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Updated: Mar 9, 2018
When Willie Powells was a kid, his parents encouraged him to strive for greatness. “They kind of groomed me from an early age. They set standards higher,” he explains.
So it was no surprise that Willie ended up getting an engineering degree and an MBA before finally deciding to become a lawyer.
After passing the bar exam, Willie got most of his litigation experience working at several large law firms. One day, his sister asked him about a standard legal issue and Willie was frustrated to discover that he wasn’t able to answer her question — as he was working on a very small part of the larger litigation, he wasn’t getting experience in the entire legal process. “I started to feel like I wasn’t a real lawyer.”
This incident was the catalyst that drove Willie to start working with older, more seasoned attorneys and get experience in and out of the courthouse. From there, he started his own firm, The Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC, which is mostly focused on helping people with personal injuries. As he likes to put it, “anybody that gets hurt, we want to help them out.”
With this mission in mind, business started booming — Willie soon achieved several multi-figured settlements both inside and outside of court, including a $2.8 million dollar verdict. However, despite his success, Willie started to realize that “there are 8 million people in Houston alone, and most of them don’t even know that I exist.”
“What I have is great for what I’m doing. But I’m looking to grow. I’m looking to expand. I want to do bigger and better things.”
But marketing in major metropolitan areas like Houston can be an expensive endeavor, so in May 2017 when Funding Circle sent him a letter asking “what could $500,000 do for your business?” Willie decided that he could use some extra capital to market his growing firm.
“I stopped and said, wow, it would do a lot. That would be great. I’ve been growing, but a little bit of support can help me grow a little better.”
Inspired by his dreams for the future, Willie decided to apply for a loan with Funding Circle and was immediately impressed by how fast the process was — just seven days later, he had an offer. “It was a very simple process. I feel blessed that I decided to call Funding Circle.”
Since getting the loan, Willie’s been able to partner with several marketing companies and a local television station to get the word out about his service. “I’m bubbling over inside. I’m very excited for everything we have in store. All the steps we’ve taken since partnering with Funding Circle have been a success.”
“I’m very excited and grateful for what Funding Circle has done to help me and my business do the projects we have lined up.”
With the help of Funding Circle, Willie is now reaching more people than ever before, and, more importantly, he’s helping his community thrive. Unlike that fateful day when he couldn’t answer his sister’s question, Willie finally feels like “a real lawyer.”
“Now, if somebody gets in a car accident or they’re a good kid that gets into some trouble, I know what to do. I can give them some advice. I can help them.”
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.