In Ep. 87, Tim interviews his good friend Will Forero. Will is an attorney at the Law Offices of Edmond J. Pryor in the Bronx. They talk about being a personal injury attorney, marketing yourself and building a brand as an attorney, debunking some of the negative stereotypes surrounding personal injury cases, and more. They also touch on a very important case for the firm that has to deal with the new Child Victims Act. Enjoy!
Will Forero, Esq. – The Law Offices of Edmond J. Pryor – Transcript
Tim Mullooly: Welcome back to Living With Money. This is Tim Mullooly. On today’s episode, I am joined by Will Forero. Will is an attorney at the Law Offices of Edmond J. Pryor in New York, in the Bronx. Will, thanks for coming on the podcast.
Will Forero: Thanks for having me, Tim. Looking forward to this.
Tim Mullooly: Full disclosure, me and Will have been good friends since college, so I know a little bit or a lot about Will’s background, but for the listeners out there, Will, you want to just start with a brief background about you, where you went to school, what’d you study and you know, what are you currently doing on a day-to-day basis?
Will Forero: Yeah, so I grew up in Mineola, on Long Island. Went to York College of Pennsylvania for undergrad. I was a Criminal Justice major there with a minor in Spanish. I think you know a little bit about the Spanish department there. We had some of the same professors.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah, sure did.
Will Forero: Then after that, once I graduated, took a little break from school, worked for a little bit. I was a paralegal in a law office called Levy Konigsberg and then after that, after being a paralegal, I decided that I would want to pursue going to law school and becoming an attorney. It was a pretty big decision for me because just of the general time commitment and my general aversion for school, for the past, you know, however long is a pretty daunting task to go back to school. But I applied to a few law schools and I was lucky enough to get accepted into St. John’s with a scholarship, which made my decision pretty easy. They’re nice and close to where my family lived. So I lived at home, went to school.
And law school, there’s no real specialization that you have there like you would with a major or a minor in undergrad. I just took classes that generally would prepare me for a career in litigation. That’s always what I wanted to do. Be a litigation attorney. There’s other types of attorneys, transactional attorneys, that don’t argue cases in front of a judge on a day-to-day basis.
Tim Mullooly: Now you’re working at the Offices of Edmond J. Pryor. How long have you been there?
Will Forero: So I’ve been there a year now. He advertised in our school internal listings for jobs, and I saw that he was mainly a plaintiff’s personal injury firm, which is what I was looking for. I applied for the job, went for an interview and I think we got along. I was able to start working with him. We’re a small law firm. For our full-time employees, it’s just a Ted Pryor, the owner of the law firm, and myself, and then we have two support staff and a couple attorneys that we work with. We have an UpCounsel attorney, which is kind of like a part time attorney. He has other firms that he has a similar title to. His name is John Parker. And then there are some other attorneys that when they have a large case and they need some help with it, we’ll start working with them as well.
Tim Mullooly: Right. You said you studied criminal justice at York. Did you always want to become a lawyer? I know there are certain different, there are different fields that you could go into after studying, criminal justice law being one of them. Was that kind of just always the natural progression for you? And if not, what kind of made you realize that being a lawyer was the career path that you wanted to take?
Will Forero: Yeah, I did. I never wanted to be an attorney until I started working with attorneys, but I was getting ready to graduate high school. I really had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew that I really disliked sitting in school at a desk all day long, every day. So I thought that to get away from that, I should try to look for a job that would be maybe outdoors or wasn’t in a typical office setting.
Tim Mullooly: More in the field kind of?
Will Forero: Right. So that was my initial thoughts. As time went on, I really changed my mind about that. While I was pursuing the criminal justice major, I realized that the types of things that typically people from York get jobs doing wasn’t the type of thing that I was interested in. Towards the end of the classes that you take during the major or I can’t remember if this is just the way that I did it or if this is the way that it was prepared for students to take, but it was more law oriented. Through those basic, basic classes, I realized that that was really what interested me. And I got a job or an internship rather in the district attorney’s office in York, Pennsylvania. I really thought it was interesting the way that the attorneys, I thought the attorneys’ jobs were very interesting and what they were doing was very interesting. More so than police officers and probation officers and correctional officers that I met.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah. Because I feel like most other people, a lot of the people that studied, I know personally from York that did criminal justice, if they pursued a career in that field, like you said, are either correctional officers or some kind of police officers.
