Patrick C. Thomas
Firm: Kahn Dees Donovan & Kahn, LLP, Evansville
Focus: Commercial litigation, insurance defense and subrogation, debt collection, and construction
Years of Practice: 4.5
What do you like best about your job?
First and foremost, I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve my clients. Whether it’s helping resolve disputes via settlement, negotiating for their interests, or representing them in court, I love advocating on their behalf. I also enjoy the intellectual challenge of learning new industries and areas of law as a general litigator. Each case has new characters and a different plot and feels like reading a new book.
What has been the best moment so far in your legal career?
Words can hardly describe the hard work, thrill, nerves, and excitement of trying my first jury trial. It was a terrific experience that taught me lessons about trial advocacy that I use to this day. A favorable decision was icing on the cake.
Why are you a member of DTCI?
DTCI provides access to incredible people and resources. On the people side, my DTCI mentors have provided me with invaluable legal and career advice that I am most grateful for. It has also been great having a network of other young attorneys I can call and ask for advice and share experiences. As for resources, DTCI’s seminars have helped develop my legal skills. In particular, The Rookie Seminar provided crucial knowledge for a young defense attorney and critical tips for practicing law.
Any unforeseen hurdles in your first years as a lawyer?
Law school teaches you to think like a lawyer. That is, you learn fundamental legal methods and the process of interpreting the law. However, I didn’t understand the actual practice of law until my first years as a lawyer. Getting over the hurdle of moving from theory to practice was tough, but my incredible mentors, colleagues, and fantastic resources at KDDK and from DTCI helped me surmount.
If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be and why?
A youth minister. I have always been passionate about youth ministry and have served as a volunteer YoungLife leader for the past 10 years.
What you wish you knew then:
I wish I’d fully understood the importance of mentorship and networking. Seek out good mentors, stay in touch with classmates from undergrad and law school, and schedule lunches or calls to maintain these relationships at least two to three times a week. Law is more team sport than a solo endeavor. The more players (and perspectives) you can bring to the field, the more effective you will be.
Fun fact about you: I’m a triplet.•