By Gabriela Enamorado
Palm Beach County’s legal landscape has seen an increase of firms to the market over the last few years. With the county’s highly educated workforce, its pro-business environment and favorable climate, law firms are finding opportunities for growth and more. Invest: spoke with Mark Bideau, co-managing shareholder for West Palm Beach at Greenberg Traurig, P.A., and Scott Hawkins, vice chair for Jones Foster, on milestones for their firms over the past year, community giveback and how they are furthering diversity and inclusion efforts.
The following is an excerpt of Scott Hawkins' interview:
What have been some of the top highlights for the firm over the past year?
Scott Hawkins, Vice Chair, Jones Foster: “We are a conventional full-service law firm and our main focus is on solving problems for our clients. We’ve been extremely busy across the entire spectrum of our services, from real estate to tax and estate planning, including corporate and probate litigation. Land use is another area where we have a lot of exciting developments happening.
Additionally, we are thrilled by the exceptional talent we’ve been able to attract to our team which consists of incredibly capable young lawyers who could potentially be the best core of young lawyers in the history of our law firm.”
How does the firm get involved with the local community?
Hawkins: “When we hire lawyers, we emphasize that we want them to be leaders in the community, actively involved and making a difference. As such, we encourage participation in various aspects, such as nonprofits, schools, business and industry organizations, and bar associations. To ensure this engagement, I meet with every young lawyer in the firm several times a year. During these meetings, we discuss their marketing plans, progress and opportunities for growth through community involvement.
This mentality of valuing both legal competence and community impact has been ingrained in our firm for decades. It was an explicit expectation when I was recruited and this is a legacy that I proudly carry on as Jones Foster touches numerous organizations annually, making a positive impact on both local and state levels.”
What advice would you give to a young lawyer who is just starting out?
Hawkins: “Take control of your lifestyle, don’t let emotions dictate your decisions, and manage your finances responsibly so as to avoid living beyond your means. You need to approach your career as a marathon, with a focus on long-term behavior. As such, aim to grow and learn every day and embrace a mindset of learning from people of all ages and diverse backgrounds, as we believe in the importance of diverse perspectives and a unified purpose.
Furthermore, developing good time management skills is essential, especially in litigation when unexpected demands arise. You must always keep some space in your day open because you never know what will happen.
Lastly, young lawyers often struggle with controlled communication, occasionally expressing things in emails that they regret later. With email, text, and social media apps as the primary mode of communication these days, we must consider the impact of our written communication as it can have significant consequences in the future.”
Scott Hawkins' Q&A has been taken from the original article "Face Off: Palm Beach County Legal Leaders on Community, Diversity and More" by Capital Analytics Associates, publisher of Invest: Palm Beach. To read the full article, visit: https://www.capitalanalyticsassociates.com/face-off-palm-beach-county-legal-leaders-on-community-diversity-and-more/