In the latest First Coast Rising Star interview, Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with Alex Underkofler of Delegal & Poindexter PA to discuss her career and her future aspirations.
AALM: Who is your current mentor? What is the best lesson they’ve taught you so far?
AU: It’s a tie between Tad Delegal and James Poindexter. Tad’s trusting me to participate in a bench trial and a civil service board hearing taught me the importance of thorough preparation, especially in an unfamiliar situation. I would be remiss if I did not also credit Tad for the many golf pointers he’s given me. James is incredibly involved in several legal organizations and has taught me the value of effective networking and leadership to form professional relationships and to move our profession forward.
AALM: Who are some of your legal heroes? Why?
AU: Sandra Day O’Connor is my biggest legal hero because she blazed a new trail for female attorneys as SCOTUS’ first female justice. I also admire her focus on and consideration of the realistic impact of a decision. As the center of the Court, I appreciate that she had a fairly moderate position during her time as a justice, which is quite a contrast from the current Court.
AALM: What drew you to your current firm? How would you describe the culture there?
AU: I knew I wanted to practice employment and administrative law, but was not quite sure how to work in both fields in Jacksonville. I was very fortunate to “fall in” to my position at Delegal & Poindexter after meeting Tad Delegal while I was in law school, because our firm’s practice perfectly aligns with my academic interests. As a small firm, our culture is very familial, and I appreciate that, through our porch parties and out-of-office social gatherings, I have had the opportunity to form lifelong relationships with my co-workers, their spouses, and their kids.
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?
AU: With the pandemic, we have already seen major technological changes, most obviously through remote working, depositions, hearings, and even trials. I think the convenience of more and more elements of the practice of law becoming virtual—or at least capable of becoming virtual—is very positive, especially for clients who may have difficulty traveling to their attorney’s office, or for out-of-town lawyers who can save time and client expense travelling for a live hearing that does not necessarily need to be in-person.
AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies? Sports?
AU: I took up golfing earlier this year, so I enjoy going to the driving range or playing a round. My husband and I are big Gators and Jaguars fans, so we enjoy going to football games when we are able. I also enjoy painting, and although I’m no Bob Ross, it is a relaxing way to be creative.
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?
AU: I am passionate about helping clients during what is often, unfortunately, a stressful and difficult time of their lives, and I look forward to many more years of doing so at Delegal & Poindexter. I hope to become a partner at the firm one day because I believe so strongly in the work we do for our clients. Another longtime goal of mine is to have a law review article that has been a work in progress for past few years published.