Sam Martin is an associate plaintiff’s lawyer at Walsh Law, a litigation firm located in Washington D.C. He has experience litigating high-stakes cases for both plaintiffs and corporate defendants and has previously maintained an active pro bono practice, representing clients in Maryland criminal court and housing conditions court in Washington D.C. He has a passion for representing plaintiffs on the front lines of major national litigation.
Lawyer Minds: What types of cases do you handle?
Sam Martin: I am a generalist litigator and handle a variety of plaintiff-side cases. For instance, I’ve worked on consumer class actions, mass torts, and single event injury and discrimination cases. I specialize in trial work, and our firm is often brought in as trial counsel.
Lawyer Minds: What efforts do you make to give back to your local community and why?
Sam Martin: My fiancé and I try to donate to local organizations that align with our values. But donating often feels distant and impersonal, so we also try to do small acts of kindness when we can (and we should do more).
Lawyer Minds: What do you feel are the three main attributes of a successful lawyer?
Sam Martin: The first three that come to mind are determination, empathy, and conviction.
Lawyer Minds: What advice would you give to a person who is seeking legal representation for the first time?
Sam Martin: Find a lawyer who cares. Lawyers who care about you will work hard on your case. Most cases do not require legal brilliance for a good result. But almost all require hard work.
Find a lawyer who cares. Lawyers who care about you will work hard on your case. Most cases do not require legal brilliance for a good result. But almost all require hard work.
Lawyer Minds: What was it like when you got your first win for a client?
Sam Martin: This probably is not the type of answer you usually get, but my first trial win was when I was on the defense side. I represented one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world. The FTC sued that company, alleging that a proposed merger violated antitrust laws. I worked with incredibly smart and kind lawyers, and we won. But after, I did not feel fulfilled. I knew I needed to make a change – now I am a plaintiffs’ lawyer!
Lawyer Minds: If you could put a billboard up—that’s not an advertisement—what would it say?
Sam Martin: The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. (Not my quote!)
Lawyer Minds: Why do you take the cases that you do?
Sam Martin: We take cases that align with our values. We want to use the law to make a difference and to help regular people who have been wronged by those in power.
Lawyer Minds: What are the essential building blocks for any law firm?
Sam Martin: I think there are a few: (1) team players who are willing to chip in when others are busy; (2) lawyers who are dedicated to the mission of the firm; (3) kindness (especially when stressed, which lawyers often are).
Lawyer Minds: Are there any organizations you involve yourself with that you’d recommend to young lawyers?
Sam Martin: I am a member of the DC Trial Lawyers Association, and it has been a wonderful way to meet other plaintiff trial lawyers in Washington DC. I joined only recently and have already met several members for coffee or lunch to get advice. I highly recommend other attorneys join similar organizations!
Lawyer Minds would like to thank Sam Martin for sharing his insights with our readers.