Attorney at Law Magazine First Coast sat down with Katherine Wagner of The Lawrence Law Group, a personal injury attorney to discuss her rising career and her goals for the future. Wagner is a Florida native who earned her Juris Doctor in 2004 from Wake Forest University School of Law. She graduated in the top third of her class and went on to gain experience representing insurance companies for five years before crossing the aisle to represent those who have been injured due to the negligence of others.
AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become an attorney? What drew you to this career?
Wagner: When I was in second grade, my teacher told my parents I should be a lawyer. Apparently I was a pretty aggressive schoolyard negotiator! By the time I was in high school, I was certain the law was my calling. I love the dual aspects of being both an advocate and a counselor,fighting for my clients, but also listening to them and helping them in other ways.
AALM: How would you describe your practice? What drew you to personal injury work?
Wagner I primarily represent injured people in nursing home abuse and personal injury cases. My work is varied, and no two days are alike. Some are spent fighting in court, while others are spent letting a client literally cry on my shoulder. I went to college and law school at Wake Forest University, where the motto is “pro humanitate,” which means “for humanity.”The calling to use our knowledge and talents to better the lives of others is put into practice every day in this area of the law.
AALM: Do you have any mentors or professors that encourage you?
Wagner: Volunteering with pro bono champion Kathy Para on the Jacksonville Bar Association’s pro bono committee has been awe-inspiring. She selflessly gives her time to the least fortunate members of our community, and leads programs that help other attorneys get involved as well. Her passion for helping “the little guy” is contagious!
AALM: What experiences have taught you the most?
Wagner: When I was in college, my dad died after a battle with melanoma. Managing to graduate early with a double major with honors, while getting through that experience, taught me that I was stronger than I had realized. Additionally, losing my dad so early in life taught me how short life is and the importance of treasuring every moment.
AALM: What drew you to your current firm? How would you describe the culture there? How would you describe your role within the firm?
Wagner: I am so lucky to have found The Lawrence Law Group to call home. Here at the firm, I work on nursing home abuse cases alongside Greg Lawrence, and I also handle a full caseload of injury and first-party property damage cases. Our firm atmosphere is relaxed, but professional. One of the things I’m most proud of is that we are in constant contact with our clients; they know they are our first priority.
AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies? Sports?
Wagner: You will find me most mornings working out at Orange Theory Fitness; there is nothing like intense exercising to get your day started! After a day at the office, I spend most evenings chasing around my twin 3-year-old daughters and enjoying time with my husband. If I’m on vacation, usually I’m scuba diving!