The Biggest Decision Helping People Do What’s Right
O ne of the biggest decisions of my life was when I chose to become a lawyer. I made that choice because of a childhood nursery rhyme called “Rich Man, Poor Man.” This nursery rhyme listed off various career paths and one verse put the doctor just before the lawyer. As a child, I really took this to heart. When I was six years old, my older brother said he wanted to be a doctor. I knew the next in line was lawyer, so that’s what I decided to be. My brother never became a doctor, but I stayed true to the path. Today I’m proud to say I’ve been practicing law in Arizona for over 40 years. As I matured, I made a point to learn more about the law. I became devoted to the concept of justice that allows people to have the freedom to create contracts and relationships that must be honored under the law. People are expected to be true to their word. We have a justice system that helps people do what’s right, and I wanted to be part of that. I’ve been practicing in Arizona since 1977, and my career led me through a few different areas of the law. Today, I practice primarily personal injury law and bankruptcy law. I’ve been working in personal injury in some capacity since I passed the bar, because that’s the area I scored highest while in law school. Once I started working in personal injury in a professional capacity, I quickly learned how rewarding it was to help people who are most in need of help. As for bankruptcy, I started working in this area in the early 2000s because many of my clients were asking for bankruptcy help. I have since filed a few thousand cases. Bankruptcy is a very merciful area of the law. It gives people a chance at redemption, to free themselves from the bonds of overwhelming debt.
“We have a justice
system that helps people do what’s right, and I wanted to be part of that.”
Bankruptcy and personal injury seem like very different fields, but they have more in common than you’d think. When I take on a bankruptcy or a personal injury case, more often than not, I’m working with a client who has lost all hope. They’re crushed beneath mounting debts or suffering from physical pain caused by someone else’s negligence. They can’t imagine a brighter future. As their attorney, it’s my job to use the law to help my clients. I can help my personal injury clients get compensation to help them pay their medical bills and begin their recovery process. I can help my bankruptcy clients start fresh and contribute to our economy again. It’s rewarding to help my clients find hope again. My most important job is to listen to my clients. I need to hear about their situation, what they’re experiencing, and make the complex nature of law easy to understand. When someone comes to me for help, they don’t need a bunch of legal jargon. They need answers and for someone to show them what they need to do next. It’s my privilege to be that person. A nursery rhyme may have set me on this path, but my love of the law and knowledge that I’m truly able to help people is what keeps me walking down my path every day.
–Walter E. “Pete” Moak
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