Taking the Leap

Kevin Thompson is the Co-Founder of the Thompson Burton Law Firm in Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee. Kevin graduated from the University of Tennessee with a BA in Political Science and then earned his Juris Doctorate from the Tennessee School of Law. While at UT, Kevin was a track athlete and earned All-American honors in the Decathlon, and participated on two SEC and NCAA National Championship Teams. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur and is passionate about redefining the art of law.   

Show Notes:

  • Kevin shares his family origin story and his grandfather coming to the United States from Italy and how it created a family legacy that impacts him to this day.
  • Kevin's grandfather participated on three National Championship Football teams and the Notre Dame. ('44, '45, and '47)
  • What did athletics teach Kevin? Failure is part of the success process. 
  • (11:00) "I am trying to teach young lawyers that success compounds over time. Young people do not like the period of embarrassment where they are bad and they don't hang in there long enough for compounding to work for them."
  • Our generation's greatest investor is Warren Buffett and 99% of the wealth he has today was generated after the age of 65. This is not an example of "it is never too late to start" but rather he started at age 14 and allowed compounding to work in his favor over time!
  • (14:00) What are the dangers of helicopter parents? How can you stunt your children's success by being TOO involved? Give them space to grow and learn.
  • (16:00) The origin story of Thompson Burton Law firm.
  • Taking risk is critical for success.
  • "More is caught than taught. Everything changed for me when my son Luke was born. I knew I had to model the right behaviors."
  • (26:00) How do you make a stand? Dive deep into an issue and get to understand every aspect of the issue and take a position on it.
  • "The cleaner the space and the more well-defined the rules the less opportunity there is. The messier the space that is less defined has great opportunity."
  • (30:00) How will AI impact the legal profession? Why AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ChatGPT is a meteor heading for the legal profession.
  • "The value a great lawyer brings is years of experience and judgment."
  • ***Key Principle of Success*** "Be a person worthy of a partnership!" Partnerships are not 50/50...don't look at the world that way. Always be looking for ways to give and serve more than the other party.
  • (40:00) Walt and Kevin laid a foundation of compensation that was very different from other professional firms. Comp was objective and transparent and it has brought the best entrepreneurial attorneys to their firm because it of the business model.
  • Charlie Munger, "When in doubt, focus on the incentives of an organization."
  • What does Kevin look for in employees and partners?
  • "Invest on the trend line, not the dot!"
  • (57:00) "If I was starting over at 25, this is one thing I would do to be successful..."
  • "Try to find ways to create value!" 
  • (1:00:00) "What are you optimizing your life for?"
  • (1:08:00) Thoughts on the economy for 2023 and blockchain and cryptocurrencies...
  • (1:17:00) What would Kevin say if he was given the opportunity to give a state of the union address to the American people?
  • Book Recommendations
    • Range: Why Generalists Triumph In A Specialized World by David Epstein
    • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
    • Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation by Edward Chancellor
    • The End of the World is Just the Begining by Peter Zeihan

Creators & Guests

Robert Dickie
CEO, Author, Entrepreneur, Investor
Mitch White
Freelance Audio Engineer, 2011 Recording Connections Certified Audio Engineer
Tristin Dickie
Nashville Fellows Program 2022, Marketing Assistant for Affinity Technology Partners, Professional Photographer freelancer. Go VOLS!

What is Taking the Leap?

Taking the Leap Podcast hosted by Robert Dickie III discusses changes in our global economy impacting the way we work and live. For young professionals starting their careers, mid-career professionals navigating changes and late-career professionals thinking about starting an encore career, Robert and his guests discuss the global economy, technology, workplace developments, and all the latest changes impacting our professional lives.