Chris Jackman, Principal Attorney,, Personal Injury Attorney, A DotCom Magazine Exclusive Interview
Chris Jackman is a Dallas, Texas native with his own personal injury law firm. While studying at Creighton University, he made the most out of his time acquiring additional experience in the field. Chris Jackman clerked for a federal judge and worked at the United States Attorney’s Office. With many different avenues of involvement, upholding the law has been a rewarding journey.
By working in different law firms, he was able to broaden his understanding of the legal system. After graduating from law school, he tried his first case just a few months later at a personal injury law firm based in Seattle, Washington. Only one year later he started his own firm.
The Jackman Law Firm is located in Texas and specializes in personal injury law as well as family law. By starting his own business, he is able to effectively help clients receive compensation. Client interactions are part of what Chris Jackman values most in his firm and prioritizes their needs.
When asked what Chris Jackman likes best about the law industry, he has responded with “relationships”. Specialized attorneys can have a positive impact with the right advocate. By working with families and those with personal injuries, individuals who may be at their most vulnerable can find support and legal help.
Aside from his legal practice, charity work plays a substantial role after hours. Chris Jackman has begun the process of creating a charity to help children who have hearing impairment. Using his knowledge of the legal system, he is prepared to help people on an individual basis.
What can you tell me about your law firm?
The Jackman law firm is designed to help people when they need it most. Personal injury law and family law can be especially rewarding specialties. By helping those who are often in vulnerable life positions, the legal system can have long-lasting benefits. When working for a litigation firm after graduating from law school, I noticed the client experience could be greatly improved. Wanting better results for clients, I decided to focus on the needs and stressors of each client.
Please tell us how you make sure your clients can trust the process?
I have extensive experience in both family and personal injury law. By understanding the intricacies of law, all details can be handled correctly. Client relationships are extremely important and by investing in a client’s background and circumstance, clients can feel heard and respected.
Please tell us how you spend your time when you’re not in court.
Professionally, time that is not spent in court is usually spent on research or communication. All cases require research and this is a top priority demand. Sometimes an assistant can help gather materials, but attorneys are the ones who can best understand the legal details. In addition to client research, there are phone calls and memos that usually need a prompt response. Email is checked throughout the day to help lessen the load.
What made your firm so successful?
Client relationships and positive outcomes are usually the foundation to this success. By understanding a client’s needs and completing the appropriate research, cases are treated with care and enthusiasm. In addition to the outcome, clients generally respond well to individual attention that may not be offered through other firms. Establishing trust and discussing all the options available allows clients to review their choices in a safe setting. Client representation starts by understanding the purpose and the person. By getting to know clients and their specific situation, the process runs smoothly from start to finish.
For our readers who are interested in starting their own firm, what advice can you give?
Good habits start early. By getting up early in the morning and setting goals, a strategy mindset can be fully utilized from the beginning. Starting any business can be difficult. Luckily with law, there is always a need for attorneys. Depending on whether you want to work in a firm or independently, establishing policies can take time. Trying to control aspects that are outside of your control is unnecessary to building any firm. Instead, try focusing on what you can control and how you can make small, positive, changes on an everyday basis. A law firm can grow naturally if the foundation is sturdy.
In a law firm as successful as yours, what one piece of advice can you tell our readers when times get a little difficult?
It takes determination and hard work to run a law firm. By learning from the setbacks, a sense of resilience is possible. Success often starts with an innate drive to do what will work best in the long run. Just because something isn’t working out the way you want it to, doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Starting a firm takes a lot of time and research. For someone who is new to the field, uncertainty should be expected.
How do you keep up with the growing trends in the legal profession?
By keeping an open mind with open ears. The profession is expanding on a diverse working space and the idea of new perspectives is very exciting. It seems that now, more than ever, women are truly welcomed in the profession. Since lawyers represent all different kinds of people, diversity is not only beneficial for professionals in the field, but for clients as well. Trends are always changing depending on a variety of factors. Technology, news, and society as a whole can shape the way people understand justice and the law.
What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?
To help people. In most helping professions it's the client relationships that drive the motivation. Individuals who are struggling with personal injuries or family issues often need a professional advocate who knows the law. Working as a personal injury lawyer is important and creates a sense of rewarding responsibility throughout the day. Even when there are tough days, knowing there is a purpose to my day brings the kind of satisfaction that can keep me moving. There are a lot of perks to being an attorney including salary and the ability to work independently, but helping people has always been the biggest factor.
How does one become a leader?
Leadership roles involve a mix of important characteristics. A leader must know the direction that works best for those in need, but a leader must also be a great listener. Those who are responsible for serious outcomes do not have all the answers if they do not understand all the information. Asking questions is one important aspect when being an effective leader. Another important aspect includes the ability to have courage. The first step to being a leader is having the courage to make a decision. Not all choices will be the right one, but all choices will lead to experience.
How important are your clients to the firm?
The clients are the most important part of the firm. Without the clients, there would be no need for the intimate legal work that is accomplished. Spending time with clients on a one-on-one basis is extremely important while working through a case. By treating clients with the respect they deserve, clients can feel comfortable during our time together.
In one sentence, what has helped you grow your business?
Experience can help set the ball in motion. With a long history of legal studies and professional involvement, clients can trust my professional skills.
What is something positive that can motivate our readers?
Be yourself. By being the best version of yourself you can be, opportunities can open up in places you may have overlooked. Luckily, being ourselves is one thing that everyone can do. By gaining experience and wisdom throughout life, these skills may be of use to someone down the road. There is a lot of optimism for the future when we focus on an individual and how you can best benefit others. Every profession has a set of qualities that an individual is drawn to. Finding out what provokes a sense of accomplishment is key to long-lasting motivation.
How do you start a typical day at the office?
Coffee. A wake-up routine is always necessary for long days. A light breakfast and caffeine can help boost energy throughout the day. This is particularly essential at the beginning of the day when many people are at their most productive. Answering calls and contacting clients or other attorneys is usually best done before lunch when there is still time during the day. If additional research or follow-ups are needed, this can be done in the afternoon. Before work officially begins, having a schedule that is descriptive helps keep track of meetings and important contacts.
How do you handle rejection?
Nobody likes rejection. The law profession in particular is a competitive field that builds success, in part, around client outcomes. That being said, rejection will happen at some point. Even if every case is won, there are bound to be calls that don’t go well. Rejection can be used as a tool for improvement. By taking the potential disappointment that rejection can create, rejection can fuel passion and drive. Using an uncomfortable emotion to generate ambition and motivation is never a bad thing.
What kinds of books do you find helpful?
Business and law books are always helpful for the profession. Understanding specific techniques as well as all the details necessary for certain cases is imperative. For spare-time reading that isn’t research related, however, mixing genres can have a promising outcome. Business and life-advice books are extremely helpful for both motivation and practical purposes. By combining both the professional advice and life philosophies, not only can a law firm become successful, but a business can grow. The book, Principles, by Ray Dalio is helpful for a variety of professionals. By organizing ideas around a set of principles, the value of a firm can be identified and expanded upon. Since Dalio has already had success as an investor, his experience is also invaluable to other business professionals.
How do you keep a level-head in the legal profession?
The legal profession can be extremely competitive. Attorneys must present their case flawlessly and promptly to win the best outcome for their client. Although the competitiveness between lawyers can be difficult at times, it is also what builds strength and ambition. Many lawyers are drawn to the field because they are passionate, driven, and smart. These qualities have the ability to both create insanity or sanity depending on how they’re used.