He’s a successful lawyer, a supportive boss, and an enterprising real-estate developer, but in T.J. Angstman’s own eyes, he’s mainly a troubleshooter.
“That’s the part of my job I most enjoy,” he says. “I like helping people with their problems.”
That fact is no secret to the eight attorneys and dozen or so support staff members at his law firm; he’s often the one assisting them when they get stuck. In addition, he’s argued several cases before the Idaho Supreme Court and the Idaho Court of Appeals, and has garnered such prestigious awards as being listed in Mountain States Super Lawyers since 2010. In 2000, he received a professionalism award from the Idaho State Bar Association.
Currently, Angstman’s caseload includes several cases of alleged fraud. And, he is preparing to go to trial in December with a case that has gotten a lot of press: the case alleges understaffing at a private prison near Boise run by Corrections Corporation of America
“I am hoping that the jury will send a message to that industry not to come back to Idaho, ever,” Angstman says.
Though his cases take up an enormous amount of time, Angstman’s law career is not his only major undertaking. Since he was a young man, he’s been a real estate development entrepreneur, and still manages to take on projects on the side, like the luxury apartment project he’s currently working on with a high school friend.
In fact, he began his career in real estate development after graduation from Boise State University, earning his real estate license and purchasing his first property at 21 years old. But though he enjoyed the work, he couldn’t escape his inclination toward the legal world.
At the time, his business associates would often remark on his ability to understand legal matters, and would tell him that he’d make a great lawyer. What they didn’t know is that Angstman comes from a family of several prominent lawyers, including a speaker of the Montana House of Representatives and a justice on the Montana Supreme Court. Angstman enrolled in law school at the University of Idaho and started his firm upon graduation in 1997.
But it’s not all blueprints and legal briefs for Angstman. He and his family enjoy spending time skiing in the mountains, where they own a townhome that they spent a couple of years fixing up together. They laid over 2,000 square feet of tile and slate, and completed all the woodwork, painting and staining.
As in his legal and real estate work, Angstman never does anything halfway. A self-described “computer geek,” he’s built over 50 computers from scratch, and raised over a dozen oak trees from acorns that he germinated in his refrigerator. While on leave from work recovering from neck surgery, he also became one of the top 1,000 players in the world of the video game Call of Duty Ghost.
To view photos from the 2016 Leaders in Law networking reception and awards event Nov. 17, 2016, visit http://www.idahobusinessreview.smugmug.com/.d