Criminal & Traffic Defense | Immigration | Personal Injury
Still Listening Kyle Reflects on 11 Years of Manikas Law
When I left my job at the prosecutor’s office to open my own practice in September 2008, I knew it was now or never. Our first child, Anthony, was born in January 2008, and Melanie and I wanted to plan for more children. I knew that if I waited for a “better” time, I would have a young family and be unable to risk losing the steady paycheck from the prosecutor’s office. I had to take the leap. Since then, I’ve learned so much, developed lasting relationships, and helped people in ways that make me proud every day. It’s hard to believe this much time has gone by. I can still remember my first few clients. The details are fuzzy, but they helped me set the personal tone for my practice. I knew I wanted to be the lawyer who would answer their questions honestly and support them when they needed guidance. I learned early on that I wasn’t just handling the legal issues people were thrust into; I was helping people wrap their heads around their situations and find solutions that fit into their lives. Often, the biggest fear people have is the fear of the unknown. By explaining the legal process and outlining what they can expect, I try to relieve some of those fears. If anything, they know someone is on their side supporting them. The time I spent in the prosecutor’s office and in corporate law greatly prepared me for the challenges of my own firm. Logistically, these were useful introductions into the legal field. When you graduate from law school, you actually have very little real understanding of practicing law until you are thrust into doing it. As a prosecutor, I spent nearly every day in
court, immersed in the nuances of the judicial processes. This is actually fairly rare for most lawyers, who spend very few days in the courtroom. In addition, I was given real-world experience that was directly applicable to my future practice. While building relationships with local legal personnel, I learned how the prosecution will form a case against the clients I represent today. I have developed the tact to let the evidence speak for itself rather than jumping to assumptions. One of the more valuable lessons I learned, though, is the power of listening. Young lawyers are often so focused on winning their cases that they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by spouting off without a clear direction. They come into court with talking points they force instead of listening and
reacting. In my experience, this approach will never work. You have to know when to jump and when to react to someone else’s jump. Looking back on the past 11 years, I am so grateful for every client who has trusted me during some of the hardest and darkest times in their life. Without you, I would not be the attorney I am today, and I look forward to continuing to help my clients and their families in any way I can for many years to come.
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