Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a lawyer?
I originally pursued the law because it appealed to my strengths as a writer. After practicing for a few years, I learned that my real purpose for becoming a lawyer was being an effective presenter in the courtroom. Through the practice of law, I discovered a love for understanding the art of persuasion and its overlap with principles of psychology and neuroscience. Through my journey to becoming a lawyer, I learned to love many new things and have made many good friends.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in your early career?
Overthinking things and not letting my emotions guide my actions are two of the biggest challenges I faced early on in my career. Finding mentors was the best way to overcome these challenges because many experienced lawyers have and continue to deal with the same issues today. It saves you a lot of time and energy to learn from those with experience.
How did you develop an interest in your personal injury law?
I grew up around many personal injury lawyers because I was born to one. It was an area of law I already knew pretty well when I started law school.
Can you share an example of a particularly challenging case you’ve worked on and how you navigated it?
A corporate defendant in one of my cases was hiding information from us, making it difficult to litigate my client’s case. I used a subpoena to depose the defendant’s owner as leverage to extract withheld information. CEOs and company owners avoid being deposed, so using a subpoena as leverage can be an effective discovery tool.
Legal is often overwhelming and stressful for clients. How do you balance the legal and emotional aspects of advising clients?
I try to explain to clients that their primary job is to focus on healing from their injuries. I also try to explain my advocacy in common sense terms so that my clients understand my strategies. I think it’s important to discuss case strategy with clients because it helps you think ideas through more thoroughly and it shows your clients that you are on top of things.
What tips would you give to individuals who may be hesitant to start a legal process or who may not know where to begin?
Find a highly rated lawyer with a niche practice that is relevant to your legal issue. The more familiar a lawyer is with your particular case and facts, the better off you will be. Avoid lawyers who claim to be a jack of all trades and never speak to the insurance company.
What advice would you give to aspiring lawyers who are considering a legal career?
Take time to reflect on your natural strengths and weaknesses and consider the kind of work you actually enjoy doing. Are you a good writer or speaker? What matters to you? Are you entrepreneurial or do you prefer the security of a job? Are you mostly interested in a legal career for the money? If so, could you make more money doing something else you enjoy doing? Your answers to these questions will make the decision a lot easier for you.