FAIRFIELD — Tim Jones remembers reaching Fairfield at the start of 1980, when the city whose population is now 107,684 was nowhere near that.
“It was a little town,” the attorney said.
With about half as many people and far fewer businesses than today, Jones recalls a grocery store standing out amid the few commercial outlets.
Real estate is something Jones pays attention to – before beginning the practice of law after his 1998 admission to the state bar, he was a real estate broker who owned and operated his own firm. Attorney Jones focuses on real estate advising, transactions and litigation, along with working with small businesses involved in the real estate industry.
Fairfield businessman Wayne Mayhew said Jones has helped in several commercial matters.
“He’s honest and direct and knows what he’s doing,” Mayhew said. “There’s a lot to like.”
Jones credits his work as a real estate broker for aiding his legal success – and not only for the knowledge it provides him. His earlier career has helped him avoid the legal fatigue some attorneys face.
“I came to law a little later in life,” he said. “I’m not burned out.”
Jones also worked as a photographer and sportswriter – crafts he once considered as a career.
“That’s what I thought I wanted to do for a living,” he said.
His later work in real estate showed the importance of the law in that field and Jones went on to get a degree from the John F. Kennedy University School of Law in Walnut Creek. People’s perception of you is among the keys to a successful legal career, he said.
“You have to develop a reputation of being a guy to go to,” Jones said.
When someone asks their brother or their boss about what attorney to talk with and they’re referred to Jones, that is the best endorsement he can get, Jones said. Technology counts – “I have a website,” the attorney said. “It’s not too fancy” – but personal referrals matter more than what people find on the Internet, he said.
Dr. Linda Anzalone, who grew up in Vacaville, graduated from Vacaville High School in 1977, earned a bachelor of science degree in biology with honors from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry in 1986, praises Jones’ counsel.
“He always seems to give very sage and sound advice,” she said. “He’s easy to talk to and he gets to the point.”
The attorney speaks about real estate in ways that make matters understandable, Anzalone said.
“I trust his opinion and his knowledge on the subject,” she said.
Jones said law school doesn’t match the real-world work of attorneys.
“It’s sterile,” he said of legal study. “It’s very sterile.”
Real people with real concerns are involved when you practice law, added Jones, whose law office is at 622 Jackson St. in Fairfield.
Jones belongs to groups that include the Northern Solano Association of Realtors, Solano County Bar Association and Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce. He has served as co-chairman of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Education. The Fairfield resident speaks to real estate professionals about real property law and risk management.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]