"I make every effort to outwork, outthink, and outperform my opponents."
Samuel B. Friedman, a former assistant state attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit, has joined the Jimerson Birr law firm as an associate attorney and business litigator.
Who or what inspired you to become a lawyer? I was at a crossroads during my undergrad at Maryland and was unsure of what I wanted to do. I ended up taking a law class because it sounded interesting and I enjoyed it. I then ended up taking a prelaw legal writing course where I had a professor who inspired me to take the LSAT and pursue the practice of law.
How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice of law? My undergraduate degree was in criminal justice, so when I joined the State Attorney’s Office, the position put me directly in the front seat to learn how our system works. The skills I obtained in the practice of law didn’t come from my undergraduate degree. Instead, the opportunities I pursued in law school helped lay a foundation for advocacy and my on-the-job training.
How did you decide your practice area? And why have you chosen that? I tried more than a dozen criminal cases in Jacksonville and the stakes always were high. Rather than going in a random direction, I wanted to leverage my trial experience into an area of legal practice that required a similarly high level of thorough preparedness and make-or-break consequences. Practicing business litigation, where my representation of a company can make the difference between bankruptcy or success, fits the bill perfectly.
What do you do to get ready for trial? Prepare, prepare, prepare. It’s essential to anticipate every possible situation or argument that may arise, and be prepared to deal with it favorably for your client. I make every effort to outwork, outthink, and outperform my opponents. It also helps to wear a nice suit.
What’s the best advice you received as a new lawyer? That I had to put in the time. There are no shortcuts, because the only way to learn and improve as a lawyer is by taking the time and sinking my teeth into the practice of law. I think it’s crucial to find good mentors to show a new attorney the path toward success. I feel fortunate for the people in the State Attorney’s Office who went out of their way to pay it forward and teach me the practice of law, plus the fantastic mentors and supervisors I have gained by joining at Jimerson Birr to build my practice.