As most readers will already know, Red Oak Legal, P.C. is a family business. We have two lawyers. One of them is me, and the other is my father, Steve Wiggins.
When we set out to create our own father-and-son law practice, we talked about what to name the business. The obvious and traditional choice would be, of course, Wiggins & Wiggins. If my mother (also a lawyer) ever chose to end her long hiatus from practice, we could’ve been Wiggins, Wiggins & Wiggins.
In the end, we deciding against using the family moniker—but that doesn’t mean the name doesn’t have family significance. In fact, the name is inspired by a small unincorporated community in Covington County, called Red Oak.
One of the few places you’ll find in Red Oak is the Red Oak Baptist Church. If you strolled through the church cemetery, you would find several headstones marking the final resting places of a large number of Raleys (my paternal grandmother’s maiden name) and even my great-great-grandmother, who had the unusual name of Bama Bulger. How Bama (born in 1897) was bestowed with that particular name is unknowable now, but we can be reasonably certain it had nothing to do with the football team. Bama was buried at Red Oak Baptist in 1982, the year I was born.
Anyone who has worked in a family business knows that it’s a little different than working somewhere else. But at least for me, it has been ideal. My lovely wife, Sally used to wonder aloud why I would want to commute from Hoover to Tuscaloosa daily for a job. After we decided to move to Montgomery, she pointed out that there is probably an easier path to establishing myself in our new home town than expanding Red Oak Legal to a second location. In the end, however she has been supportive of my decisions because she understands how important it is to me to work in a family business.
Father’s Day 2014 coincidentally marks the fifth year dad and I have been working together. I began as a clerk at our old firm in the summer of 2009 after my second year of law school, and then as an attorney in 2010.
While I can’t speak for him, I know I’m looking forward to many more.
Happy Father’s Day!