When you’re skydiving thousands of feet in the air and the only thing between a safe landing and making a substantial hole in the ground is a thin wall of air-filled fabric – your focus on doing the right thing at the right time tends to be intense. Jason Franklin, founding partner of the Franklin Law Firm LLP, brings that same level of focus to the challenges and opportunities faced by his clients.
“I pursue my work with the same type of intensity and presence; and, I think that’s important. When I’m meeting with a client, I’m totally focused on the client. When I’m before a jury, I’m totally focused on the jury. When I’m in a focus group, I’m totally focused on that case,” he says.
Franklin is an avid adventure sports and adventure travel enthusiast. He has walked the ground on all seven continents; has taken a highly memorable “polar bear plunge” in Antarctica; climbed to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania; hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru; and has dived among great white sharks in South Africa. The many adventure sports he enjoys include skydiving, scuba diving, snow skiing, snowboarding, wake surfing and boarding, and mountain biking.
The focus required for his avocations has a powerful influence on his chosen career.
REAL HELP FOR REAL INJURIES
“I have a real interest in helping people. And I’m good at it. That’s why I went out on my own – to help people. Our firm motto is ‘Real Help for Real Injuries’ and that’s our focus,” Franklin says. The firm’s exclusive practice area is personal injury.
He says that in the plaintiff personal injury field, due to contingency fees, attorneys tend to gravitate toward one end of the spectrum or the other. On one end are the catastrophic injury lawyers who accept fewer cases that they believe have the potential for gigantic payouts. On the other end are the volume lawyers who often treat their clients using an assembly line approach. This leaves a huge gap in the middle. Franklin Law Firm serves those in this gap – the everyday people who have real injuries, need real help and cannot find it.
One of the keys to his firm’s success is the focus on the individual needs of individual clients. “The experience you get helping people – there’s just no better feeling than that. Helping people who have very different situations with very different challenges. I get to help them in real ways. I don’t want to be one of those assembly line lawyers,” Franklin says.
He adds, “A huge level of satisfaction I get is from the hugs, thank yous and notes from former clients continuing to stay in touch. That is a huge compliment to me, and a huge privilege that these clients let me into their lives. And that they want me to continue to be a part of it long after I have represented them.
COMPLEX CASES LEAD TO A SIMPLE CHOICE
Knowing his passion for travel, Franklin’s sister, a flight attendant with Delta Airlines, suggested that he follow her example as a way of paying for his college education. He took her advice and put himself through college working as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. While working, he graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in political science.
Like many students, he was unsure of exactly the career he wanted. At the time, he believed he would work in some type of public policy or related area. He knew that he would use his law degree, but becoming a trial lawyer wasn’t on his radar.
His direction changed at SMU when he became active with mock trial and moot court competitions and discovered he had a real talent and a drive for the experience. Becoming a trial lawyer quickly became the focus of his academic efforts.
He earned his Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 2002.
“At that point I just wanted to try cases,” he says. “I got a job at a good boutique defense firm that handled catastrophic trucking defense and medical malpractice defense. Those were complex cases. I got a lot of good training. But at the end of the day, I wanted to help people. I switched over to the plaintiff’s side and have never looked back. Ultimately, it was a simple choice.”
I got a lot of good training. But at the end of the day, I wanted to help people. I switched over to the plaintiff’s side and have never looked back. Ultimately, it was a simple choice.
ROLE PLAYING TO ROLL UP VICTORIES IN COURT
The Franklin Law Firm is one of only a few law firms in the country to have its own state-of-the-art mock courtroom and jury deliberation room. Franklin also makes extensive use of focus groups to establish and maintain a clear focus on the case and the challenges and opportunities facing his clients.
“We test evidence and potential avenues of approach before people who are similar to the people most likely to make up the jury in the case at hand. Using focus groups in our mock courtroom we discover valuable insights about the strengths, weaknesses and potential risks of a case. With this in-depth research as a base, we can make intelligent decisions about settlement value, trial strategies, and witness preparation,” Franklin says.
The technique has proven so valuable that other legal firms often call on Franklin’s firm to conduct focus groups on their own cases. This has proven to be a valuable asset to the firm’s clients, as Franklin has direct experience with some of the top legal talent in the area, new ideas and concepts as they are being developed, and insights into various groups that he and his clients will eventually encounter.
A FOCUS ON FAMILY
Franklin is a single father to his 7-year-old daughter, Morgan. The experience of raising a daughter has taught him valuable lessons about life, relationships and “being present.”
“When Morgan was 3 years old, she asked me, ‘What do you do for work, Daddy?’ I told her that I help people who have been hurt and she responded with a big ‘Wow!’ I knew in that moment that I must be doing something right to be able to explain to my 3-year-old what I do for a living and for her to be proud of me,” he says.
“I take those lessons to work with me. They keep me focused on what I’m all about. And when I’m at work that’s staying focused on my clients,” he says.