Law Office Of William F Underwood - September 2019


After more than a decade in the legal profession, I’m confident in my abilities. I’ve helped underserved workers get the compensation they deserve after a work injury saddles them with mounting medical bills, and I've stood up for clients who couldn’t after an accident left them injured. But I would not be half the lawyer I am without the team that supports me. We may be a small group of legal experts in southern Georgia, but together, we’re a powerful force. In honor of Labor Day, I wanted to recognize my team and the work they do for clients every day. They make sure we are “putting people first.” Our paralegal, Brenda, came to us with years of experience. Born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, Brenda worked in the Florida government right after high school. She climbed her way up to working in former Gov. Reubin Askew’s administration as a communications liaison clerk, and after Askew’s administration ended in 1979, she became a legal assistant to Jimmie Davis, a Georgia City Attorney. In 1996, she moved back to Florida and took a job as a paralegal in a 60-person law firm. She also mentored high school students for job interviews through the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. By 2006, she was back in Albany, where she worked on defense teams for insurance companies, which has been a tremendous asset to our team since she joined us in September 2018. Brenda’s decades of experience and dedication to the legal craft has made a huge impact on our firm and our patients. Her experience and knowledge is like having another lawyer in our firm! While we strictly do plaintiff’s work for personal injury and workers' compensation, Brenda’s understanding of the insurance system has given our cases an edge and improved competence. There have been times where Brenda’s tasks don’t even require my legal guidance. She knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and can almost read my mind. Up front, we have Marina, who I jokingly call our “Jill of all trades.” She does some receptionist work, but she’s also responsible for pre-litigation work for our personal injury cases, which can be a

lot for a firm of our size and caliber. She will often request medical documents, manage intake for new clients, and prepare demands for insurance companies. I honestly don’t know how Marina gets all her work done between answering the phones, helping clients who come walking in, and managing the legal work we throw at her. Coming from a background in customer service, Marina has the perfect attitude for client interaction. I don’t dare move her away from the front! We had some doctors visiting our office during a tour of a few local law offices a month ago, and they singled out Marina as the receptionist who was the friendliest and had the best greeting in the entire region! That makes me a very proud boss. In the past, I’ve had some stellar teammembers, but with the addition of Brenda and Marina’s consistency, I have one of the strongest teams I have had in years. They go above and beyond their regular job duties to ensure our clients are represented honorably and respectfully. We recently lost another great employee, and while her dedication will be missed, I’m excited to see who we can find to fill her spot. When it comes to hiring, I’ve learned a few hard lessons, but with Brenda and Marina pulling into tenured positions with the firm, I am confident that we will continue in the right direction. For now, I know Brenda and Marina will pick up any slack left by the vacancy. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the decades of civil law litigation, it’s that having a reliable team is invaluable, and that’s just what I have. -William F. “Trey” Underwood, III

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