Listen to our video below about the history of Jacobs Law Office. Learn where it all started and where it plans to go along with why Pat chose to become a lawyer!
Well, hey Pat, thanks for sitting down with us today. We’re excited to talk to you. Thank you. Well great. So let’s go ahead and dig into a little bit on Jacobs Law history. So what initially got you interested in law? I became interested in law as a child because my father’s two favorite people were two big time lawyers in the Charleston area Stanley Preiser and Rudy Ditrapano. So I guess it’s one of those inner deals as a child. I wanted to please my dad and my mom. I always told them, “I’m going to be a lawyer.” and my dad would go, “Oh, I love it. I can’t wait. You can represent me.” He said. So, when I graduated high school from Charleston High School in 1972, I went up to West Virginia University and majored in accounting and I graduated in accounting in 1976 and I went straight into law school and graduated WVU Law School in 1979 and I got out of law school and came to Charleston and opened up an office and started fighting for the rights and the justice for people. So how did you land on the law firm services that you currently provide? Well as I got out of law school, I actually started working on July 1st 1979 for the state of West Virginia Public Service Commission. I worked there until December 15, 1979. I went out on my own because during that time period I’d ran into Robert Bland who was an attorney here in Charleston and went to my church, I go to Village Chapel Presbyterian and had been my basketball coach in church league high school basketball. So he had an office space just opened. So I just went in there opened up just cold and I just, you know, put out the word. Back in those days there was no advertising – none – for lawyers. And so you could put little blips in the Yellow Pages. And I was the first person to use red in my Yellow Page ad. That got me a lot of attention and a lot of phone calls and I just built from that point on. So how did you decide on personal injury and employment law and you know all the services that you currently provide? Well, when I first started out, I’ve always done personal injury, car wrecks, and slip and falls. Back in the 80s. I did a lot of domestic relations and also did property work and I did a lot of criminal. I did a lot of criminal trials – defense. I represented defendants. That phased out in the 90s… Also I started out doing workers comp. I’ve been doing workers comp over 40 years, so representing claimants only. Back in about the 90s, I got out of all domestic relations and criminal work and just focused on injury work and on workers compensation. Then in around 2006, a really really close friend of mine had passed away, and he had a bunch of Social Security Disability cases, and I helped his estate, you know, take over those and do them. I start doing Social Security Disability just like that, and I’ve been doing it regularly ever since. Social Security Disability and also Employment Law. I just got into employment law because I’ve seen so many people get fired and it seemed like it was so unfair and unjust and particularly was connected to my workers comp clients who were being fired before filing for workers comp and that’s just what they were legally required to do. So I got started in it there and it spread a little bit into some other discriminatory work. But that’s how it just evolved into what it is today. Could you tell us a little bit about your staff? Can you brag on them for a minute? Yeah, I have phenomenal staff. We have a saying in our office, and it starts with me. Number one. It goes down to everybody. “Be nice to everyone.” And 99% of the time. That’s no problem. But sometimes it is a problem. My dad used to tell me, “You can’t please 100% of public 100% of the time.” But, most of the time everybody’s very gracious all of our clients and thankful for everything we do. I mean, we tell people, “We do all of our work on contingency fee.” No one ever pays us a penny unless we win their case, but we don’t win every single case, but we wouldn’t be here for 40 years of we didn’t win a lot of them. So we work hard and our clients can see how hard we work. My staff is so nice to people and they do such a good job and particularly on my Social Security work. I tell everybody, “My paralegal Missy does all the hard work, I get all the credit, and we win the case and I just went down for the hearing.” I meet with my clients. I discuss everything with them. I show them their options, and we just have a good relationship with everybody. And all my staff sees how I am with people, and they are reflective of that. Just being nice and working hard and helping people to try to reach their goal, you know, whatever it might be. Get their job back, you know, get better, or be compensated for being wronged. So what would say is the mission of Jacobs Law Firm? Our mission is to help people who can’t help themselves. We are the voice for the voiceless. We get up there and use our muscles and our strength to help people push down a wall that’s blocking them from moving forward in their life, whether it’s getting good medical treatment, whether it’s getting their job back, whether it’s being injured on the job and their workers comp carriers deny them coverage or did deny treatment. We get in there and fight and get everything done for them that we can. Get them treated and get them back to where they were with a little bit of extra money in their pocket. So would you say your clients are what drives you or is there something that inspires you to keep going? No, my clients. Just being able to represent people who basically have their backs against the wall. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at Social Security hearings and we can just tell after the hearing we won. And my clients and their family, whether it’s their moms, their wives or just family members, start crying and hugging me, and I just – I love it. I love hugging people. That’s why I hate coronavirus! You can’t hug anybody. But you know, it’s just a good feeling to know that you’ve helped someone to that point where they want to hug you and tell you, “Thank you.” Well, so you’ve been doing this for 40 years. What do you think the future is for Jacobs Law? Well, I think it looks great. I love what I’m doing. People are always asking me, because I just turned 66, they say, “Well, when you going to retire?” I say, “Look, I’m a lawyer. I don’t dig ditches or lift anything heavy, and I love what I do. And I’m making money, so I’m going to keep going.” My great great friend and law partner Nelson Bickley went until he was 75, and he thought that was a great plan and still does so I might be shooting for around that.