Attorney at Law Magazine Phoenix Publisher Charles Douglass sat down with Ben Himmelstein to discuss his career.
AALM: What do you find particularly rewarding about being an attorney?
Himmelstein: I know this sounds cliché, but first and foremost, I really enjoy solving peoples’ problems. There is nothing more pleasing than having my clients meet their goals and when they come away satisfied. I also like that every day in my practice is completely different, with new sets of issues, problems and challenges. I am a people person, so it is also rewarding that I am constantly exposed to different types of people from all walks of life.
AALM: Are there any changes coming in the future that you’re excited about?
Himmelstein: In May, the Arizona Supreme Court established a pilot program that creates a new venue for commercial disputes – the Commercial Court. It is exciting to have judges with commercial litigation expertise designated to handle these types of disputes.
AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies? Sports?
Himmelstein: I identify myself first as a family man and second, as an attorney. Spending time with with my future wife and son is the most important thing to me, whether it be going to a movie, or watching my son at sporting events. When I have time away from my practice, I also love to travel and try to make time to see live music.
AALM: Are there any flaws in the legal profession that you see? If so, how would you fix them?
Himmelstein: Litigation is way too long and way too expensive for most people. There just really is not a whole lot of access to the system if you cannot pay to play. The only way to fix this is to streamline the legal process and make it less cumbersome. Also, I think the courts should highly encourage parties to engage in settlement conferences or mediation relatively early on in any dispute.
AALM: What is the best compliment you’ve received or the funniest story you have?
Himmelstein: Any accolade or reward I receive is nice, but the best compliment is when my clients continue to use me or refer me to their colleagues, friends and relatives. The reward for great work is always more work. When that happens, it means that I am doing my job effectively.
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?
Himmelstein: There are so many things that I want to do, it is hard to list them all here. On a business level, I would like this state to become a powerhouse and I will do anything I can to help achieve this goal. Working with the Arizona Small Business Association is a start, but we have a long way to go. On a law practice level, I just want people to think of me as an ethical and proficient attorney who provides the highest level of service to clients as possible.