Just in taking those couple of classes with even just like the basic law studies in it is what kind of pulled you in initially and introduced you to the world of studying law?
Will Forero: Yeah. And then in this internship, I remember watching the attorneys and thinking that it was kind of like they were doing a performance for the jury and the judge. And I did some theater in high school, in college, and I thought that was really fascinating too, the way that, you know, and now I know that when you’re trying a case, it really is, you have to practice your lines and then a bit of improv that comes when a witness says something that you’re not expecting them to say, or the judge wants to talk about an argument that he brings up that you hadn’t considered. And you have to argue around that even though you might not have been as prepared as you were for a different argument.
Tim Mullooly: Right. I was going to say, I feel like that’s got to be like exciting and almost like an adrenaline rush, right? When you’re kind of in the throw of things and you get thrown a curve ball and you kind of have to adapt and go from there. Right?
Will Forero: Yeah, exactly. And also it’s also scary, you know, you’re like, “Oh no, is this going to be, did I just lose because I forgot to talk about this or I forgot to really describe my argument on that point? Is this point going to be what kills me here?” So far from my experience, luckily, it’s not the make or break it, when something comes up that maybe you hadn’t considered fully or you thought was a little bit inapplicable.
Tim Mullooly: No, but I feel like that’s, especially with the stakes being so high too, you’re representing someone else and that’s like, that’s someone else’s life and there’s serious consequences if you win or lose a case. So it’s definitely got to be a big rush and like you said, scary but also kind of exciting and thrilling to be in there and to do that on a day-to-day basis.
Will Forero: For sure. It is. And for someone like me who did enjoy the theater and who did enjoy, you know, I wrestled for a very long time and it was preparing for a wrestling match was, you experienced the same types of feelings. You’re scared and excited and nervous and happy and have adrenaline coursing through your veins.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah, definitely. So all right. That’s what kind of got you into the field of law. What made you want to specialize specifically in personal injury law? Because that’s what you, what the firm focuses in on now.
Will Forero: What really made me like the personal injury law was the firm that I was a paralegal at. They were a plaintiff personal injury firm that did lead poisoning. So it was infant lead poisoning. So it was children when they were at their development years, they had lived in an apartment, or maybe it was a daycare they went to, but they were exposed to lead paint at a very young age and through breathing in lead paint dust or maybe ingesting lead paint chips, increased the lead level in their blood. Through that, I learned a lot about what lead poisoning does to you, especially as a child and how it can inhibit your development.
When children get older and they’re in high school age, you can really see the difference between two children who maybe could have had the same ability had it not been for the one of them who was lead poisoned as an infant.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah. So just seeing like the serious repercussions that some of those cases had on people’s lives is kind of what kind of drew you into that field in particular?
Will Forero: Yeah, and it’s also kind of a satisfying feeling to help somebody who doesn’t have the ability to help themselves. A lot of these people would have never been able to pursue a case against their landlord, or in the case of car accidents against an insurance company without the help of an attorney. And you’re really empowering these people to fight for justice and get what they deserve.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah, absolutely. Before joining the firm that you’re at now, like you said, you interned at a few different places both before law school and during law school, what would you say, or did you take any like really important lessons away from those internships that help you in your career today?
Will Forero: Yeah, of course. And I don’t think that it’s one or two specific things or so just the experience of working with attorneys who were either very passionate about what they did or were kind of not passionate about it and just did it because it was a good paycheck. And to see the difference between people who really loved what they did and those who maybe just, it was just another job for them. I definitely learned what I didn’t want to do when I was working at a large insurance firm. That firm was more so you were working on a conveyor belt, you had your specific tasks that you were supposed to carry out and you specialize in a portion of the litigation.
