The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. November 2018

November 2018

720 Goodlette Rd N, Suite 304, Naples, FL 34102 •

Making a Connection What My Son Taught Me About Law


hen I started my law career, I wanted to live that lawyer lifestyle. I’d been introduced to trial law while clerking at a prestigious personal injury firm in

desperate, stressed, and in search of someone who can help them through a challenging time. After a bad accident, you worry about having enough money to pay for medical bills, dread what will happen if you don’t recover, and suffer through the heartache

Cleveland. After graduating from law school, I moved to Florida to practice personal injury law, motivated to make a bunch of money in order to have a big house and drive fancy cars. I eventually met the most amazing woman and somehow convinced her to marry me. When Holly became pregnant with our first child, I imagined what it would be like taking him to Little League games, helping with school work, and doing all those things you picture being part of life as a parent. Shortly after our son was born, we discovered our lives weren’t going to play out the way we had assumed. Nathan was diagnosed with severe autism, and this realigned all of my priorities. We went to doctors, specialists, and anyone who could offer some sort of treatment. Most of it wasn’t covered by our insurance, but that didn’t matter. How could I sleep at night wondering if I had done everything possible to help my child? We spent a lot of money and even dipped into our retirement savings to pay for Nathan’s treatment. But again, I couldn’t think of retirement when my child was hurting because he wasn’t able to easily connect with the rest of the world. As my family went through the challenges of trying to help our son, I began to recognize the stress I saw in the eyes of my clients. It was the same kind of stress I saw in the mirror. What we have gone through with Nathan isn’t the same as what my clients experience after an injury or during their cases, but their pain and struggles are relatable. These clients are often

that comes with realizing your life is no longer going to be the way you imagined it. That kind of stress weighs on you physically and mentally. It took me far too long, but I finally understood what my clients were going through and recognized the responsibility I had. Instead of trying to make as much money as I could, I started to focus on helping as many people as I could.

“Instead of trying to make as much money as I could, I started to focus on helping as many people as I could.”

Nathan turned 11 this year, and some days are easier than others. It’s hard to have your heart broken a little every day, but I consider myself fortunate. My wife is a strong person, and we see eye to eye. Together, we have supported each other and our son through some hard times. Nathan doesn’t speak, but he has a keyboard he types on to communicate with us and his little sister, Arina. He’s happy, and that’s the important thing. I want to give my clients the same kind of support Holly has always given me; I want to offer them help and guidance during their struggles. It’s hard to accept that our lives won’t look the way we had pictured, but when you have someone you can rely on to help you through those hard times, it makes things a little easier. -Marc Shapiro

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