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Business Observer Friday, Sep. 25, 2020 1 year ago

OK Boomer: Lawyer builds niche with a certain demographic

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With a strong background in business, an area lawyer has focused his firm on a specific demographic group — baby boomers.
by: Grier Ferguson Sarasota-Manatee Editor

Frank “Skip” Tylman sat for the Law School Admission Test on his 56th birthday.

Law wasn’t his first career. It wasn’t his second, either. After engineering school, he went to work for Procter & Gamble, serving in manufacturing, marketing and general management domestically and internationally. Before retiring from the company at 48, he was managing director of Procter & Gamble Australia, running the corporation’s business in Australia and New Zealand. After P&G, Tylman was president and owner of Achievia Tutoring of Florida, an academic tutoring company for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Now Tylman runs Baby Boomers’ Barrister, a law firm with offices in Tampa and St. Petersburg that caters to clients in the baby boomer generation. His business background has come in handy, and Tylman has brought lessons from both of his previous careers to the firm. Achievia, he says, taught him now to run a small business. “I learned how to market from Procter,” he says. “My whole background led me to this point. I’ve been able to use the skills that I’ve acquired along the way to help out in my current venture.”

‘My whole background led me to this point. I’ve been able to use the skills that I’ve acquired along the way to help out in my current venture.’ — Frank “Skip” Tylman, Baby Boomers’ Barrister

At P&G, Tylman worked as a manufacturing plant engineer, brand manager and in new business development, determining unarticulated consumer needs. The latter role involved research and product development, and his team developed the home dry cleaning brand Dryel.

As managing director of Procter & Gamble Australia, he traveled throughout Australia and New Zealand to communicate with salespeople, customers and advertising companies.

Prior to retiring from P&G, Tylman and his wife, who also worked for the company, determined their long-term vision. It was 2000, and they looked ahead to 2010, asking themselves where they would be living, what they would be doing and what was important to them. “It was far enough out that we weren’t as constrained by the past and could start with a blank sheet of paper,” he says.

The process led to them to move from Sydney to St. Petersburg. It also led to a roughly 10-year focus for Tylman on children, through his tutoring business and volunteer work. Tylman started with Achievia in 2002, and at one point, it had over 30 tutors. While he was still involved with the company, Tylman decided he wanted a new challenge. “I had heard law school was challenging,” he says.

He went to Stetson University, deciding to focus on elder law. “I said, ‘Skip, you’re going to need to know that eventually,’” he says. As a more mature student, he shied away from the parties, but he did play on the softball team and participated in trial team competitions.

The quick pace of law school was like drinking from a fire hose, and at times, he wished he could spend more time delving into a case. “It was a lot of work, but I really did enjoy it,” he says. “The law is a fascinating subject.”

Courtesy. Attorney Frank “Skip” Tylman started the law firm Baby Boomers’ Barrister in 2014.

Shortly after graduating, a friend with a law firm offered him a job. Tylman worked for him for two years before starting his own firm in 2014.

He founded Baby Boomers’ Barrister to help clients with estate planning, elder law, long-term care planning, probate and guardianship, and special needs planning. “People I talk to have similar backgrounds to me,” says Tylman. “They’re in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and oftentimes their parents are ailing or not around. I’ve been through that. Both my parents got sick and died about 10 years ago. A lot of the experiences my clients have, I can relate to.”

Tylman sometimes gets calls from people who need help with sudden situations, like a parent who has fallen and broken a hip and the child is facing mounting rehab costs. “People come in with a problem and I solve the problem for them,” he says. “I found law school very similar, in a sense, to engineering school. Both teach you a method of solving problems.” 

Tylman sticks to the firm’s focus, almost exclusively serving baby boomers. He works with clients directly, and a freelance paralegal in Miami helps Tylman with probate work.

Clients come to Baby Boomers’ Barrister through word of mouth, referrals from financial planners and by hearing his advertisements on NPR. Tylman has also gotten good marketing value out of the firm’s clear and descriptive name. “The brand name is memorable,” he says. “People go to the website and find me.”

Tylman is happy serving the Tampa Bay area, and he plans to keep focusing on his niche. He says, “Frankly, this is something I can do forever because I enjoy working with people and there’s a need, and as long as I can continue doing it, that’s the plan.”

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