"At the first firm I worked for after law school I handled commercial and business litigation cases."
Lindsay Tygart is a member of the Jacksonville Bar Association board of governors, The Florida Bar Young Lawyers division board of governors and a second-generation Jacksonville attorney.
Who inspired you to become a lawyer?
When I was growing up, my father (Silas Thompson “Tom” Tygart) always taught me to help others who can’t help themselves. I think that if we could all do that just a little bit, this world would be a much better place. So I have known since I was very little that I wanted to help people. My dad was a trial lawyer for years and he instilled in me the passion for helping others and the love for the rule of law and the justice system and all it stands for.
Someone other than my spouse who inspires me:
My children. Those angel babies inspire me every minute of every day to be present in the moment, to enjoy life, to be silly, to be thoughtful, to not take anything for granted, to fight for what I believe in and to put my phone down.
How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice of law?
I can see my dad reading this and rolling his eyes, but my college major was performing arts and theater. When I graduated from college, my dad told me I could move to New York City and eat beans out of a can or he would send me to law school. I don’t like beans much, so I chose law school. Now I am a civil litigator. I always knew I wanted to be in front of people, performing.
How did you decide your practice area and why have you chosen that?
At the first firm I worked for after law school I handled commercial and business litigation cases. I enjoyed that work and the partners let me explore different areas of law and handle different types of cases. I began dabbling in personal injury. I loved the direct client contact and getting to serve as their advocate, but also as their counselor. Back then, I was handling cases on a much smaller scale, but when I moved to my prior firm, and began handling complex medical malpractice and nursing home cases, my passion and love for helping families grew tenfold. Now, at Coker Law, I feel like I am home, doing what I was meant to do with people I was meant to practice with, at a place where I was meant to be. I am incredibly blessed.
What community service have you pursued and why that?
Through my 10-plus years of serving on the board of the Young Lawyers Section of the Jacksonville Bar Association and now the board of governors, I have been afforded many opportunities to get involved with some amazing charities. As a mom, I am drawn to charities that assist children, which is why I love Dreams Come True and have been involved with them since I was in high school. Also, through my law practice, I encounter individuals who have been disastrously injured and unfortunately, many of them are children. I represented a young family, who had a baby who was catastrophically injured during childbirth. Many of the little girl’s deficits were physical. Both myself and another local attorney worked with the JT Townsend Foundation, which provided medical equipment to help her learn to walk. The foundation is doing remarkable things for handicapped children in this city and I will forever praise the work they are doing.
What’s your advice for new lawyers?
Above all, be professional, be civil. Treat others the way you want to be treated. You have to give respect to get respect. Your reputation is everything and your word is your bond. My dad used to always say to me “do, graciously, what you are going to have to do anyway.” When he would tell me that growing up, he would usually mean me doing the dishes or cleaning my room or some other tedious chore, but I have taken this phrase with me through life and applied it to many situations, both personal and professional. In other words, don’t be difficult just to be difficult. Acting that way simply impedes your credibility.