Attorney Dottie Towne found second-career success through personalized service — both inside and outside the courtroom
For attorney Dottie Towne, business is personal.
This outlook is evident in the care that she puts into every case that she takes on. After building a successful career in the insurance industry, Dottie felt drawn to personal injury law — a field where her expertise working with insurance companies and clients could make a difference in a new way.
She traded in her timesheets for textbooks in pursuit of a second career.
“Because I worked in insurance for so long, I decided to go back to law school,” she recalled. “And because I had business experience, I felt like I could hang out my own shingle.”
Dottie celebrated her 20th anniversary as an independent attorney in September 2022. When she looks back on the firm’s earliest days, she can clearly identify choices that helped set her up for success.
“I never had to borrow money. I kept my overhead low. Rent was my biggest expense, especially when my office was located in Davis Island,” she said.
With minimal upstart expenses, Dottie could focus fully on building her business. Another early contributor to her success was finding an established attorney to help guide her growth.
“I was very fortunate when I first started out to find a mentor who took me under his wing. I was able to help out a man who became my referral source. From that one person we helped, it’s like the roots on a tree: somebody knew somebody, who knew somebody who needed help. I’ve grown completely through word of mouth,” she shared.
Early on, she recognized an opportunity to differentiate herself from the big firms by focusing on personalized service.
“My hands-on approach is different. My clients always get me. The buck stops here,” she explained. “A lot of my time is spent holding my clients’ hands, explaining things to them. When it comes time for my clients to go see a specialist like an orthopedic surgeon or neurologist, I’m right there with them.”
That appreciation for personal attention ultimately led her to the business banking team at Florida Capital Bank (FLCBank). The finances of personal injury law can be challenging; many costs are paid by an attorney upfront, such as filing a lawsuit, depositions, and mediations. Cases can take months — sometimes years — to resolve. Having a relationship with her business banker, Barbie Blank, has made a world of difference at multiple stages of Dottie’s business.
“Florida Capital Bank came to my rescue when I was making changes to my law practice. When I formed a PLLC in 2019, they helped me get my banking organized. They helped me operate more efficiently,” she noted.
Later that year, when she decided to migrate her business from a formal office to a remote-friendly business model, FLCBank again helped her by providing guidance on treasury management services.
Then came the pandemic in March of 2020 — and, almost overnight, her new business pipeline dried up. Just as before, her bank was ready to assist. Her business was back on track within a few months.
Today, Dottie is busier than ever: on her terms, and with the peace of mind that comes with knowing her bank is behind her through every trial and triumph.