Whereas, where I am now, I see the full case from the moment that the client walks through the door or calls the firm to the point where there’s a settlement negotiation that’s acceptable to both parties or a jury returns a verdict either for your client or against your client. Luckily I haven’t been at one yet where a jury returned a verdict against our client.
Tim Mullooly: Well, knock on wood. You said you were interning at an insurance company and then you also mentioned before that at your current firm it’s nice to represent people against insurance companies. Would you say that working on the other side of the desk, during your internship, has in any way given you like an advantage or kind of just like an eye into the other side of a claim from the insurance company’s side that can kind of help you now in what you do today for people?
Will Forero: Yeah, for sure. And I think it’s not necessarily the way that their paperwork is done or the strategy they employ. It’s kind of just the way that the people who work there think. You can kind of tell when you have a case and it’s against a certain law firm, “Oh, this is probably going to be one where we’re going to have this outcome,” because of the way that just generally people there like to operate.
Tim Mullooly: You kind of know the culture of the firm, so you can kind of predict what they’re going to do in a sense?
Will Forero: Right. Depending on the policy amount, what the injuries are, what the potential liability arguments are. Now I know how they would assess and analyze that case, so I’ll know whether they’ll be more inclined to settle it or if they’re going to really take it to trial.
Tim Mullooly: I feel like that’s got to be useful for your clients now on a day-to-day basis. So it sounds like the internships were definitely beneficial. I’ve asked other people about internships that they’ve had and they were like, “Ah, I didn’t really get anything from it.” So it’s nice to hear that the ones that you did actually impacted your career in a positive sense.
Will Forero: Yeah, and even if it was an internship that I disliked, I think there was always something to get out of it.
Tim Mullooly: I always like to ask people, who are young in their own profession, I’ve talked to a handful of finance people like advisers similar to me who are young trying to break into their industry. For you, as a young attorney in the industry, I feel like law and finance are both places that sometimes benefit people with more years of experience under their belt. How do you personally approach gaining the trust of a potentially skeptical client?
Will Forero: So before I answer that, I’ll tell you a couple of funny stories.
Tim Mullooly: Okay.
Will Forero: We had a client come in, I spoke to him on the phone and he was coming in for his initial intake, I greet him at the door and I tell him what my name was, and he was obviously surprised that I was so young after having spoken to me on the phone.
And his eyes kind of bugged out of his head a little bit and he’s like, “You’re going to represent me?” And I’m like, “I sure am, me and everybody else in the office.” And then another time we had a client who was looking at my, saw my photo on our website and then when he saw me in person he was like, “Wow, you look so much younger than you do on the website. You look like you’re in high school.”
And I’m like, “Well, I disagree with that.” But when these people come in, these clients come in, and they’re expecting to only deal with 50 year old grizzled attorneys. What I like to do is, I like to just try to be as confident as possible when talking to them. And because it is, I do know a lot about their cases, the area of law that their case is going to be in. And I also like to rely on the experience and the expertise of the other attorneys that work in the office and work with me. A lot of times I’ll tell clients, “We work on everything together,” which is true even though I’m, a lot of the times, the one who will write the first draft, do the initial research. All the attorneys that we work with, who are responsible for a case, have input and review everything. So it’s never just me.
Tim Mullooly: Promoting that team aspect is definitely easing for clients, calming to know that they don’t just have one person, they have an entire team of people. It’s got to be reassuring.
Will Forero: Right. And I also don’t try to bluff or blow smoke when they asked me a question that I might not know the answer to. If that does come up, and it comes up plenty of times, you can’t know all of the laws that there are, that exists, or what case law has said about a specific instance like this. You know, I tell the client, “That’s not something that I know off the top of my head, but give me a little time to research and I’ll call you back or next time I see you, I’ll have that answer for you.” Or if I know that it’s something that’s within an area of expertise for another one of the attorneys that I work with, I say, “You know what? That’s a good question for that person. We should ask them because they’ll be able to give you an answer that’s more definite than the one that I can give you.”
