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Meet David Munoz of Mission Legal Center in Mission Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Munoz.

David, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Approximately 11 years ago, I convinced my father to start a firm with me. He and my mom moved to San Diego about 12 years ago to retire. I was living in San Antonio at the time and they asked if I would try out San Diego so the family could live in the same city. I had lived in a different city than my parents for ten years. Once I finished law school and moved to San Diego in 2009, the job market wasn’t great. I was lucky to find a job with an intellectual property firm. I quickly realized that I really wanted to do trial work. I asked my dad if he would start a law firm with me. He was reluctant because he said he “doesn’t wanna work hard anymore!” He promised to show me the ropes but I was in charge of building the business. Thankfully, ten years later, we are still here!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting a new business when you don’t know anyone is tough. I was always a little jealous of people who grew up or at least went to school here in San Diego. People don’t realize how valuable their connections are when they’re starting a business. Getting name recognition and clients was the biggest hurdle. For me personally, it was a struggle learning to be a lawyer and a business owner at the same time. It’s a lot of work! I can see why most people do one or the other but I find it rewarding to do both.

Please tell us about Mission Legal Center.
We are a personal injury law firm. That means we represent people who get hurt at no fault of their own. What I like best about our firm is that we work on contingency. That means there is no upfront costs to our clients. We are paid a percentage of the total recovery if we win their case. We do not charge hourly because then only rich people would be able to hire us.

We are also one of the few bilingual offices in town. We speak Spanish to each other in the office every day just to keep our skills up. “If you don’t use it, you lose it” is definitely a maxim that applies to language.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My family deserves all the credit. My parents and brother worked for very little while the firm was getting established. My parents let me live with them, so I didn’t have to worry about paying rent. They are also the ones who showed me how to run a business and practice law. It would have been impossible to build the firm without them.

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