Father, lawyer, and hero
When asked why he became an attorney, Ben Gerber thought immediately of his father.
“He was my hero and he was a lawyer and it was all I ever wanted to be. When I was a little kid, he used to come home with case files in his briefcase and work at night. It was the highlight of my day to watch him work out problems.”
We recently had a chance to sit down with Ben Gerber of Gerber & Holder to discuss his dream of becoming a lawyer, his advice to injured workers, and his life outside the office.
Ben’s journey to become a lawyer began at the University of Georgia, where he studied political science and graduated cum laude.
After graduating from the University of Georgia, he attended George Washington University Law School, where he received a piece of advice that has always stuck with him.
Ben spoke up during a family law class to complain about a certain aspect of family law that he felt was unfair and quite possibly unconstitutional. His law professor's advice to him? Do something about it.
“I’ve always had a can-do approach to the field of workers’ compensation in Georgia. If you don’t like something, don’t just complain – be proactive.”
While attending law school, Ben helped wronged individuals stand up to large corporations by participating in George Washington University Law School’s Consumer Affairs Clinic. He also held internships at the United States Department of Justice and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
George Washington University Law School is the oldest law school in Washington, D.C. The school was ranked the 25th best law school in the country by U.S. News & World Report in 2023.
George Washington University Law School has many notable alumni, including:
- William Barr
- Harry Reid
- J. William Fulbright
- J. Edgar Hoover
- Hsu Mo
- Mary Schapiro
Seeing the other side and hanging his own shingle
After graduating from law school, Ben returned to Georgia and began practicing insurance defense. The time was invaluable, as he learned the ins and outs of workers’ compensation cases from an insurer's perspective.
But Ben has always been troubled by the obstacles facing injured employees.
“There are times I just want to scream at some of the inherent disadvantages injured workers have in the current system.”
And so—harkening back to the advice he received from his family law professor—Ben decided to be proactive and make the move to represent injured workers in workers’ compensation cases.
He spent several years honing his craft at various law firms before opening his own practice to focus solely on helping those injured on the job. It was the best move he’s ever made.
Since he began representing injured workers exclusively, Ben has proved his expertise and skill time and time again. He has achieved the highest attorney rating of "10.0/10.0 Superb" from Avvo. In addition, he has been named to the list of "Rising Stars" by Georgia Super Lawyers magazine for five consecutive years, an honor reserved for less than three percent of the qualifying attorneys in the state.
Ben co-founded Gerber & Holder in 2010 to provide superior representation to individuals injured in the workplace. The law firm offers free initial consultations and maintains offices in Atlanta, Athens, and Columbus.
You can learn more about Gerber & Holder in the video below.
Advice for future lawyers
Founding his own law firm has given Ben some insight into hiring young lawyers. “Be the attorney that you would want to hire,” Ben advises.
When hiring an attorney, Ben looks for someone who knows what they’re talking about and can handle all of the unexpected challenges that inevitably arise in the law. He encourages young lawyers to spend a year researching the area of law they want to practice so they can speak intelligently about the field.
Advice for those looking for an attorney
Ben also has some advice for those thinking about hiring an attorney, whether it’s him or someone else. He believes a person should first look for someone who listens. He emphasizes that each case is special and has a distinct set of facts, so finding an attorney who understands that is important.
A good start is to look for an attorney who spends most of their time practicing in the field that is relevant to your issue. “An attorney who is a jack of all trades may not be aware of all the nuances in a specific area of law,” Ben warns. “This is particularly true in the workers’ compensation arena.”
And once you’ve found an attorney, Ben implores you to be patient.
“Workers’ compensation is a process. It requires a lot of work to develop evidence, get medical treatment, and depose witnesses. Even though [a client] might be completely right, and they should be receiving weekly benefits and medical treatment, it requires a fight. The wheels of justice grind slowly sometimes, but with patience, we can get the proper result.”
Many people are reluctant to file a workers’ compensation claim or hire an attorney because they fear retaliation from their employer. Ben explains whether this is a valid concern.
Outside of the courtroom
Ben spends a lot of time working for his clients, and that’s okay with him. “The hardest part of my job is creating time,” he explains. “My days seem to fly by.”
When Ben does find extra time, he enjoys spending it with his family. He has three children, ages 9, 11, and 13. The two oldest play academy soccer, which keeps him traveling to soccer matches on weekends.
If Ben wasn’t an attorney, his work days might look a lot like his free time.
“I think if I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be a referee in a professional league. I played sports growing up and I would love to still be around the game. Being a referee would allow me to do that and see our great country by traveling to games.”
As it is, Ben spends his mornings helping his children get ready for school. Then, after a day spent talking with clients, handling depositions, attending court hearings, going to mediations, and solving problems, he heads home in the evening—usually with a briefcase full of case files.
Ben has become his father. And we strongly suspect he has become a hero to his own children.