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From Criminal to Civil Law Finding the Best Avenues to Help Clients
It’s funny the way life works. Finance, prosecution, and running my own firm have given me an interesting perspective on personal service and what it means to help people. I’ve seen a shift in not only what I want out of a career but also what I think my clients need in terms of services. I’ve been able to better serve my clients and my community with the experiences I’ve had along the way. But it wouldn’t have happened without a few key moments dating back to my sophomore year in college. I always wanted to help people, but how I saw myself doing that changed significantly when I was in school. While getting my undergraduate degree, I worked at a bank on the trading floor during my sophomore year. My coworkers and the other interns were fine, but I didn’t like the environment, wanted more face time with the clients, and wanted to provide a more personal experience. At the time, I had a growing interest in criminal law, so I switched gears to see how I could help people in that area. After getting my bachelor’s at Emory, I went to the University of Miami to study my newfound interest in law. During this time, I had the opportunity to intern at the state’s attorney’s office. I had an amazing time and learned so much while interning there. After I graduated with my law degree, I went to work as a prosecutor for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office. I was able to gain courtroom experience, and, initially, it seemed like such a great fit. Although it wasn’t what I had envisioned myself doing in life, prosecuting was enjoyable, and I knew that I could use my finance and marketing experience from my undergraduate
years to open my own firm one day. As the years went on, I had an “aha”moment.
may cover it. If you can’t tell, I’m very service oriented, and I want to make sure I’m giving my clients as much value as they can get. Being a personal injury lawyer is the best way I can do that. If someone dies as a result of a vehicle accident where the defendant was driving under the influence, I can represent the family of the victim. The family may have relied on the victim for income or care, and they deserve justice. I may not be able to put the criminal in prison, but I can go after their insurance to ensure the victim’s family finds some financial security. Most victims don’t even know they have these options. During my time at the state’s attorney’s office, I saw victims go uncompensated a lot of the time. But, with my perspectives gained from being a prosecutor and even from the finance industry, I am dedicated to filling that gap and providing my clients with financial security and a little peace of mind.
I noticed how many people involved in horrible accidents couldn’t work, even with medical and everyday bills stacking up. In criminal court, the best we could do for victims was secure restitution. Restitution is when the defendant has to pay for the victim’s bills; it sounds nice on paper, but, in reality, it’s useless. At best, 10% of all victims are actually paid their restitution — it’s mind-blowing. I wondered how I could make those victims whole again and realized the only times I had seen a victim be paid what they needed were in civil cases. I saw no other avenue where the client could get what they deserved. That’s when I decided to go into personal injury law. If a criminal has no money and can’t pay restitution, their insurance may cover it; perhaps even the place where the incident happened may have an insurance policy that
-Pro sper Shaked
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