Tomorrow afternoon, I'm scheduled to teach a continuing legal education seminar entitled "Fundamentals of New Jersey Residential Landlord-Tenant Practice." Much of what I teach in the seminar comes from practical experience I gained as a legal services attorney representing people in landlord-tenant disputes. I won't say that I've seen it all, but I've seen a lot: landlords who lease illegal apartments unfit for human habitation; government agencies that often miss the mark in providing services; and, yes, some tenants who are bound and determined to game the system.
The seminar runs from 4 to 8 p.m. at Rutgers Law School in Camden, NJ, and seats are still available. If you're interested, click on the link above to register, and be sure to stop by and introduce yourself during the break.
Welcome to the McLaughlin Law website. As you can see in the Attorney Profile section, I have 10 years of practice experience. I worked for several years representing low-income tenants and consumers at a local legal services office, where I had hundreds of trials and contested motions. Most recently, I worked for two years as a visiting clinical professor and managing attorney of the Federal Prisoner Reentry Project at Rutgers Law School in Camden, New Jersey.
Working at Rutgers Law was a fantastic experience. I got to work with some exceptionally bright, talented and motivated law students and help them develop into practice-ready attorneys. My students and I represented clients who were incarcerated in federal prison, and we assisted them with a variety of legal matters in both civil and criminal courts.
A good lawyer will always learn something from an experience. So what did I learn as a legal services attorney and clinical professor? Many things. First and foremost was this: clients who have a good attorney almost always get a better outcome than clients who don't. Another thing: there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Lawyers have to take the time to listen to their clients and learn all the facts of each client's case. As an attorney, if you don't devote time to a case, you may still get a good result -- sometimes. But eventually, an unprepared lawyer will have an unhappy client.
I'll write more soon on the value of trust in the attorney-client relationship. For now, it's back to work.