Laying down the law

It might seem like a long leap from bartending at Tribe to passing the Tennessee state bar examination, but Loy Carney has handled these two distinctly different professions with equal aplomb.

A 2010 graduate of Nashville School of Law, Carney recently founded his own firm located in Green Hills. The Carney Firm, PLC is a full service law firm with a focus on real estate, DUI defense and personal injury claims.

In his mind, Carney has an advantage in this competitive marketplace: connections in the city's GLBT community. It's become a personal mission to promote himself as an out and proud gay man.

"I'm going to be more than comfortable with that in the courtroom," Carney says. "I want to be able to let (GLBT) clients speak openly and frankly when they might be more reserved when talking with someone else. It's all about developing a comfort level."

Since 2003, Carney has honed his craft as a closing agent at Grissim Title & Escrow. The experience molded him into an expert at all things real estate. At this time, he's stretched out into other areas of practice, but discretion for his clients is paramount regardless of the issue at hand.

"In the gay community we all struggle with the idea that gossip just runs rampant," he admits. "There's this assumption that if somebody knows something, they're going to talk about it. It's an uphill battle we have to overcome. Trust is an essential piece in the attorney-client relationship. I want people to know they've spoken to me in confidence. That's something people need to hear."

Carney, an eight-year veteran of Tribe, will continue to work at the popular Church Street bar on weekends to supplement his income and solidify relationships with friends and fellow staff members. Though he's transitioning into a completely unique environment, Carney plans to use the important lessons from his previous position to enhance his professional life.

"I've had an intimate knowledge of the service side in the last twenty years," Carney says. "Now it's time to segue into something a little different. Now I focus on what happens with people when they go home and out onto the street. Many are overserved and go out on the road. I feel that many DUI laws are oppressive, so there's a satisfaction in helping people who are trying to make corrections in their behavior."

Carney's obvious devotion to customer service now simply has a different outlet, and one final statement about his business sums up the special relationship that people share with their trusted authorities.

"If you give people the best help they can get in the marketplace, then they will keep coming back," Carney says.

Loy Carney can be reached at loy@carneyfirm.com or by calling 615-298-1826.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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