Tim Mullooly: Yeah. I feel like, like you’re saying, being straight up and just, and confident at the same time. Like if you know the answer, confidently saying it. And if you don’t, confidently saying, “I don’t know, but I will find out.” We take the same approach here. I mean you can’t know everyone’s financial situations and the answers to all their questions off the top of their head. But I think people appreciate honesty and just being straight up and forthright with them and saying, “Hey, I don’t know. But I’m going to find out.”
So I personally see some billboards and ads, and you hear some catchy jingles and stuff for certain attorneys, they’re trying to build a brand for themselves. They have either like funny advertisements or catchy jingles. For you, do you think there’s a right or wrong answer in terms of how attorneys like to market themselves? And how do you kind of approach that subject? Do you lean more towards the catchy funny side or try and keep it as professional as possible?
Will Forero: You know, I think the catchy funny stuff can work as long as you have a professional website to back it up. So people will see a commercial and they’ll say, “Oh that’s memorable because of the funny thing that happened in it or their funny jingle.”
And then when something arises and they need to have an attorney that is in that area that they remember the attorney for it, they’re going to go to the website and see what their website looks like.
How many attorneys work there? Do they have press releases on their websites where that show what they’re doing and cases they’ve won? Have they taken cases like mine before? When was the last time they won money for a client? How much did they win? All of these things should be on a website. And I think that in this day and age, a lot of the times when we’re looking for something that we’re going to spend our money on, we look at the website to see if it gives us a good or bad feeling about that thing that we’re researching.
Tim Mullooly: The catchy, funny advertisements are okay as long as there’s kind of a, once you, just to catch the person’s eye and make your name stick in their head, as long as there’s a more professional and just kind of straightforward website.
Will Forero: I mean, you have to differentiate yourself and separate yourself because there are so many attorneys out there who do personal injury work, that you have to do something that’s … will stick out in people’s minds.
Tim Mullooly: But at the same time, I feel like once you get in their minds, it’s also personal injury and just most lawsuits in general are very serious business, so people want to be reassured that the person they’re hiring is professional and will do good work for them. Right?
Will Forero: Right. Of course. And I think people understand that things, is just marketing. So the funny Instagram ad that they saw that called their attention to this professional law firm isn’t necessarily going to be the thing that precludes them from hiring that person. People can have funny commercials and also provide very serious services.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah, absolutely. I agree with that as well. For personal injury, I feel like sometimes there can be kind of a negative view about personal injury cases from the general public. What would you say to those people who might have a negative view of certain personal injury cases?
Will Forero: Well, there’s definitely a stereotype of personal injury attorneys being ambulance chasers or pushing cases with injuries that might not be that serious, or having clients that might not be the most truthful. And that’s certainly something that’s happened. There’s been people who have committed insurance fraud since insurance has existed. The way that I deal with that is, with clients, I make sure to temper my client’s expectations. If they come in and they have a lesser injury, I’m not going to let them get excited as having a million dollar case just because they were in a car accident.
And you also don’t want your clients to, you certainly don’t want them to lie, and you definitely don’t want them to over embellish their injuries either, because juries aren’t stupid. They’re going to know when somebody is a faker or is exaggerating. For people who have, I think at this time people understand that personal injury attorneys are serious attorneys, that it’s more so just a joke when people rag on a personal injury attorney.
But I also tell people that when you’re injured in a car accident, or a work accident, any kind of accident, slip and fall, trip and fall, it could be a life changing experience for you because not everybody has the means to take care of themselves the way that they need to after an accident. You or I can probably get the time off to go to the doctor as often as we need, to get X-rays if we need, to treat physical therapy. But some people, they don’t have that ability. Their jobs don’t offer that luxury of them being able to come and go. And they only get paid for the time that they’re there. And if they miss a shift, then their budget is totally thrown off and they can’t pay their bills. And that’s all stems from an accident that occurred because it was somebody else’s fault. Somebody else was texting and rear-ended them and now their life’s turned upside down about it.
