There’s an old cliché that young law students start out idealistic, wanting to save the environment, work pro bono, and defend the world from evil corporations. Then, by the time we graduate, some of those very same young law students—now turned young lawyers—accept jobs from those very same evil corporations, trading in their lofty ideals for even loftier paychecks with bunches of zeros.
I’m not maligning any of my peers. Clichés, of course, are oversimplifications. Not all corporations are evil; not all corporate lawyers have lost their ideals. However, I do want to point to a truth buried in the cliché—about how the real world is more complicated than we imagined it when we were young law students (or young English majors or young electrician’s apprentices). We all have to meet our various obligations, to make a living, to support ourselves and our families.
But I also want to say: it’s possible to navigate the complicated adult world without compromising what’s most important. It’s possible to lose some of the naivete of youth without losing the idealism. The trick is to keep in mind what truly matters to you, some core principle, and hold to it. To make the decisions you must, but always using this core principle as a guiding light.
Guided by service to others
For me, this core principle is “service.” In my adult life, I have tried to make all of my decisions with the idea of serving others in mind.
Service led me, in 2014, to return to my hometown of St. Louis. In the wake of Michael Brown’s shooting and the unrest in Ferguson, MO, I left a job as a corporate lawyer because I saw a community—my community—in need and I felt called to serve. I became a city prosecutor, working within the criminal justice system to try violent offenders in front of juries of their peers. I participated in over 100 cases as a city prosecutor, from gun charges to murder cases. I felt like I was serving my community, like I was making a difference.
However, I soon realized a chance to make an even greater impact—to serve in a high capacity. As an agent of the criminal justice system, I had a front-row seat to not only our successes but our failures, as well. I saw young men locked away for far too long for far too little. Again, I felt called to serve. I decided to run for elected office and to use what I’d learned to affect change on a statewide level. I ran for and was elected to a position in the Missouri General Assembly as a state representative. Later, I ran for and was elected as a state senator for Missouri’s fifth district.
In these public services roles, I have dedicated myself to advocating for the most vulnerable members of our community. I have fought for criminal justice reform, women’s rights, and voter empowerment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I helped organize free testing in St. Louis’s poorest and hardest hit neighborhoods. As the chair for the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, I have helped steer our policy agenda toward serving those who need help the most.
Around this time, service entered my life in another way, too. I joined the Missouri Air National Guard, and was eventually commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, and have the incredible honor of serving my country. At the Officer Training School’s graduation ceremony, I donned my uniform in front of friends and family for the first time. I have never felt prouder.
Advocating for my community through service
So—what does all of this have to do with personal injury law? Well, the short answer is—everything. I made the decision to start Roberts Law, LLC, with the same lodestar as I have made all of my previous decisions: How best can I serve my community?
Just as I fight for St. Louis’s most vulnerable as an elected official, I will fight for you at your most vulnerable. When you are injured in an auto accident, you don’t have the capacity to fully represent yourself against the insurance companies. You have to focus on your recovery. And, yet, you need to make sure that you are treated justly, that you are compensated fairly, and that you are given the time and resources to fully heal. You are in need of service. That’s where WE come in.
Our work at Roberts Law, representing those who are injured due to the negligence of another party, is directly in line with my work as a city prosecutor, with my representation as an elected official, and with my service in the Air National Guard. I started this firm because I asked myself, how can I help? How can I serve my community on a more personal basis? The answer was clear.
This ethos of service runs through all of our decisions at Roberts Law, LLC. It’s why we limit our caseload, in order to provide the detailed attention and service that each of our clients deserve. It’s why we don’t charge a consulting fee or why we don’t charge a single penny until we’ve won the case on your behalf. We aren’t in the business of billing hours. We are here to help.
If you or a loved one get injured, I hope you’ll keep all this in mind. There are a lot of lawyers out there—and a lot of good ones. But we have something unique at Roberts Law, LLC. We have something that truly matters to us. We have a core principle that we hold to. We have a commitment to service. We hope that you never have the need for a personal injury lawyer. But, if you do, we hope you honor us with the chance to serve you.