Here’s what we learned from the respected trial attorney, triathlete, and toddler mom.
Stephanie Tucker’s legal career actually began in undergraduate college. During her junior year at Augustana College, Stephanie took a position working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.
Although she admits to taking the position because it paid better than the other part-time positions available, she quickly became captivated by the work. She had the opportunity to sit in on federal jury trials and assist U.S. Attorneys in their preparation for court. It was during this time that Stephane realized she wanted to spend her working days in a courtroom.
In 2009, Stephanie attended Drake University Law School. Like most law students, Stephanie was forcibly introduced to the Socratic method, an intimidating teaching technique in which a professor randomly chooses a single student for the entire class period and assails them with rapid-fire questions intended to trip them up and poke holes in their responses.
Looking back, Stephanie appreciates her 3 years of law school—even the Socratic method.
“Law school taught me that growth occurs during moments of discomfort. It is the uncomfortable, intimidating, and daunting experiences that have helped me to grow into the attorney (and person) that I am.”
Every case is a big case
Although most attorneys are quick to brag about their largest verdicts or settlements, Stephanie believes that every case is her biggest case.
“In many instances, our clients are going through the single most frightening experience of their lives. While it’s fun to talk about the cases that bring in the most significant fee, it’s the smaller claims that often make the biggest impact on my clients. What feels like a normal day of work or a ‘small win’ to me can mean a world of difference to my clients. It’s the difference between paying rent or facing eviction, buying groceries or going hungry, and obtaining medical care or continuing to suffer.”
Understanding how much the outcome of her cases impacts her clients makes the victories that much sweeter.
“When my clients drop off a thank you note or call to express their gratitude, it means the world to me. I have kept a few of the most meaningful notes and tokens of appreciation so I am reminded of the important role I play in their lives.”
Advice for prospective clients
Finding the right attorney after suffering a serious injury can be overwhelming. Stephanie encourages prospective clients to simplify things and go with their gut.
“If an attorney doesn’t immediately impress you, keep looking. From day one, an attorney should exhibit a vast knowledge of the law and a dedication to your case. If they aren’t willing to put in the time to make you feel at ease at your first meeting, they won’t put in the time to obtain the best outcome on your behalf.”
Understanding the vulnerability of injury victims in need of legal help, Stephanie works to make sure that her clients understand they are in a safe place.
“I’m here to advise [my clients], to offer relief, and to advocate on their behalf. There is no reason to feel intimidated when meeting with an attorney – my job is to make my clients’ life easier. ”
What free time?
When Stephanie steps out of bed in the morning, she hits the ground running. She downs a cup of coffee and rushes her toddler, Eli, to daycare (careful to sneak in a few snuggles before drop-off). From there she takes a quick lap around the gym pool and heads to the office.
“Once at work, the day always flies. Between client calls, court appearances, and obligations for the various boards I sit on, I’m lucky if I can answer a few emails and get some paperwork done. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every day presents new challenges and keeps me on my toes.”
On the weekends, Stephanie can be found training for her next triathlon or spending quality time with her son.
“Seeing the world through Eli’s eyes is the single best part of my life right now. He finds joy in the simplest of things – something I try to emulate, and an important lesson for us all.”