Young Marr - August/September 2019


Our Attorneys Fight for Your Future THE ADVISOR


PA: 215-883-8532 NJ: 609-796-9852

• Social Security Disability • Long-term Disability • Bankruptcy • Criminal Defense If you have another legal matter, please feel free to contact us, as we work closely with only the best referral sources.

With fall right around the corner, I’m sure plenty of families have been busy with the back-to-school rush. And kids aren’t the only ones who will be heading into classrooms. This autumn, another new generation of law students will begin their studies. I’m sure the experience has changed quite a bit since I first stepped into the halls of the Widener School of Law over 30 years ago — Google certainly would have made research easier! But one thing I would like to impress upon these aspiring lawyers is that even well after you graduate and pass the bar, you never stop learning. Or, at least, you shouldn’t. As laws change and technology advances, an attorney can’t afford to do things the same way they did yesterday. Being in the dark or using the same old approach is a recipe for letting your clients down. For this reason, I do all I can to continue my education by attending seminars and keeping a close eye on the shifting landscapes of bankruptcy and disability law. Laws themselves don’t even have to change to make the way an attorney operates outdated. For example, the rise of social media and the availability of cellphone cameras has made a huge impact on Social Security disability claims and bankruptcy filings. Something as simple as a photo of you out enjoying yourself can throw your case into jeopardy. It’s a matter of perception. The Social Security Administration may question whether your injury is really that debilitating if they find a picture of you out on the town. Similarly, if you upload vacation photos, filing for Chapter 7 is going to be a tough sell. Now more than ever before, my team urges people to be careful what they put online — something we wouldn’t have even imagined a few decades ago. Of course, some elements of being a lawyer stand the test of time. For instance, we’ve still got a fax machine here at the office, and it gets a surprising amount of use! But, more than any tool or piece of technology, it’s the way I approach being an attorney that has stayed the same over the decades. WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH IN LAW SCHOOL

My approach is to always keep things in

perspective. As an attorney, your actions can have a major impact on

people’s lives. It’s easy to forget that when you start viewing your firm as a business that needs to grow. Many lawyers make that mistake, to their own detriment. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or where you got your degree; if you aren’t approaching your job from a place of compassion, people will see through your act. To really do your job to the best of your ability, never lose sight of what the folks you are helping are going through. Sadly, this isn’t a skill that can be taught in school — empathy comes with life experience. But being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is one of the best things you can do as a lawyer. It keeps people from being just case numbers and underscores the importance of representing them to the best of your ability. For me to do this, I simply remember where I came from. My father was rendered unable to work at an early age, and he passed away shortly after. This left my mom to raise my sister and me in a row-house neighborhood without much means to get by. I’ve seen what disability and debt can do to a family and how suddenly either can strike. When people ask me why I do what I do, I always tell them the same thing: When it comes to disability and bankruptcy, we’re all just one step away. So, for any aspiring or current law students out there, remember to never stop learning, hold on to your compassion, and never forget where you come from. If you can do all that, you’re going to make a difference. –Paul H. Young | 1

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