Attorney: Tim Del Castillo
Firm: Castle Law: California Employment Counsel
Location: Roseville, California
Practice Areas: Employment Litigation for both employers and employees.
“I made sure my internet presence was ready when I decided to pull the trigger, and it was great because LawLytics built everything up and sandboxed the site for me until I was ready for my content to go public.”
Attorney Tim Del Castillo in the Spotlight…
Before he ever worked as an employment litigator, Tim Del Castillo spent six years as a teacher and then principal of a small Catholic school in California.
Still, he says he never saw himself working in education long term. So when his wife became pregnant with their third child, Del Castillo started his search to find a line of work that would both better support his family, and that he could see himself doing for the rest of his life. He had never seriously considered a career in law. But after doing some research, Del Castillo determined that a career as a litigator was “the one thing that seemed like a fit” for him. “Sometimes it’s the greatest job in the world,” he says, “because I get to think, read, and write for a living, which is pretty cool for somebody who likes to do those things.”
A Recession-Proof Industry
While in law school at Pepperdine between 2007 and 2010, Del Castillo says that he had a mentor and law professor who showed him firsthand how working in employment law could be a rewarding and enjoyable pursuit.
Del Castillo says that he also saw a chance to transfer some of the skills he’d acquired working as a school principal to his work as a litigator by moving toward employment law as his focus. “I felt like I had the most familiarity with that area of the law because I had been responsible for all of the hiring, firing, and other HR practices as a principal,” Del Castillo says.
Since the recession hit right in the middle of his law studies, Del Castillo says that he was hoping to find a field that was more or less “recession proof.” Working in employment litigation in California seemed to fit the bill. “California has perhaps the most stringent worker protection laws in the country,” says Del Castillo, “so it can be hard for companies to comply and it’s very easy for violations to occur.” Since missteps in that regard can come with some “very steep” penalties, Del Castillo says that the demand for employment litigators in his state remains relatively stable even when the economy is at a lull.
Blazing a Trail Toward Private Practice
Though his path to the law was delayed for several years compared to that of most attorneys, Del Castillo thinks that the professional focus he developed between his time as an undergraduate and law student actually helped him succeed at Pepperdine.
After graduating from law school, Del Castillo served as a law clerk, then worked for several years for two of the biggest firms in the employment sphere (namely, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP in Los Angeles, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in Sacramento). In the course of performing the work of a corporate employment litigator, Del Castillo says that he developed a robust skillset on the defense side of the conversation, which he says has been a major strength in his private practice.
Del Castillo began putting the necessary pieces in place to set out on his own about a year before he left his corporate job. He elected to use the trade name “Castle Employment Law” as opposed to using his own name because, he says “it’s certainly easier to remember than my last name, and easier to spell, too.” It also tested well when he workshopped the idea with his friends and peers.
Del Castillo (which translates from Spanish literally as “of the castle”) points out that the image of the castle invokes imagery of “defending businesses and people and their livelihoods,” which he says is a great metaphor for his work as an employment litigator. Del Castillo says that using the English translation of his name makes the firm easier to scale, sell, and add partners to down the line.
Ready-to-Go Online Marketing
Part of Del Castillo’s path to opening his own practice included making sure that his website was ready to launch on day one.
He says that he’s seen many attorneys go the other route — announcing the opening of their private firms along with a disclaimer that their website was “coming soon” — but he “felt that takes away so much of the impact from that initial announcement.”
Del Castillo says he wanted to hit the ground running, launching a website that was already rich with content on the day he announced his intention to open Castle Employment Law in late 2017. That way, he says, as soon as his firm was ready to accept clients, those potential clients could research his firm and get an idea of the services he offered. “You want people to see what you’re all about,” he explains.
He says his involvement with LawLytics made it easy to work on the site pre-launch, including regularly adding content and crafting his online marketing message in advance. “I made sure my internet presence was ready when I decided to pull the trigger,” he says, “and it was great because LawLytics built everything up and sandboxed the site for me until I was ready for my content to go public.”
He says the plan was an unqualified success. Del Castillo says that opening his private practice has “really been about as smooth as it could be.” He says that he didn’t bring any of his corporate clients over with him when he opened up shop for himself, but that “because of all of the prep work and marketing, it has not been difficult to get clients — if anything, I’m really busy right now.”
Working from Both Sides of the Table
His big-firm work focused almost exclusively on the employer defense side of the conversation. But as a private practitioner, Del Castillo now works both for employers and employees. Understanding both sides of the equation, he says, has helped him find success in either regard.
“It’s a benefit in that it gives me insight as to how the other side thinks about cases, and it also gives me the ability to communicate with lawyers on both sides, where somebody who only works on one side might not be able to,” Del Castillo explains. He says he’s able to personally relate to attorneys working for the other “team”, regardless of which side of the legal discussion his client may be.
Del Castillo gained big-firm employment law experience early in his career. But without the overhead required by such firms, he is able to offer a “unique value proposition to his clients” that enables him to “think with a big-law mindset” and give personalized attention to individual employees and small and medium-sized business that might not otherwise be able to afford the fees of an Akin or Orrick-sized firm. That way, all clients of Castle Employment Law — including the small players — are able to “get the same level of quality that they would at a big firm.”