Florida Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Working With People and the Top Qualities of a PI Lawyer
Hello. My name is Yasmeen Lewis and I’m an attorney [car accidents], [medical malpractice], [premises liability], [product liability] at the law firm of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart and Shipley. So when I was at Florida State, I had a friend who was mentoring at a local school in Gadsden County and so she brought me along and I had no idea that I would enjoy it as much as I did. I got along with the kids. They were so much fun and this was actually a middle school. And so, I brought that along when I started law school. I started a program at the law school where we would mentor students at a local high school in Orange County. And so I brought, you know, some fellow colleagues of mine from school and we began mentoring freshmen in high school.
I’ve always admired my dad as a personal injury attorney, but I wasn’t in the trenches with him and so I didn’t understand, you know, the work that went into being a good trial attorney. And so, now that I’m actually doing it, I admire him even more. But growing up even though I didn’t understand the hard work that went into it and the magnitude of what he was doing, I was able to see how he changed so many people’s lives. And he was able to, you know, help families who have experienced such terrible tragedies and help them in the best way that he knew how to and changed their lives for the better the best way he knew how to. And I’ve admired that forever, I still do. I admire him even more now that I’m doing it myself and he definitely inspired me to do what I do today.
Every day, on my way home, because I have an hour drive, I live in Parkland, so I drive a whole hour and I stop in Boca at a gym. And so it’s a high-intensity interval training gym, and so this job, to say the least, is stressful. And so that hour gives me a chance to just not think about anything and sweat it out and, you know, start over…get ready to start over the next day. And so I really enjoy exercising. I enjoy traveling. I actually, just a couple of months ago, went on an amazing cruise with my family. We flew to Amsterdam. The cruise started in Amsterdam and then from Amsterdam, we went to Germany. We went to Helsinki, Finland, St. Petersburg, Russia, Copenhagen, Denmark, Sweden. It was amazing. And so, more than anything, you know, I thought that seeing, you know, the beautiful places would be the best part of the trip, but really the best part of the trip for me was meeting new people. The people were from all over the world. The people were amazing. And so that was the best part of the trip for me.
So I grew up in a family where my dad is very compassionate, my mom is very compassionate. Everybody I know is compassionate and my parents always taught me, “Treat people how you want to be treated.” And I know that if I was going through something tragic or anything, I would want somebody to listen to me and give me the attention that I felt I deserved. And so I always try to give that back to people as well. I think that’s, you know, qualities that you have to have as a trial lawyer. You have to be empathetic. You have to be compassionate. You have to listen. You have to be able to listen to your clients and understand what they’re going through and listen to what they’re telling you.
I couldn’t imagine not practicing in an area of law that didn’t involve people because people are why I’m a lawyer. Helping people is why I’m a lawyer. If I wasn’t dealing with people every day, I wouldn’t want to be a lawyer. I would want to be in another practice where I’m dealing with people. This may sound a little cliche but there really is no other law firm that I would work for other than Searcy Denney. I really am honored to say that I’m an attorney here, and not only because this law firm has such a great reputation for having amazing lawyers, but because every lawyer here is genuinely a good person. And it’s nice to go to work every day and know that you’re surrounded by good people because it seems like there may be a lack of good people around nowadays.