Why I Became a Trial Attorney

By Malcolm "Mic" McConnell
I am a Richmond, Virginia native. I am a product of Henrico County Public Schools, having attended Skipwith Elementary, Tuckahoe Middle, and graduating from J. R. Tucker High. My father taught handicapped children for Henrico County Schools and supervised the County's programs for those students.  My mother was a surgical nurse. I grew up attending and serving as a youth leader of Monument Heights Baptist Church (corner of Monument and Libbie Avenues), which my grandfather, a Baptist minister, founded in 1950.

How did the son of a teacher and a nurse and the grandson of a preacher become a medical malpractice trial lawyer? It all seems quite natural to me, especially when you add the endless superhero comic books and heroic biographies that I read as a youth. The common feature of my father's, mother's and grandfather's professions was helping people; usually helping people who were unable to help themselves.

Influences become even clearer when you consider the role of the minister delivering his sermon from the pulpit: speaking to his congregation, he cites scripture and common experience in order to persuade his audience to take action and to do the right thing. Now consider the role of the trial lawyer. The trial lawyer is there to help his clients. At The Allen Law Firm, we understand that lawyers have a unique ability and responsibility to help people in ways they cannot help themselves. It is a helping profession. The influence becomes even clearer when you consider the role of the lawyer in the courtroom: speaking to the jury, he cites the law and common experience in order to persuade the jury to take action and to do the right thing.

As you can see, the influences of my childhood certainly made me a candidate for a career in the law. But there was more. I witnessed a great many "bullying" incidents when I was growing up. Some of them were minor, involving name-calling, threats, and the occasional shoving. Some of them were actually quite brutal and cruel, including much older children physically beating and terrorizing elementary school children. As a young boy, such events were "real life" examples of the "strong preying upon the weak" themes I had read so much about. But those same stories which I read also offered the solution: the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In other words, the strong have a duty to help those who are unable to help themselves.

To be a trial lawyer, like being a teacher or a nurse or a preacher, is to possess a kind of "strength." The strength of the trial lawyer is the knowledge and understanding of the rules which govern our society, and the ability to employ those rules to bring justice to the victims of others. In short, to be a trial lawyer, is to possess the strength - and, therefore, the duty - to help those who are unable to help themselves.

At The Allen Law Firm we take pride in our strength - our education, our firm resources, our experience, our results, our talent and our skill. But more than that, we take pride in how we use our strength: obtaining justice for our clients, who are unable to help themselves.

About the Author: Malcolm "Mic" McConnell heads the medical malpractice team at the personal injury law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen.

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