Joel Thrift Law - March 2020

The Disability DIGEST

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March 2020

No Place Like Home

Origin Story of Joel Thrift Law

There were six months when I was working as a lawyer that I was losing money instead of making it. Not a lot of people expect to hear that from an attorney, but it’s true —without my incredible working wife, Meghan, this firm would never have been the business I’m very proud to have today. So, in honor of her and our very first newsletter, I want to explain my journey as an attorney and share the kind of values that established our firm. I always thought my brain was wired to be an engineer — at first, anyway. My father was an engineer, so that’s what I thought I should be as well. The exact moment I decided to be a lawyer is hard to pinpoint. I do remember my mom watching a lot of old courtroom shows on TV as a kid, and I might’ve thought to myself while staring at the men in suits,“Hey, I could do that.” But there was definitely a point in college when I realized I didn’t want to be an engineer after all. I was the only kid in my classes who had better verbal scores on my SAT than math. I found that I enjoyed responding to problems with the famous lawyer answer “it depends,” instead of responding with the strictest rules of physics. The core skills of a lawyer felt suddenly easy to take up, and my grades skyrocketed because I finally felt a strong life purpose. After I ditched my engineering classes for law school, I graduated and spent 10 years in one law firm, doing similar things to what we do here. I got amazing experiences and represented great clients, but eventually, I wanted to build something for myself. I am really good at what I do, but I realized if my name isn’t on front of the building, then clients still feel like they’re getting less than what they asked for. I mean, imagine calling a firm for the named partner but then getting a

help. They’re intimidated by the idea of having a representative that could be secretly indifferent to their case or their personal lives. But the longer I’ve been an attorney and building my own family, the more I understand the deep fear in the people I serve; there’s no place like home. I know how the survival and mental well-being of the people you love is everything. Sometimes my kids ask me about what I do. I tell them something like, “I talk to a judge to get people money because they’re hurt.” Usually, they just smile and nod. It’s a little harder to explain that I’m an active member of the Atlanta Bar Association and Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, organizations that can attest to my achievement and credibility. But if you’re hurt and you need to talk to a judge to achieve the justice you deserve, don’t hesitate to call our office for a free case consultation — I’ll fight for you.

young guy named Joel Thrift instead — you’d get understandably nervous! It wasn’t enough for me to work at a larger firm. I needed to branch off and take care of my clients who would not only trust me for my true reputation but also trust me as a person. Full disclosure: I’ve never represented insurance companies or worked in a defense firm. That’s just not howmy brain is wired, either. I’ve always represented people. My law practice places people and families first because that’s what I do best and what feels right to me. I have a family of three young kids —Adelaide, a 6-year-old girl; James, a 5-year-old boy; and River, our son who was just born in January. It’s great being a father because I don’t have to come up with answers to tough questions like, “Do you have any hobbies?”I have three kids! That’s three hobbies all at once. That’s something I see in a lot of my clients too. They’re so busy with their lives and their families that, sometimes, they’ve needed help for a long time but didn’t know who to ask for

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