Day in the life of
Lawyer – Max Pepper
I am a partner in a small law firm that represents drivers with traffic tickets and licensing issues. I work with individuals who have either received a traffic ticket or have lost their license for some reason. The job is incredibly rewarding and impactful. Being located in the Midwest, many of my clients are fearful of losing their jobs if they lose their driver’s license and rely on me to give them the best chance of keeping their driver’s license.
My job involves a lot of interaction between traffic lawyers and prosecutors to resolve cases. I work to get my clients the best outcome on their traffic tickets every day. Most of the time that results in an amendment where a serious traffic ticket is reduced to a less serious infraction that won’t cost my clients their license.
My typical day
A typical day starts with checking my email to see if any clients have contacted me through the firm’s website. If so, I will call each client back and conduct a brief consultation explaining the seriousness of their ticket and the process to contest it. If any of the potential clients decide to retain my firm, we prepare retainer agreements that explicitly spell out what we are being retained for and the duration of the representation. Once the client signs the retainer agreement, we tell the court that we are representing the client and get to work on resolving the ticket.
The actual resolving of a traffic ticket differs based on where the ticket was issued. Most of the time, a phone call or email will result in an amendment for a traffic ticket, but sometimes I need to gather more information to provide to the prosecutor like proof of insurance or proof of registration. When an amendment is offered, I call the client and explain the offer and the process for accepting the offer.
In addition to the legal work, I spend a lot of time on non-legal tasks. Small law firms are very business-focused, and lawyers have to spend a lot of time on building their business. I spend roughly half of my day tracking marketing efforts, bookkeeping, and working with vendors to make sure that we have the tools needed to best serve our clients.
I really enjoy being a lawyer, coming from an accounting background it is absolutely the best of both worlds. I get to run a business, something that I always wanted to do and I get to serve people who are very appreciative. The vast majority of people who make their way into the court system do so because of a traffic violation and helping these clients navigate the court system and come out unscathed is a very rewarding job.
Being a lawyer can be isolating, particularly with newer technologies. Due to the nature of my legal practice, a large portion of my practice is conducted virtually through emails and web-based meetings. Even court has been conducted virtually for the past year.
Because of the nature of law, it is necessarily adversarial. While most lawyers are able to accurately value and develop a good idea about the eventual disposition, both sides have to advocate for their position and try to get the best possible outcome for their clients. As a result, you are constantly fighting with the people you work with on a weekly basis which can be very draining.
Law is an extremely competitive field. There are significantly more graduates than there are jobs every year. As a result, lawyers have to be on top of evolving marketing methods in order to maintain their practices. It gets easier over time, but even experienced lawyers can have their practices disappear relatively quickly by not keeping up with new marketing trends.
represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.