Did you notice a change in your practice after attending TLC?
“It was a giant shift. Part of the practice of law is very lonely, or it can be very lonely. It’s easy to let yourself think that no one else understands what you go through every day — the opposition, the fights, the delays, the disregard. It wears you down. Rarely are there a lot of headlines or glory in the day-to-day of what we do. That does happen of course, sometimes with the big cases, but not every day do you get on the news and have a case reported about how great you did and how big of a verdict you just won, and it can be very lonely. When you work in the law, one of the things that I’ve found happens is that we build up barriers around ourselves. We are taught in law school that we shouldn’t feel and have to hide our emotions when in the courtroom. We are taught to appear like we have no insecurities or doubts and that we have complete control and so we put up all these barriers. But the problem with barriers is while they appear to keep you somewhat safe, it is a false sense of safety because what they really do is keep people from ever getting to see the real you. Its really heavy to always carry that around. To always keep your barriers up it takes a lot of energy that could otherwise be spent on your cases, your clients, and frankly your families. I learned to let down my barriers at TLC and that has made me a far more successful lawyer.”
How has your success changed since going to TLC?
“Well, the obvious thing is that there have been more wins and bigger verdicts. But far overshadowed by the size of the wins is the deep connection that I now have and the ability to relate with human beings starting with my clients, my opposing counsel, and the jurors in all my trials. This gives me so much more energy to fight for justice for my clients and it is not easy to do, but at TLC, I learned I could safely drop my guard and lower these barriers and I was actually a better lawyer then. Before TLC, I had so many fears — fears I was inadequate, fears I wasn’t good enough, fears that I hadn’t tried enough cases or had enough experience — whatever! But I had already predetermined when I went to my first TLC seminar that I was going to go all-in and see where it took me and because of that, I did not say no to anything. So when they asked me to do something that I was uncomfortable with, or to reveal an emotion or a fear, I just reminded myself that I was all-in and I was going to do it — to learn whatever I could about myself so I could be a better lawyer for my clients. Doing that helped me unburden myself of those insecurities. When I did that, I was able to connect with my classmates. Once I saw that happen, I trusted myself and after TLC the connections kept happening with my colleagues, with my clients, with the judges — it just all got better and I learned that for me, the human connection is what it’s all about. Everything is about connecting and learning more about one-another, and sharing that with our juries so they can deliver justice for my clients because they have been empowered to connect with them. It’s like a circle I am so proud to be part of.”
How often do you tap into the TLC community for help?
“All the time. Certainly not a week goes by that I do not. I mean every week I will be in contact with someone from TLC. I’ll give you an example: my law partner and I split up in 2006 and I didn’t see it coming. He just out of the blue decided he didn’t want to be partners anymore and I immediately started calling the people I had met at TLC. They were so encouraging and understanding. They didn’t pass any judgment, they didn’t say ‘well you should do this’ they didn’t offer any advice, they just listened. I don’t know where else you can get that with colleagues. And because of their acceptance, I realized I wasn’t bad or a failure, my partner had just decided to move on and so I needed to as well! Made that so much easier for me. And my practice has gotten so much better in these past years, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish as much if I had stayed in that partnership. So TLC has provided me that network of colleagues and friends who all do what we do, as trial lawyers, but also as men and women, as parents, as spouses — people who believe in others and believe in justice and want to help where we can. For me, it’s not the size of the verdict but it’s the satisfaction I get when I know my client is better off because of the work I did for them and the help I gave them. The TLC community supports me in that effort every day and I am so grateful. It’s not attend a regional and then put it on a shelf thing for me, TLC is a regular part of my day for me.”
Join Ron at the Opening Statement Seminar!
Hilton Austin Airport, Austin, TX
April 30 – May 3, 2015
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Monday, APRIL 27!!
About Faculty Co-Leader Ron Estefan:
“It changed my life” – this is the phrase you hear most frequently from those who have experienced a Trial Lawyers College seminar. Ron went to his first TLC seminar in February, 2004 and then graduated in July, 2005. His personal injury trial law practice in Houston, Texas centers around the people he gets to represent, their stories and how some event re-wrote the story of their lives in some way they did not plan or even see coming.
– See more at: http://www.triallawyerscollege.org/BlogPost.aspx?g=215c3606-8f2c-4305-aa54-33c84b0dc7ad#sthash.A4yaUGPT.dpuf