“Your Legal Buzz” with Cortney Crawford, a recent law graduate

Each week on “Your Legal Buzz” our host Tiffany Howard talks to attorneys in the North Florida area who are making a difference. This week she sat down with Cortney Crawford, a recent law graduate.

Why did you choose to go into law?: I chose to go into law because I had an undergraduate degree in Human Services and I saw how much the law related to how organizations served clients and I became more interested in helping as a legal advocate.

What is your specific field of law?: I do not currently work in a specific field of law. I have worked as a law clerk for The Walker Law Offices that handles mostly personal injury cases and a legal assistant at Tyler & Hamilton, P.A. that handles first-party insurance claims. I sought to gain legal experience to find the right fit before taking the Bar exam, but I discovered that I wanted to feel like I was making a difference and having a bigger impact on people in need.

How do you set yourself apart from other firms in the area?: I do not have a law firm yet, but I would set myself apart from other firms by seeking to partner with churches and organizations to bring on clients who can’t afford standard attorneys fees and provide access to legal help through payment plans, etc. I believe that I can partner with other organizations and we can come up with creative and innovative methods to give access to those who can’t afford legal help.

What do you see as the greatest challenges in your practice?: I do not have a practice yet, but I believe that one of the greatest challenges I’ve seen at my time working for other firms is making sure that the clients feel heard and understand that the attorney serves the client and the attorney has the responsibility to ensure that the client is informed, valued, and respected.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as an attorney?: Although I have not been admitted to the Bar, I believe that my greatest accomplishment working with clients is serving the client with empathy. I understand very well what it feels like to be vulnerable to circumstances beyond my control and not understanding a certain legal area or what my options are. I also understand what it is like to not have the resources that I need while still seeking someone to take a chance on me.

How do you stay connected to your community? Are you involved in any local organizations?: I have just recently completed my first time volunteering in a clinic at Jericho Road Legal Service ministry and I have expressed my interest in continuing with the monthly clinics. I love the mission and I wish there were more resources like this in the community.

What advice would you give someone considering going to law school?: I would say that if you have the desire to help and serve others and you believe that you are dedicated and not intimidated by the challenge of learning the law then you should take that leap of faith and go for it.