallon said.
Fallon attributes his ability to find entrepreneurial opportunities to a decade-and-a half of working in several different industries. He recommends that law students who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs consider working in business during the summers.
“The trick is to figure out what kind of business you want to own and build the business. That’s the best way to make money currently in this country.”