Marcus Fernandez is a Tampa personal injury attorney currently working at Kinney, Fernandez, and Boire. He graduated with a law degree in 2008 and moved from Texas back to his home state of Florida. After getting some exposure from important cases, Mr. Fernandez realized that his passion lied elsewhere. Consequently, he decided to shift his focus to the field of individual claims. Such approach has enabled him to closely work with residents of Florida and become a go-to slip and fall attorney in Tampa. When he finds time away from his office, people can see him at local events where he represents multiple advisory boards.
What was your best/favorite subject in school?
I always liked history. It was the only class where I gave my undivided attention no matter how long it lasted. Since history was not popular with most of my friends, I eventually got peer pressured into other fields when it came to choosing a college major. Actually, one of the main reasons why I decided to pursue law is that there are a lot of similarities between history and law classes.
What was your first job?
I was a law clerk at a local firm where I completed an internship during my junior year in college. The job was mostly based on grunt work that had little to do with the actual practice of law. Still, I was able to see precisely how attorneys deal with their day-to-day duties and that gave me a frame of reference for my future expectations.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
Well, it was mostly the aforementioned internship that introduced me to the world of Bar professionals. For those who may not know, “Bar” is the name of the official exam that law graduates must pass to get certified. Also, I got to see plenty of law movies when I was a teen, and that ignited my interests.
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
Some areas helped me enormously. For example, I learned how to prepare work papers that the client brings. I know that documentation may seem like an irrelevant duty, but it can make a difference between a successful lawyer and someone who cannot get over their disorganization.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
One of our new clients was involved in a traffic accident where their vehicle got rear-ended as they came to a stop. They suffered extensive neck injuries, and I had to work with the insurance company and the other driver to recoup the damages. It took longer than expected, but payments finally came through a few weeks ago. I will never forget the expression on that client’s face when they realized that they had received a settlement.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
People that I surround myself with keep me going. Whether it is my business partners, clients, or friends and family, I find something within all of them that motivates me to work harder.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
Recently, I have been brainstorming ways to work with more people on auto insurance claims. We’re not your run of the mill, car accident attorney in Tampa; we offer a competitive environment. Having completed a few of these cases so far, I am definitely looking for more exposure. Also, I am not alone as my partners have noticed the same shortage of work when it comes to auto claims and accident follow-ups.
Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
Not really. Do not get me wrong; I do believe that creative marketing can be very advantageous. But between my chargeable hours and administrative labor, I have very little time left to dedicate to things like new advertising campaigns. Not to say that these types of projects will not take place in the future. Things change, and I might feel differently about unconventional marketing later on.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
I am very proud that I graduated law school and currently hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. On top of that, passing the Bar exam is probably one of my most significant academic achievements so far. With the amount of work that goes into the studying for the Bar, it is hard to think of anything else that pushes people in such a rigorous way.
What wisdom would you have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
Do more internships before you get into the industry after college. Even if the work is based on volunteering, I think that experience is the best way to learn how to navigate your way through the clients’ needs. It prepares you for the real-life doubts and uncertainties that you may have and simultaneously teaches you how to approach those issues. No lawyer should ever miss out on an opportunity to take part in projects that build their resume.