Tim Mullooly: I mean, we see some of that on our end too as advisors and financial planners. You see people getting hurt, whether it’s on the job or not, and it kind of throws everything for a loop. I mean, it throws off their cashflow. It throws off, like you said, their budget and they can’t work. They can’t pay their bills, and then that affects pretty much every other aspect of their life. So I feel like when things do happen, it’s really serious and important for people to get the proper representation that they need.
Will Forero: Yeah. And we talk to clients all the time that are having this experience, where they’re telling us they’re really injured and we’re telling them that they need to go see the doctor because we need objective proof of their injuries to show to a jury. We need them to go to the doctor and the doctor just diagnose them with herniated disks in their back, or with the torn ligament or whatever it might be. And they tell us that they can’t get the time off to go to the doctor or that they don’t have the money to pay for the doctor itself. And we always try to find a way where they can get themselves to the doctor.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah. Is that a way that you can kind of, you were saying before how some people, there are people out there who embellish and lie about their injuries. Is that kind of a way to weed out people that are telling the truth or might be just trying to make a quick buck by saying, “All right, well you actually need to go to the doctor and get like proper documentation that this happened.” Is that a way that you guys evaluate potential clients?
Will Forero: That would be a way, I mean, we’re lucky enough that we don’t see that, that often.
Tim Mullooly: Right. True. Yeah.
Will Forero: It’s more so our clients come in and they might have a $10,000 injury and they’re expecting $100,000 and you have to say, “Oh no, no, no, that’s not the type of award that is given to people in your situation.” And they say, “But my friend that lives down the street, he got this amount of money and I want that amount of money too.” And you’re like, “Well, you have vastly different injuries. So everything is relative.”
Tim Mullooly: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, we see that all the time with clients too. It’s like, “Well, my friend made this much in this investment, so why am I not making this much in my investments?” And it’s all about, regardless of the industry, I feel like properly setting expectations for your clients is huge.
Will Forero: Yeah, exactly.
Tim Mullooly: So I wanted to ask you about a case that your firm has been working on, it has to do with the new Child Victims Act. Do you want to tell us, you know, you don’t have to go into any specifics about the case if you don’t want to, but just tell us a little bit about that work that you guys are doing and why you guys feel that it’s so important.
Will Forero: So the Child Victims Act is a law that was passed by the New York legislature and it allows people who were sexually abused as children to file a lawsuit up until age 55. And previously they only had the opportunity to do this until they were 21 years old. But the research showed that a lot of people who are sexually abused don’t even tell somebody for the first time until they’re in their 30s, or they might not pursue any sort of therapy until they’re 30 years old and come to terms with their experiences and get into the right frame of mind that it would take to pursue a case against their abusers and whoever else was responsible for them being subjected to the abuse.
So the new law is really important. It really gives people who suffered these injustices in the form of sexual abuse to really pursue a remedy and get the justice that they deserve. And a lot of these people who will be filing or have filed their sexual abuses that they suffered is going to affect them for the rest of their lives in one way or another.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah. And I feel like changing that, you said it was 21 now it’s 55, I mean going back, before they passed this and raised it to 55, just knowing what was going on in my life as a 21 year old, like you’re still so young and there are so many things going on. So many things changing at that point in your life too. Like to be able to process that mentally and be able to come forward and talk about an abuse like that is a big ask for someone that young. So I feel like it’s a really good thing that they bumped it all the way up and let people file claims until they’re 55, right?
Will Forero: Yeah, for sure. And I think that there’s a certain amount of embarrassment that comes with being sexually abused and there’s a certain stigma that might be associated with somebody who’s been sexually abused. And I think that having this law and giving people the ability to pursue their claims at a later age and also have people to speak up and share their experiences is going to help other people also deal with that if they have experienced the same thing.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah, absolutely. So that’s something that you guys have been working on collectively as a firm for the last few months or so?
