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Career Alternatives for Attorneys: Peddling Popsicles

Wouldn't you love to lick one of these?

When faced with a job that isn’t making you happy, sometimes creativity is necessary in order to escape. Because hey, not everyone can enjoy courtroom glory like that of Jose Baez, knight in shining armor for Casey Anthony. And so, for these people, there are many career alternatives to choose from.

We’ve written previously about these creative types: some decided that they’d rather walk across the country than work another day in Biglaw; others decided to hang their own shingles in the wonderful world of mobile cupcakes.

If doing something that will make you or your customers wish for a summer oasis is your thing, then I say go for it.

But some lawyers opt to pair business sense with their creativity. Some lawyers realize that during the summer, the ideal treat is not scaling a mountain or munching on a cupcake, but instead, licking a popsicle or two. And that is how one former prosecutor started a delicious frozen empire in Georgia to become the self-proclaimed Earl of Pops….

Nicholas J. Carse, a 2008 graduate of Georgia State University College of Law, left his job as an assistant prosecutor in Gwinnett County, Georgia, to pursue a career as a popsicle peddler with his brother. The Fulton County Daily Report notes:

King of Pops, their business making gourmet frozen fruit concoctions, quickly became a local sensation as their cart with the rainbow-striped umbrella popped up at outdoor festivals and farmers markets around the city during the hot summer months.

“I didn’t quit the law because I didn’t like it, but because I felt I’d regret it if I didn’t try this. I thought I could always be a lawyer later in life,” said Carse, explaining that it had been a dream for him to work with his brother and family and “have our own thing.”

So, the good news for other Georgia State grads is that there may still be a job opening down in Gwinnett County (but I doubt it).

The better news is that Carse is selling hundreds of flavors of popsicles, ranging from the conservative “strawberry lemonade,” to the pretty out there “laserbeam kitty pop.” He’s basically the popsicle version of Willy Wonka, short of snozzberry pops. Definitely a new flavor suggestion for you there, Carse!

The Fulton County Daily Report has more on what inspired Carse to launch the company’s popsicle pavillions:

Carse said King of Pops was inspired by a three-month sojourn that he and his brother made from Panama to Mexico a few years ago after visiting their older brother Ashley in the Panama Canal Zone, where he was doing field work for a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology. In Mexico’s local produce markets, they discovered paletas — frozen pops that Carse said the vendors make from the overripe fruit at the end of the day to keep it from going to waste. “Ours are a gourmet American version of paletas, with funkier flavors and better fruit,” he said.

Carse hasn’t been able to fully escape his legal career quite yet, as King of Pops was hit with several cease and desist letters from Unilever for using the word “popsicle,” which Unilever has a trademark on. Carse wanted to be an intellectual property attorney when he graduated from law school, so this gave him a chance to put his knowledge of trademark law to use.

The Earl of Pops informed the Fulton County Daily Report that it would be too expensive to litigate the case:

“We’re ceasing and desisting, mostly,” he said, noting that they’ve removed the offending tagline from their current logo. He pointed out that the navy King of Pops T-shirt he was wearing still had “handcrafted popsicles” under the logo but said it was from last summer.

Apparently the law is a little bit like the Hotel California, in that you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

But don’t start sucking on each other’s popsicles just yet, because we don’t even know if this business is turning a profit.

Carse wouldn’t spill the beans when it came to the company’s finances, but he peddles the family pops for $2.50 a piece. And from an outsider’s perspective, the business seems to be making bank, as the company has been approached by franchisors and investors, and has even been featured on the Food Network.

Who doesn’t love to lick a popsicle? Overall, this seems like a great business venture, and we here at Above the Law wish Carse the best of luck!

Have you recently left the law and started your own entrepreneurial venture? Please let us know what you’re doing (and whether you’re succeeding), in the comments or via email (subject line: “Career Alternatives”).

Former Prosecutor Leaves Job to Sell Gourmet Popsicles [Fulton County Daily Report]
Georgia Lawyer Trades Prosecutor Post to Peddle Popsicles [ABA Journal]

Earlier: Previous ATL coverage of Attorney Career Alternatives

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