Attorney at Law Magazine Jacksonville Publisher Tom Brady sat down with Daniel Iracki to discuss mentors and the rewards of being an attorney.
AALM: Do you have any mentors or professors that encourage you?
Iracki: Without a doubt, my mother has been my mentor all my life. She attended medical school in the late ’70s and was one of three women in her class. I remember her telling me stories of study groups being held in the men’s locker room. She graduated and became a respected breast cancer surgeon. She taught me that hard work, determination and believing in yourself are the cornerstones of success. She instilled in me that if you’re not happy in your profession, it will show. That’s why I chose to be a trial lawyer – I love it and enjoy doing it every day.
AALM: Who are some of your legal heroes? Why?
Iracki: The founding partner of our 40-year trial law firm, Howard Coker, is the definition of what I dream of one day attaining. He practices law because he loves it. It’s that simple. If it was about the money he could have retired decades ago, but he has a deep passion for pursuing justice for every client he represents. He lives for trials. They are what motivate him. They are what define him. He leads by example and that is why I am proud to go to war with him every day.
AALM: What do you find particularly rewarding about being an attorney?
Iracki: In my line of work, I have the opportunity to meet a lot of different people from all walks of life, but they have one thing in common – they need someone to help them and be their advocate. I am thankful for the ability to help give people answers, direction and comfort. The reward is immediate and addicting – this is the greatest job on earth.
AALM: What do you find particularly challenging about your practice? How to you overcome these challenges?
Iracki: I knew early on that I wanted to be a trial lawyer. Unfortunately, trials in the civil arena are hard to come by. That is why every choice I made – be it mock trial in law school, my externship or my first job – I worked to put myself in the best position to get into the courtroom. Thankfully, I was able to gain significant experience and exposure from the beginning of my career which has enabled me to try bigger and more complex cases over the last five years throughout the state. I have continued to build my experience and produce results for my clients.
AALM: What drew you to your current firm? How would you describe the culture there?
Iracki: Trials, trials and trial lawyers. My firm breeds trial lawyers – it’s what we live for and what we do every day. I work with an incredible team of legal legends and an even more invaluable staff . My team is my family, and that is how I always wanted to practice law.
AALM: What is the best compliment you’ve received or the funniest story you have?
Iracki: The best compliment I have received was having a fellow attorney that I litigated against ask me to represent them in a personal injury case a few years later. There are many very experienced and highly qualified attorneys in our profession and I felt humbled that these lawyers would trust me with their legal cases.
AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Iracki: My family. This March my wife and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. She puts up with all the late nights and the long trials and does it with a smile on her face. I have learned more from her than she will ever know. We have two out of control and fun boys and they remind me of what life is really about.