Attorney at Law Magazine Jacksonville Publisher Tom Brady sat down with Michael Stanski to discuss his career and what he hopes to accomplish in the future.
AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become an attorney?
Stanski: In my second year of college I took a course on constitutional law. A section of the course consisted of a moot court for a case on the U.S. Supreme Court docket for that year. The case was Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow which involved the establishment clause of the First Amendment and its application to the Pledge of Allegiance. Between the reading and the moot court I was hooked.
AALM: Do you have any mentors or professors that encouraged you along the way?
Stanski: Jacksonville is a great legal community. There is always a mentor or an attorney that is willing to help you out. While in law school, I was fortunate to work for Laura Boeckman in the school’s Consumer Law Clinic. My work with Laura taught me the importance of professionalism, networking, and having confidence to explore new areas and approaches to law.
AALM: What was the greatest lesson you learned in law school?
Stanski: The value of networking. The law as a profession is about people. Each day a lawyer somewhere is making or refining the law. By making connections with other lawyers, you are learning from and teaching others how to make the profession better. Networking is that vehicle for making the connection.
AALM: What do you find particularly challenging about your practice?
Stanski: Working as a solo practitioner has unique challenges. Most specifically, I am responsible for all firm activities, no matter how big or small. I overcome the challenge of being responsible for all firm activities by utilizing time management and developing efficient methods for routine tasks.
AALM: How would you describe the culture of the firm?
Stanski: My culture is one that is dedicated to client focus and innovation. The law is about service to those in our community in conflict with another person or organization. Therefore, a client focused mindset reminds me of the most important thing which is service to the client. Innovation is also central to my firm. Most people think innovation is about technology. Sometimes this is the case, but it can also be about minor changes that can make a big difference. For example, I utilize alternate or non-traditional fee schedules and/or I adapt my communication style dependent on my client (i.e., retired military versus young adult college student).
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?
Stanski: I look forward to continuing to serve my Jacksonville community in the state and federal courts. In doing so, I relish working with other professionals of the Jacksonville legal community.
AALM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Stanski: I am fortunate to serve not only as a civilian attorney, but also as a judge advocate general in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. In this role, I support the legal office at a large fighter aircraft base in Florida with a full spectrum of issues ranging from military justice to environmental law to law of land warfare.