“The tremendous satisfaction of prevailing for my clients and knowing that it is extremely meaningful to them and their families,” he says. “It’s many times a life-changer!”
“It has been, and continues to be, a privilege to help my clients through some of the most challenging times in their lives,” she says.
So what counsel can the lawyers at Keches Law impart to law students and new attorneys? Keep reading to see what they say about law school, starting out in a law career, continuing to learn and more!
Advice for Students Considering Law School
The team is always looking to grow, and before people can grow into valuable attorneys, the first step is to go to law school. So if you’re thinking about law school, what factors should you consider?
Where should I go to School?
Partner Jeff Catalano said the location of the school is a very important factor that many students don’t take into account before choosing which law school to go to.
“Think hard about going and where you want to go,” he says. “Where you go may end up being the location where you practice.”
According to U.S. News and World Report, it can be difficult to get law clerkships or fill job openings out of state from where you went to law school and classes may be geared towards rules and subjects of the particular state’s bar exam.
Will I Enjoy Law School?
Catalano says law school is both very expensive and all-consuming, so going into it with the right attitude and motivation is vital.
“Be sure to talk to lawyers to get their impression on law school and their career. But consider that one’s experience in law school may not be the same as being a lawyer. I didn’t enjoy law school, but love being a lawyer,” he says.
Am I Sure I Want to Go to Law School?
Trial Attorney Gisela DaSilva says students need to know that because of the cost and time it takes to become a lawyer, it is important to know that you are doing it for yourself and not for anyone else.
“Make sure that you are doing it because you want to, and not to meet the expectations or wants of someone else,” she says. “Then identify your long-term goals and what you truly want out of life. If you do not need a law degree to get there, think very carefully about whether enrolling is really the right decision for you.”
Will Law School Have Me Prepared?
Laskoski says that although law school will help you, be sure to look for externships as well.
“I’d also suggest to those applying to law school to take a look at the externships and programs available,” she says. “Law school is a lot of reading, classroom time, and there is a big focus on preparing for the bar exam. But getting real experience at a law firm or in the courtroom is more valuable than you know and will set you up for success after graduation.”
Go For It!
Bergel encourages people who are considering law school to take the plunge.
“Our country and world needs strong advocates. There is so much unfairness out there. From where I sit, the ‘little guy’ is only getting more and more beaten down by big business and insurance companies,” he says. “Hard-working, good people are increasingly being treated without respect or dignity. There is much to fight for!”
Advice for New Attorneys
If students go through law school, pass the bar exam and become a lawyer, in many ways, they’re just starting. Attorney Sarah Farrell says she wishes someone had told her to reach out to the attorneys around her when she first started.
“When I first became a lawyer, I wish I knew how willing other attorneys throughout the legal field would be to teach and help you learn,” she says. “Not just at my firm but also the various Bar Associations and different law school alumnae associations.”
DaSilva wishes she had been kinder to herself when just starting out, stressing that mistakes are simply part of life.
“It is part of the learning process. There is very little that is truly unfixable,” she says. “Learn from your mistakes and use the experiences to become a better attorney.”
In fact, Laskoski says new attorneys need to know that they won’t ever know all the answers.
“Each case, client, and situation we deal with are unique,” she says. “There isn’t always one right answer or one correct way to do things; sometimes you have to just trust in yourself.”
Stress is a major consideration. Lawyers have very busy schedules and when just beginning their careers, have a lot to learn as well.
“It can feel overwhelming, and you can become vulnerable to imposter syndrome,” Catalano says. “Just know that becoming a good lawyer is a life-long endeavor that rewards those who remain dedicated, hardworking, and involved in their legal community.”
What are You Still Learning
Practicing law is a pursuit that involves lifelong learning. You can absorb everything that is important to do the job—go to school, and train under fantastic peers and mentors, but the truly great ones never stop learning. Farrell says the amount an attorney can learn is always growing.
“Even the most experienced attorneys are always educating themselves on the newest developments,” she says.
And chances to learn are seemingly endless. DaSilva says new developments in the law and learning opportunities come up on an almost daily basis.
“I am learning that it is critical to find a method to screen, identify, and prioritize the material and opportunities in a way that will help me the most and be most beneficial to my practice,” she says. “This is a work in progress.”
The Personal Touch
People find their careers for different reasons. Maybe you discover a skill that you excel at. Or maybe you love to do something and work hard to be good enough at it to make it a career. Keches Law’s attorneys are no exception. Steve Bergel fits into several of these categories.
“I wanted to become an attorney because I enjoy public speaking and fighting for just causes,” he says. “Unfortunately, there is plenty of injustice in this world and serving as the mouthpiece for those being taken advantage of and treated unfairly, is a very powerful and rewarding thing.”
Others didn’t start out wanting to become an attorney, but learned it was the career for them along the way. Catalano started out as pre-med, and after a change graduated with a philosophy degree. He eventually found that what he was really looking for was a career that would allow him to make a difference.
“I am very fortunate to have developed a practice where I feel fulfilled by helping others who have been tragically injured through someone else’s negligence,” he says. “Also, I feel that injury lawyers, collectively and over time, make the world a safer place.”
Farrell says she never thought about working as an attorney growing up but became interested in the legal side of her biology courses during her undergraduate studies. When she became a lawyer, the clients she represents became her favorite part of the job.
“By having that personal aspect, it makes you substantially more motivated to do the very best for your client while also feeling very rewarded when justice occurs,” she says.
What Sets a Career at Keches Law Apart?
Keches Law Group is one of the largest and most well-respected law firms in Massachusetts. Since 1986, our firm has earned more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. With such high standards and such a long track record of success, Keches hasn’t lost the personal touch with our team members.
“Keches’ culture and environment is one where its employees and attorneys are encouraged and given the resources to be the very best versions of themselves and to reach their full potential,” DaSilva says. “Keches values its people – that is not true of all firms. These values and belief systems come from the top; I believe.”
Steve Bergel is in the unique position of still being fairly new at Keches Law, now one year in, but having practiced workers’ compensation law since 1988.
“There is an incredible sense of team and connection to each other. The support system and resources are second to none,” he says. “Sean Flaherty sets a high bar both professionally and personally. Our commitment to our clients and the community at large is unparalleled. There is so much enthusiasm and purpose here. I have never been more satisfied with my career and look forward to the future with great excitement!”
Come Work with Us
We’re always looking for people who want to make a difference. Click here to explore our open roles!