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A legal pitch

NORTH LIBERTY– A former Hawkeye baseball star is now laying down the law in North Liberty and he’s got the only game in town.
Ryan Prahm, who signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians after several seasons pitching for the University of Iowa, has been practicing law in North Liberty since last fall.
He’s the only attorney currently practicing in the growing city and he said he likes it that way.
“The people I’ve gotten to know here have been great,” he said.
Prahm’s practice specializes in transactional law, which includes probate, corporate and family law. He can write your will; create a trust; handle estate, property and probate cases; help set up non-profits and businesses; or arrange corporate acquisitions and mergers.
Prahm, who graduated from the University of Iowa law school after his stint in the minor leagues, also works on divorce, custody and adoption hearings.
He decided to strike out on his own and started his new practice with the help of his wife Jean, who manages the office and is a former world-class athlete herself. Prahm left the Cedar Rapids law firm Shuttleworth and Ingersoll last year.
He said he prefers the North Liberty commute over the one to Cedar Rapids, and it allows him to spend time with his family. Ryan and Jean have three children, ages five years, three years, and 18 months.
Prahm was a political science major as an undergraduate and he left professional baseball behind after an elbow injury threw off his game. However, he’s back in baseball as a pitching coach for City High, which he predicted will surprise some teams this year.
Starting his own business has given Prahm some insight into the challenges new business owners encounter. He faced the same risks and challenges when he started his new venture, the same paperwork and administrative hurdles.
Prahm said the “To Kill a Mockingbird” character, Atticus Finch, was an inspiration for going to law school, and said he had a vague, romantic ideal of law, but shied away from the litigation side of legal studies despite his competitive nature.
He said his focus is on preventing litigation and creating a win-win situation for new business owners and families.
“I like the idea of preventing problems before they start and helping people plan for their future to achieve their goals,” he said.
He’s the only lawyer in town and, so far, the only one at his firm. He’s not quite ready to add attorneys to his team and said that he likes getting to know his clients personally.
He knows it can be daunting for clients to walk into a large legal firm, and Ryan said he likes to establish a personal relationship with his clients who might be more comfortable at a small firm where they can meet the person who will handle their case.
His situation allows him to maximize client interaction and focus on the people who come through the door.
Ryan and Jean each had high praise for North Liberty’s community and Ryan said he knew there was a need for a local legal counsel.
His hunch about a lack of people practicing law in North Liberty has paid off. The firm has steadily built its client list since opening, and someday Prahm said he might add some attorneys to the staff. But for now, it’s a family affair, with Prahm pitching his cases one at a time, just like he used to, staying ahead of the count and helping his team.
Prahm Law is located at 1295 Jordan St., Suite 2 in North Liberty, and their website is www.prahmlaw.com.