Lanman Law, LLC
158 Danforth St., Portland
Kate Lanman grew up partly in the Portland area and partly in the metro Boston area, as her family moved back and forth a few times. She attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and then moved back to Portland after graduation to figure out what she wanted to do with her life.
“I spent two years trying out different things, including teaching summer school (which I continued to do during law school),” she says.
Lanman settled on law as a career and went to the University of Maine School of Law. Before starting her own law firm in 2011, she worked for a Maine public accounting firm, where she focused on tax planning and tax return preparation for individuals, partnerships, corporations and estates.
Lanman is occasionally a guest speaker in local continuing education classes discussing tax and legal matters. She also blogs regularly on such issues as estate planning and tax laws. She also serves on the board of directors for PROPEL, which is a networking and business organizational group for greater Portland’s young professionals. Engaged, and planning a September wedding, Lanman enjoys running and graphic design – she lays out her firm’s brochures and designed the website.
“I found I really enjoyed that part of running my business,” she said.
Q: What were your most important needs in getting started?
A: My most important needs in getting started were a good mentor and support from my family and friends. I was very lucky to have a couple of great local attorneys that were willing to guide me in building my legal practice. Without them I wouldn’t have had the confidence to practice law on my own.
Q: What was there about your upbringing that gave you the courage to venture out on your own?
A: My parents always had the mindset that everything would be OK. They weren’t big risk-takers or anything, but they never would have discouraged me from doing something for fear that it might not work out as planned. After all, what was really the worst that could have happened to me if Lanman Law didn’t succeed? I would have gotten another job. My ego might have been bruised, but I would have been fine.
Q: What do you think the advantages are of being a female entrepreneur?
A: There is a great network of female entrepreneurs in this area. They are very supportive and are happy to give guidance on issues such as how to balance having children with running a business.
Q: What advice would you give an aspiring woman entrepreneur?
A: Network. I can’t emphasize that enough. The more people you know, the better. This is especially important if your business provides a service, like legal services or financial planning. If you provide a service, then you are your best advertisement. So get out there and talk to people.
Q: If you knew then what you know now, would you have done anything differently?
A: Nope. I love where my business is now. It is still growing, but so am I. I think that’s an important part of the process and I get a lot of pleasure from watching my business grow and evolve.