I'm not sure when I first decided to be a lawyer, but I know at an early age, someone was thinking it would be a good idea for me. After becoming a lawyer, I realized how good an idea it was for me as a career path when I began representing injured people. The clients are what give meaning to my practice - family members who've lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence, or the injured husband/father who wants more than anything to provide for his family but can't because the employer who caused his injuries has also left him out to dry.
I was a student at UT Austin, and I continue to be an avid fan of Longhorn sports. I can't really say I was a true collegiate athlete like the ones I follow, but I was on the water ski team. And, although my football playing days ceased in high school, my love of the game and of the team continues. One of the key reasons I still follow Longhorn sports is that I see perseverance in every single athlete, a value that greatly impacts my job.
As the appellate lawyer at the firm, my typical role is to help out our injured clients at phases in their cases that require additional legal assistance, sometimes where jurisdictional issues spring up early on in a case or (naturally) when one side chooses to appeal. Often this just means preserving a victory that one of our other attorneys achieved in the trial court. Take 2014 for example - I successfully reversed two dismissals, reinstating our clients' cases at the appellate level. Perseverance is the essential value that's rewarded on appeal.
I met my wife Zahra in law school. She's also a lawyer. And despite her Pakistani roots, she's out-Texan'd me in that she carries a badge (with a star) to work. She's a felony prosecutor like you might see on Law & Order. She puts the bad guys away. I like to think what I do here is similar, as we target companies that have done something wrong but instead of putting them behind bars we make them pay money. We learn in litigating against many of the largest companies in the world that paying money seems to be every bit as painful as doing hard time.
Like many people, when Zahra and I can take the time, we like to travel. Each time we've traveled, we've loved it. It's not just that we see new things and learn about new places, the experience always changes us and brings us closer. It's always worth it.
"When life gives you...": One lemon, two tablespoons of sugar, sparkling water, one very large ice cube, and a teaspoon of grenadine.
"Make lemonade...": Cut lemon into halves and squeeze them with hands (gotta get a little dirty or it's no fun) directly into a tall glass. Remove any seeds with a teaspoon, add the sugar and mix. Discard the spoon - you won't need it any more. Then put the large ice cube in tall glass, put the large ice cube in tall glass, put grenadine on top of that ice cube, and then pour sparkling water over everything, filling up the glass.
May seem like a lot of work, but trust me it's good stuff.
In practicing, I've learned that the insurance companies think EVERY case is a lemon. No matter how injured the client is, and no matter how blatantly stupid a company has acted, and no matter what the incident report/police report says, the insurance companies don't want to pay anything to the client. Unless the client has a lawyer who is going to make them pay.
My ideal client is simply a person who tells me the complete truth. I've been blessed that most of my clients have proven to be honest, and for being so, they've made my job enjoyable.