Law Offices of Smith and White
1019 Pacific Avenue, Suite 701
Tacoma WA 98402
From our first year of law school back in 1993, literally walking into the law school at the same time, Derek & I formed a friendship and study group resulting in us partnering in the end of year "mock trial"--which was a criminal defense case. Derek had us learn the rules of evidence thoroughly such that the other team could not meet our objections. He literally had the other team in tears. At the same time my presentation was so well received by the Judges, and the feedback so glowing, that I decided to change my career path and begin defending criminal cases. I got a job doing just that the following summer. Derek also got an internship at a criminal defense firm; a firm that is still respected to this day and with which we both have a good friendship. He continued to work in criminal law both as a prosecutor and Judge until we started our business Partnership in the Spring of 2011. I continued to work just the defense side of criminal law that entire time, both as a public defender and in private practice.
I touched on that in the last question. From the beginning we both seemed to have a natural talent or gift in this area of the law. We continued to build on those gifts over the years by continued to work and study in the criminal law field. I think we both have life experiences that cause us to identify with the underdog. Being of mixed heritage, I have often been in the position of being unfairly treated and needing to overcome obstacles. Not too different from a person accused of a crime. Derek is caucasian but he grew up in Hawaii so he was a minority there and had to deal with a number of the same issues in reverse. We also both had some family issues growing up that I will not go into but had "disadvantages" that we needed and did overcome. Once you are in the habit of overcoming your own barriers it is natural to want to help others with the same.
A law firm is like any other business and, as such, must constantly evolve and improve. Technology is changing faster and faster. And we try to incorporate that technology for better business practices. So our firm today is not the same as we were when we started in 2011. And even now we have ideas on how to improve things that we are implementing. But the other firms for the most part are doing the same. So, its hard to make comparisons between things that are constantly shifting and changing. What is consistent about our firm is what drives that change. We place ourselves in the place of our clients. The uncertainty of their case and the impact it may have on their lives is often compounded by the unknown of the legal system itself. We try to make ourselves very available to answer questions. We try to bring greater transparency to the legal process. At the same time, we try to inform the client about their own options and learn their priorities to better empower them in their own case.
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