Will Forero: Yeah, it’s been a few months now, we filed, I was actually at work on midnight the day that you are allowed to file and got my filing in at 12:00 on the dot. So it was that important to us that we filed and got involved right away.
Tim Mullooly: Right. Well that’s awesome. Hopefully everything works out well for people who are filing these claims. That’s really great that that new act has gone through. So I also read that you do some work on trusts and estates for clients as well.
And I feel like this kind of hits home for us as financial planners. We deal with the estate planning and wills and whatnot for clients. But can you just tell the listeners or talk briefly about the importance of having things like wills and estate plans in place before things happen?
Will Forero: Yeah, so this isn’t an expertise of mine just yet, but I’m working on it. I’m trying to read as much as I can and see what the best ways of doing things are when it comes to estate planning, whether it’s trusts and wills and executing powers of attorney and healthcare proxies. But what’s really important about, nobody wants to think about their own mortality and plan for their death. But it does make everything a lot easier for the people that you care about after you pas. I met with somebody today who their mother passed without a will and now it’s been difficult for them to do things on behalf of her estate because in your will, you appoint an executer or an executor rather to take care of everything on behalf of your estate.
So without that, then you have to go to the surrogate’s court and you got to get appointed as the administrator of the estate. And it’s a time consuming process that would’ve been made a lot easier had you just delineated the executor in your will. And another big thing that’s happening is that humans are living longer than they’ve ever lived before. I was reading that the average person will spend three to four years in a nursing home. Nursing homes are getting to be the point where they’re prohibitively expensive. People are, they want to avoid going into a nursing home at all costs because they cost upwards of $10,000 a month. And it will completely deplete everything that you worked for your entire life. And it’s going to leave your loved ones with almost, like could be virtually nothing or at least far less depending on how long your nursing home stay is.
And there’s ways to create trusts for your beneficiaries and on behalf of both yourself and your beneficiaries far before you’re ever going to need a nursing home, where it will protect those assets from being eaten up by nursing home costs.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah, the costs nowadays are just getting astronomical. And like you said, it is tough for people because no one likes to think about what’s going to happen when they die. But it really is super important and it’s going to make everyone else’s lives a lot easier. Over the last few years working as an attorney, what would you say is the most important thing that you’ve learned in your career to this point? Kind of a broad question here, but what would you say is just like the biggest thing that you’ve taken away from your time working as an attorney?
Will Forero: I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned so far is just that I can do it. I can be a good attorney. I think a lot of us go through, especially as young attorneys, a little bit of an imposter syndrome where they see all these older attorneys in court, they know where to go. They know what line they’re supposed to be on, they know where things need to be filed and you’re like, “Oh man, I don’t even know what courtroom I’m supposed to be in right now.” And you’re like, “Well, will I ever get to the point where I know what’s going on?” And I think yes, everybody can get to that point. You made it through law school, you can figure it out where to stand on line. Even if the people in the courthouse are rude to you when you’re asking questions.
Tim Mullooly: Right. Yeah.
Will Forero: I’m lucky enough that I started in a small law firm and my boss, Ted, gives me a ton of opportunity to really just take a crack at whatever problem is ahead of us. A lot of times he’ll be, we’ll have something and he says, “I need to you to draft this type of motion for this type of case.” And I say, “Well, I’ve never done that before.” And he goes, “Okay, we’ll figure it out. Bring me the best you can do.” And then we’ll work on it together from there. And I think that’s really helped me learn to really just starting from scratch and just trying to figure it out as I go along.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah, I feel like that’s got to be really reassuring and comforting kind of as a new attorney. I know we have a similar situation here too, working for my dad.
Obviously you have, like you’re saying, more opportunity to kind of work your way into things and not have the pressure of like a huge firm bearing down on you. Like either get it right the first time or you’re fired. So I definitely feel you on that.
