Relying on real-life experiences makes helping clients a natural act.
In the busy market of personal injury attorneys, it’s not always easy to stand out. But Anthony Irpino of Irpino, Avin and Hawkins Law Firm feels they’ve discovered the secret to success.
“When you go about things where your focus is the client, combined with a true desire to help people, that lends you to standing out,” Irpino says. “We’ve also been fortunate in that we’ve been able to have a lot of successes. Large verdicts and settlements also help you stand out in those regards.”
For Irpino, his interest in helping people came through real-life experiences of his atypical but remarkable Chicago childhood.
The Irpino household was always crowded with extra people, foster children, or people needing a place to stay or a meal to eat. It was his mother’s theory that others were always worse off than they were and that it is our role as human beings on this earth to help others.
“My mom was capable from an emotional and energy standpoint but not always from a financial angle,” Irpino says. “We were very poor; I went without meals at times. [My three brothers and I] slept four in a bed, while my mom and dad slept on a couch in our one-bedroom apartment. That impresses on you, forms some kind of genuine desire … you see this is what your parents are doing and that’s what forms your value set.”
At Christmas, the family would volunteer to feed the needy at the Salvation Army. One year sticks with Irpino like it was this past December.
It was his job to carry around the lost-and-found bag to share collected gloves, hats and such. The daughter in one family, clearly very poor in bedraggled clothing, pulled glasses from the grab bag. She looked at her parents and asked if it would be okay for her to keep them. “Maybe now I can see the chalkboard,” she marveled.
“It clearly had a big impact,” Irpino says. “As a child, you’re ignorant and immature, and I remember wondering, ‘Why don’t I have the same stuff other kids in school have?’ Here I was worried about not having video games and this girl doesn’t have glasses.”
For Irpino, that translates directly today into fighting for someone who has been wronged and connecting them with a way to get their life back.
“Getting a large judgement or settlement where they can pay for all future medical expenses — so they can sustain themselves going forward even though they are no longer able to work — that type of thing is life-changing,” Irpino says. “And it’s also consistent to our mission to help people who have been harmed.”
Most gratifying cases: “That would have to be being a part of the trial team for the BP oil spill as well as the Chinese drywall litigation,” Irpino says. “All of our Katrina-related cases fall under that title … and a host of individual personal injury cases tried or settled that really are the foundation of our firm.”
In my precious-little downtime: “I try to work out and be with my family,” Irpino says. “I read up on legal stuff. I know that’s a little nerdy, but I actually kind of enjoy it. And our firm is not just limited to helping people in our professional capacity but also as a local business. We’re active with charitable organizations, most notably the New Orleans Mission. They’re much more than a shelter and meal, they turn lives around through therapy, job training and more. Everyone should get to know the New Orleans Mission.”
Award I’m most proud of: “All the awards don’t measure up to the feedback of our clients and the results we’re getting them,” Irpino explains. “You can have 100 awards, but I would rather have clients that felt cared for and felt respected.” (Awards include Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list, 2016; top one percent, Litigator Awards, 2014; and Super Lawyers list for Irpino.)
Best compliment of my career: “I had a client ask me to be the godfather of their newborn,” Irpino says.
Best part of my job: “Getting to know our clients on a personal level,” he says. “It does have the added benefit of making us better capable of representing our clients, but you just get to meet all kinds of people from all walks of life — and all kinds of life experiences — and that’s a pretty nifty thing.”
What gets me out of bed on a cold winter day: “Folks who work at the office are like family, everybody here,” Irpino says. “And if I’m being candid, we’ve accomplished a lot. I feel complete in terms of my accomplishments in law. The second part is the clients we help. I have constant motivators to do the work so these people get help.”
Irpino, Avin and Hawkins Law Firm
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