MATTHEWS – Local attorney Dominic Totman moved to the United States from his native England when he was 4 years old and lived in Connecticut and Massachusetts before his family moved to Charlotte.
Totman spent two years at Charlotte Catholic High School.
Seven years after graduating from law school in Raleigh, he and his family are again calling the region home.
Totman moved to Matthews last summer and set up a second location of his firm, Totman Law Office PLLC in downtown Matthews. Totman, who also has an office in Raleigh, is the firm’s sole attorney and his practice focuses on a wide range of areas of business law and estate planning but with a special emphasis representing dental professionals.
Totman said opening a second office in Matthews was an easy decision. Totman’s other office is in Raleigh, which is where he went to college at North Carolina State University and then Campbell Law School.
“I was familiar with Charlotte, and like Raleigh, it is a booming area,” Totman said. “I have always loved Matthews and in the last few years, it has absolutely taken off. Businesses and business owners are just so involved. It became apparent to me that this is where we wanted to make our home. So now, it is the home base for my businesses as well as personally.”
Totman spends time in both offices, often riding the train between Raleigh and Charlotte.
“I was already operating from Charlotte to Wilmington based on the nature of the services I offered,” Totman said. “The beauty of today’s technology, it makes that feasible. And we have several good train options between Charlotte and Raleigh. I can get some work done or decompress and not have to drive.”
Totman was drawn to a career in law at an early age and during his second year of law school, he started clerking at the Raleigh law firm of Adams, Howell, Sizemore and Lenfesty. He eventually joined the firm in May 2013.
“I learned a little bit of everything,” Totman said. “I bounced around the firm until I found what suited my skill set – residential real estate, commercial real estate, estate planning and business law. Business law is where I have the aptitude. So, that is pretty much where I focused my practice from day one.’’
While working for the firm, Totman found a calling to branch out on his own, so he opened his first office in Raleigh in December 2016.
Totman didn’t think much about opening his own firm while he was in law school but that changed as he worked for Adams, Howell, Sizemore and Lenfesty.
“I figured I would do the firm thing, maybe rise through the ranks because everybody hears of becoming partner,” Totman said. “I thought that might be the route I wanted to go.”
“As I was working there, and it is a great firm, I realized that wasn’t the trajectory I wanted my career to take,” Totman said. “I have a passion to do things my own way – the entrepreneurial bug, as you will. After a few years, I realized this is what I wanted to do.’’
Totman knew it was a risk starting his own firm but he was confident he had the experience and skill set to be successful.
“All small businesses when you start is a risk,” Totman said. “Your business becomes your life. If you are not producing, the business is not producing. The biggest risk is money, and if you don’t produce, you have nothing to fall back on. But I had faith and belief in myself to be successful.”
Totman was able to bring a few clients with him to his new firm and that provided seed capital for the first several months while allowing him to attract new clients.
Now two years later, Totman has a presence in Matthews and he said one of the reasons for his success is his relationships with his clients.
“I have developed a platform for small to mid-sized business owners, and I really focus on the relationship,” Totman said. “Other than delivering top-notch work product, the relationship is the next most important part. I try to stress that every day with my clients through my responsiveness. I provide services at a budgetable fee structure. I try not to operate on an hourly basis because I don’t think that is a very economically efficient way of doing things. I try to set up a flat rate, and I think that adds up to savings by the client over time.”
Many clients are dentists. Totman said he helps dental professionals starting from their time in dental school all the way to retirement.
“I have a practice focused on healthcare at large, but focused on dentist professionals,” Totman said. “I have tailored my practice around providing business law and other legal needs for our dental service providers. So, I am familiar with all the licensing rules. It is a platform specifically tailored for them.’’
Want to learn more?
Totman Law is located at 317 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, suite 111. Call 980-202-6878 or visit www.tot manlaw.com for details.