As I spend more and more time at the office I really am starting to feel like I am apart of the staff! The six of us have a really great working environment, super efficient and still very easy going and fun. I am learning a lot of the different ins and outs of vocabulary and process in the personal injury law field.
About once a week I go to shadow one of the partners. My first one I sat in on a minor settlement hearing. This was basically a hearing before a judge to see how much of a settlement a minor was going to receive from a car accident that she was in. This hearing is used in order to make sure that the money won is also used in the best interest of that minor. So in this case the girl won a very good amount and it is put in away until she is 24 years old, so that she can use it after going to college. What struck me the most was the fact that the judge was so fun and relaxed during the hearing. The image a lot of us have of courtrooms, lawyers and judges is the super serious and rather cold one that we see on crime and political shows. It was kind of a breath of fresh air to see that that is not really the way that it is all the time.
My second shadowing opportunity was an arbitration hearing. Before it started, one of the attorneys from our firm prepped the client on how to answer questions about her accident and the injuries she got from it. Once it began, the attorney who represented the insurance company, the arbitrator, and our attorney took turns asking questions. The arbitrator gets the final say on whether our client was going to receive the money for her bills resulting from the injuries or not. Fortunately, we were able to get the client all the money we asked for! Woo!
While some of the work I do can be a bit tedious, the days i get to shadow really make up for it!