Will Forero: And you get the experience and you also have the benefit of making mistakes because there’s somebody there to review what you do. And if you do make a mistake, that’s why we work on everything together. Nobody’s perfect. Nobody’s going to be able to create the perfect document on their first try. So it’s very helpful to have everybody else in the office to bounce ideas off of and to check work and really make sure that we come out with the best product possible.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah, absolutely. This is a finance podcast, so I did want to throw in one random money question here. For you, What’s one thing that you wish you learned about money at an earlier age? Something that you know now that you weren’t taught earlier, that you wish you knew?
Will Forero: Man, there’s a lot when it comes to this. Especially, I think, when you’re maybe younger, like high school age, I think it would be really important for people to know how things like student loans worked. Now so many people in our generation are paying back monstrous amounts in student loans and I’m lucky enough that I don’t have a huge amount where it’s prohibited me from being able to do certain things like go back to school and opens up the amount of jobs that you can take when you’re not sitting under that large amount of debt.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah. Especially because, I mean, students are taking on these loans at such a young age. Most people, when you graduate high school, you’re getting ready for your first year of college. You’re 17, 18 years old. It’s hard to, without proper education, it’s hard to wrap your mind around the consequences of what you’re potentially doing to yourself.
Will Forero: Right. And how important it is and how long you’ll be living with that decision that you made maybe when you were 18 years old. You think, “I’ll just sign the paperwork and get the money.”
Tim Mullooly: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I would have to agree. I feel like that’s something that should definitely be harped on more in high school at the very least. So I’ve got one more question. I’d like to wrap up asking all the guests, whether it’s a personal thing or professional or maybe a little bit of both. What’s one piece of advice that you’ve received throughout your life that’s always just stuck with you?
Will Forero: So I’m sorry, but this is going to be another one that isn’t really a quick answer and it’s kind of just a story with the answer to the question being at the very end.
Tim Mullooly: No, that’s okay. Plenty of time for a good story here. So have at it.
Will Forero: So this piece of advice that I got, it might not have been the best piece of advice ever, but it came at a time where I really needed to hear something like that. I was applying for jobs in my last year of law school and I’ve received an on campus interview at an insurance defense firm that was known for being good for young attorneys to become good litigators. And so I go to the interview, I meet with them, I think it’s going great. And then I don’t get a call back from them and my career counselors in the career guidance office, career development office rather wanted to talk to me about my interview. And they were like, “Well, the interviewers, they really liked your resume, you were the best candidate on paper but they didn’t go with you.” And I was like, “Wow. So you guys just like didn’t like my personality. That’s like pretty hurtful.”
Tim Mullooly: Yeah, geez.
Will Forero: So I ended up meeting with the guy who’s a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney. We have lunch together and I got ton of really good information from him and as we’re leaving, he looks at me and he’s like, “Don’t change who you are for anybody, not for an employer, for nobody.” And I was like, “Man, he’s right.” Because I was thinking about all these like different ways to approach an interview where maybe I would appear more like the candidate they wanted.
Tim Mullooly: Right.
Will Forero: And after that I was, I had just gone through all these meetings with my career development office where they were telling me how to approach these interview questions that are more games than they are really interview questions. It’s like tell us about your weakness but don’t look too weak.
Tim Mullooly: Right. Yeah.
Will Forero: And so after that meeting with him, I was like, “Forget it. I’m just going to go about it the way that I think that it should be done. Really just show myself for who I am.” And shortly thereafter I had my interview with Ted and we got along great and here I am and I love what I do, and I love waking up every day thinking about what kind of challenges need to be tackled today. And I really thought that that piece of information I was given in that time really helped me to get to where I am now.
Tim Mullooly: Yeah. That’s awesome, man. I feel like that’s really good advice and just being yourself and, you know, if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. Someone’s going to come along and like you for exactly how you are. So I’m glad that it all worked out for you. Will, thanks for coming on the podcast, man. That was all the questions that I had for you.
Will Forero: Thanks, Tim. I had a lot of fun talking to you today.
Tim Mullooly: So for the listeners out there, I’ll link in the show notes to the Law Offices of Edmond J. Pryor’s website. You can go read more about them and about Will as well. So thanks for tuning in to this episode of Living With Money and we’ll talk to you on the next one.
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