Attorney at Law Magazine First Coast publisher Thomas Brady sat down with “Rising Star” James Poindexter to discuss his career and his aspirations for the future.
AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become an attorney? What drew you to this career?
Poindexter: I have wanted to be an attorney as long as I can remember. My mom was going through some of my old things a few months back and gave me a copy of a middle school newspaper in which I publicly disclosed my intent to go to law school for the first time in the “Student Spotlight” section. I grew up around a number of attorneys and always looked up to them for the knowledge they possessed and the respect they earned from their peers through their hard work.
AALM: Who is your current mentor? What is the best lesson they’ve taught you so far?
Poindexter: I started working for Tad Delegal when I first started law school in 2011. Having Tad as a mentor has been instrumental in my success during my first three years of practice. Dealing with factual, legal, procedural, and ethical challenges is a part of every attorney’s practice. Facing those issues for the first time is daunting, but having a mentor who has experience handling those challenges is essential.
AALM: What drew you to your current firm? How would you describe the culture there? How would you describe your role within the firm?
Poindexter: During college, I worked as a file clerk in a labor and employment law firm in Winter Park, Florida. It was that experience that drew me into the practice of employment law and piqued my interest in returning to my home town of Jacksonville to practice. Our firm is a boutique practice that provides legal advice and representation to professionals throughout northeast Florida. I am proud of the great results we are able to achieve for our clients and look forward to expanding our practice throughout southeast Georgia as well.
AALM: Where do you see your career going? Partner track? Going solo? A corporate job? The bench or a position as a government attorney?
Poindexter: I thoroughly enjoy the diversity of our firm’s practice and look forward to continuing to master the representation of employees before these tribunals. In addition to the traditional employment discrimination claims, which are typically litigated in federal court, we also represent clients in contract and tort claims in the circuit and county courts. Additionally, we represent licensed employees in administrative cases before the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings, public unions before Public Employee Relations Commission, and local government employees before a number of local tribunals including the City of Jacksonville’s Pension Advisory Committee and Civil Service Board.
AALM: With technology and an ever- global world, how do you see the legal profession evolving over your career? Do you believe this will be positive or negative?
Poindexter: Companies are adopting and utilizing technologies as quickly as they are developed. I recently learned of one app that promotes itself as a way to discuss sensitive negotiations and human resources problems without leaving a digital record. Obviously, these types of technologies present discovery issues in employment cases. As these technologies advance, we are having to continue to learn about these technologies in order to obtain discovery and prevent spoliation of evidence.
AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies? Sports?
Poindexter: Work-life balance is extremely important to me. Outside of work I enjoy traveling and going to the beach with my wife, Katherine, and our dog, Fenway. We also enjoy cooking and exercising together. In my free time, I enjoying playing golf and chess.
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?
Poindexter: I have found that there are few attorneys working in the field of employee representation, and it does not appear that there are large numbers of young attorneys entering the specialty. I hope that I can continue to grow our firm’s practice and develop my skills as an advocate for employee rights.