THE DEFENSE REPORT
OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE RIDESHARE SUCCESS THROUGH SERVICE A s many people suspect, the legal system has a pretty dark underbelly. Coming out of law school, I met attorneys and aspiring attorneys who would actively talk up DUI defense for its job security . In their cynical minds, people were always going to make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after one too many. Police were always going to be overly vigilant for these drivers, wrongfully convicting those under the legal limit. They looked at this harmful cycle of overindulgence and overenforcement and saw profit. Then, Uber and Lyft came along. Today is a totally different world. So many people are making the smart, responsible choice to use rideshare apps to make it home safely. Drunk driving-related accidents are falling, and police have been able to reallocate resources to focus on more violent crimes. I know all this because I often hear those same attorneys from the old days complaining about this new, safer normal. This is why so many people don’t like lawyers. I, for one, am not complaining. That may sound strange coming from someone who’d earned the nickname “DUI Jim,” but the truth is I never went into the law looking for such an accolade. In fact, I fell into the DUI defense niche basically by accident. I opened the doors of this firm looking to help people — and it just so happened that in those (pre-Uber) times, plenty of folks needed help fighting DUI charges. This key difference is the reason we’ve been able to grow this firm over the years without having to shake our fists at all the good that rideshare services are doing. The real secret to job security is customer service. No matter what you need, whether it’s help fighting a DUI charge or getting a cheeseburger, you want responsive, reliable assistance. Sadly, this is something they don’t really teach in law school. I only learned the real power of customer service thanks to my many, many visits to the doctor as a child.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was four. Much of my youth was spent learning how to cope with and overcome the health challenges that come with this condition — luckily my parents were always there to support me. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in the shoes of a parent going through something like that, but I know the anxiety they’d suffer whenever a doctor didn’t return their calls. Indeed, even as a kid I’d grow nervous and impatient when care providers were late or unresponsive, especially when I was waiting on test results. This experience has stuck with me the rest of my life. To this day, I get physically irritated on those rare instances when our office isn’t able to return a call within a day. I know how hard it is to be in a difficult situation and not get answers. Long before I knew I was going to be a lawyer, I knew I didn’t want to be one of those lawyers who kept people waiting. When Julie and I started this firm, that philosophy of communication was central to what we wanted to do. We weren’t aiming to profit off a tragic cycle of crime and over-policing. We wanted to prove good customer service in the criminal justice system was possible. One review from a former client of ours really drives home to me how we’ve been successful in this mission: “You often hear people refer to an MD’s (doctor) bedside manner ... good or bad. You don’t hear people talk about that aspect too often when they talk about attorneys. I don’t wish to offer theories as to why that is, but what I do want to offer is this: Jim Yeargan and everybody he surrounds himself with are the kind of people you want to know.”
Living up to kind words like these is all the job security I need.
Here’s to a bright new year,
Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.TheNewsletterPro.comatlantaduilawyer.com
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