Patricia McHugh-Lambert has more than 30 years of experience handling complex commercial litigation and insurance matters and has worked on national class actions, significant litigation and regulatory matters for Fortune 500 companies. She has also assisted small and medium-sized companies with contract, real estate, liability assessment and commercial disputes that need resolution quickly.
What do you consider the best part about practicing law?
Most importantly, there are always new questions to answer. This includes being regularly presented with new issues and nuances that challenge you to react or solve a problem differently, and that keeps things interesting and makes you think analytically. I also thoroughly enjoy mentoring young people.
What traits make a great attorney?
I believe it is somewhat easy to work as an average attorney, and not too difficult to perform well if you keep up on materials and work hard. However, to become an exceptional attorney, a professional has to be willing to climb a high dive and jump in. Hopefully, you’ve checked below first to see if there is water in the pool, but it is essential to take risks in terms of intellectual issues and presentations. As a litigator, for every client matter you have about 100 marbles in a box and your job is to determine which three or four of these are key to help present your case.
Describe your self-improvement program.
This on-going strategy takes many forms and begins with collecting relevant articles describing cases that I am interested in and regularly reading them. I also refer back to ones from time to time. As an attorney, I feel it is extremely important to keep updated on everything, just as a medical doctor or any other professional would. I also make it a habit to meet with people in my field, as well as pushing myself to perform better each time I perform. Never be satisfied with past performances. Finally, you generally have to enjoy practicing law which I do. I remind myself of all the things I like best often.
Talk a bit about your work mentoring young people.
For the past 25 years, from approximately July to May, I have been working with public high school students in Baltimore County. We meet almost every weekend at PK Law to teach them either mock trial or court skills, as well as offering lessons that can help them succeed in life. This program has a saying that reads, “if you try to be perfect you will never be good.” I think people, high schoolers included, often times become paralyzed in life by trying to be perfect. Instead, if you just try to do your best and not worry about anything else, you will be spectacular. And, that is the essence of what we are trying to teach these high school students. We recently took the students to a national competition in Atlanta and finished third in the nation. One of the teams also made it to the finals at a mock trial competition at Duke University.
Please discuss your work with The Harmonie Group.
Harmonie is a national, invitation-only network of law firms located in different markets that offers business referrals and promotes the exchange of ideas. Each member firm must meet strict standards and possess high ethics and values before entry, with the majority of matters involving the litigation field. A company based in Montana, that gets sued in California for instance, might not know of a reputable firm to represent them and need help identifying one in their area. I sit on the board and am extremely active with the group, particularly on the diversity committee because I believe the practice of law needs to look like the face of the local community. This means diverse in terms of gender, race and economic circumstances. This is especially important so people serving on a particular jury can relate to the attorney giving a presentation. Providing opportunities to diverse attorneys is among the greatest things PK Law does.
Pessin Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law) is the ninth largest law firm in the Baltimore area and has been serving clients for thirty years. PK Law maintains full-service offices in Towson, Columbia, and Bel Air and is comprised of more than 50 lawyers, paralegals and law clerks. Practice areas include corporate law, real estate, zoning, education law, estate planning, elder law, labor and employment, litigation, insurance law and medical malpractice defense. For additional information, visit www.PKLaw.com. Contact Patricia McHugh-Lambert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.339.6759.