In the Law: Charlie Trippe Jr., Partner, Abel Bean Law

"Artificial intelligence is likely to change greatly the means and methods of legal research and analysis."

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Charlie Trippe Jr. joined Abel Bean Law as a partner. He most recently was chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration and in 2011-12 was general counsel to the Executive Office of former Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Who or what inspired you to become a lawyer? I was impressed early in life with the respect that lawyers received both for their erudition and their practical counsel. 

Someone other than my spouse who inspires me: My 86-year-old aunt, who is a retired nurse, an Air Force veteran, the widow of a retired Navy officer and the mother of an Army veteran.  

How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice of law? I participated in a six-year program where I left college after three years to commence law school and to attend graduate school to accrue credits toward my undergraduate degree. I would have majored in political science had I completed a conventional four-year undergraduate degree. All of that coursework was helpful for lawyering. 

How did you decide your practice area? I settled on litigation after rotating through several departments at Morgan Lewis, my first firm. The constant process of learning new law and new subject matter attracted me to litigation. 

What has been the biggest change in your practice area since you passed the Bar? I would cite two major changes, the first being the much greater participation of women in the legal profession. The second is the ever-decreasing number of civil trials, as alternative dispute resolution processes have taken root.  

What do you think will be the next change in your area of law? Artificial intelligence is likely to change greatly the means and methods of legal research and analysis. This will be a major challenge for large, hierarchical legal organizations. 

If I could change anything in the legal system, I would: Decrease the cost of law school, by an order of magnitude. That would benefit young lawyers and clients alike. 

What community service have you pursued and why that? Many pro bono representations, often for military members, veterans and dependents. I also have volunteered for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for about 17 years. When our children were young, I was active in youth sports, especially baseball. 

What’s your advice for new lawyers? Find a more experienced lawyer as a mentor, which is useful for all, but vital if you have a solo practice.