Interview With Attorney Patricia M. Davis
What made you want to become a lawyer?
I always felt a need to help others. This obligation to help others whenever possible was instilled in me as a child by my family. It resulted in me choosing law as a career, as it was the best forum for the talents I possess to be able to assist others. I found myself drawn to the law, as it offered solutions to problems. Some of these solutions are impossible for a layperson to implement on their own.
I have always enjoyed working with clients and meeting new clients. I try to get to know my clients so they know I am not just their attorney. I am someone who values them and what they have to say. My mother had the ability to walk into a room of strangers and, within a short period of time, know details about each person’s life. She engaged in conversation – the art of getting to know people. My mother never knew a stranger. I try to follow this wonderful example.
In your opinion, what sets your firm apart from the rest?
I care about my clients. Many clients refer family and friends, and many come to me for whatever is going on in their lives that they need help with. My clients meet with me, not a junior associate. I draft all the documentation, not a junior associate or paralegal or secretary. Because of the hands-on approach, I know my clients well and can truly be the best advisor for them.
Tell us about a case that you are particularly proud of.
There are many, but I am always proud when I counsel a startup business and take them through the proper legal channels to achieve a successful business. My clients invite me to their business openings, their concerts or theatrical events, CD drop parties, etc. I really enjoy it when clients bring me their new CD or book.
What steps do you take to prepare for a difficult case?
Preparation is key. I pay attention to details. I create a work timeline. I engage the client so they are actively involved in the preparation process.
What advice do you most often give to your clients and why?
To contact me before they sign a contract, lease, partnership agreement or another document so I can keep them from making serious and costly mistakes.
How do you view your role in the attorney-client relationship?
We are a team. I work for my client, but together with my client. I want my client to be an integral part of the relationship. I am an advisor, so I explain options and the consequences of those options. I want my clients to make informed decisions with the best legal advice.
Tell us about a turning point in your career.
I have been practicing for 30 years (in May 2014). Starting out as an attorney is like all professions; there is a steep learning curve. An attorney with less experience may do a good job, but there is an undeniable benefit to using a seasoned attorney. There is skill, knowledge and expertise that only comes with experience. There is no other way to say it. Having 30 years of experience means I have 30 years of courtroom experience, 30 years of drafting experience and 30 years of listening to problems in many areas of the law and finding solutions for my clients.
Having this much experience means I see the many layers of depth of a situation. For example, a business transaction may appear to be just that to a less experienced attorney, but to me, I will realize it’s a business transaction, with a probate issue, an error in a warranty deed and a breach of a confidentiality agreement. I have major skills in solving problems and I am an excellent negotiator.