Brad Boyum of Boyum Law Firm came to law through golf, unlike many in the legal field. (Photo by Scott Stewart)
Boyum Went From Playing Golf to Practicing Law, Not Vice Versa
By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record
The table in Brad Boyum’s conference room, where many arrangements are finalized, rather succinctly states the fundamental essence of his firm.
Featured in the blog on his website and in a newsletter, the conference room table is a hand-me-down from his great uncle’s doctor’s office. Boyum received it from his father.
“It fits well with my conver-sations with clients and who they want personal property to go to,” Boyum said.
Boyum founded his firm a decade ago, setting as its goal the task of meeting the mission of helping families transfer memories and money to their loved ones in as simple and secure a manner as possible. He also strives to make the complex easy and to remain accessible during the process of estate planning, Medicaid planning and probate issues.
But it all started on a golf course in that hotbed of the ancient game: North Dakota.
“The golf business is how I ended up here,” Boyum said. “I grew up in a little town called Rolla, North Dakota. It’s on the Canadian border.
“It gets a little chilly up there.”
The average low temperature during January is minus-4 degrees, with a high of 14. It’s tough to work on you short game under those conditions.
So, Boyum headed south – sort of – to Grand Forks, where he worked with golf pro Jim Hackenberg. Hackenberg is known for inventing the Orange Whip, a swing tempo training device.
Next it was on to Omaha, where he was told the options would be better than further south. While working in the golf industry here, Boyum completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, having done much of his studies in North Dakota. He then earned his law degree at the Creighton University School of Law.
“There wasn’t any big event that moved me (to practice law),” he said. “My dad’s an attorney, so I was around it my whole life.”
In golf parlance, it was a bit of a slice that sent his legal career in the direction of estate planning.
“When I started law school, I was a golf professional so I thought I might end up working for the PGA,” Boyum said.
But, while in law school, he clerked with a firm that worked in that area of the probate and he started to get into it.
Smoothly transitioning people’s assets to their loved ones has become his calling, and it seems a good fit.
“There’s some business planning in people’s estates,” Boyum said. “A lot of times it’s just part of someone’s estate plans.”
He also helps out in juvenile court – all court appointed – and does other work that fits with the overall mission of his firm.
At this point, Boyum is the sole attorney with two other employees. As the firm grows, it hopes to bring protection to more families.
The Boyum Law logo includes a griffin, a winged beast with significance to Boyum’s practice.
“I’m a bit of a history guy,” he said. “My wife drew that one. It’s a mythical creature that protects people’s riches, so it’s kind of proper for my work.”
His wife is from Russia – what he said we would call a Moscow suburb – and the couple met at M’s Pub. She was in graduate school earning her Ph.D.
The couple have two children, a 2½-year-old and a 2-month old, which leads little time for golfing.
“During the fall, I sneak some hunting in,” Boyum said.
He also enjoys reading history, including a lot of biographies.
Probate work is a stable area of practice and an important one that he acknowledges doesn’t make for a lot of headlines. That doesn’t mean it’s not interesting, though, and he deals with his fair share of conflicts.
Of course, he said, “A lot of my front-end planning is trying to avoid stuff like that.”
The probate end is where you may find the emotional issues over the things that really matter.
“People fight over College World Series tickets or Nebraska football tickets,” he said.
Boyum Law recently moved to new offices near 119th and Pacific streets, providing room for growth along a thoroughfare.
“The plan is to stick with this area of practice to just grow it,” Boyum said. “We’ll add some lawyers and staff to go with it. I like that area of practice. It makes my life easier.”
Unlike many of his professional colleagues, it also makes a serious return to the golf course unlikely any time soon.
“They’re all trying to head to the golf course, and I’m leaving,” he said. “I haven’t played at all this year.”