Zinns Law is getting ready to celebrate an anniversary! Two years ago, in April 2020, attorney Sharon Zinns opened the doors of Zinns Law. Since that time, there have been many challenges to conquer and successes to celebrate. Today, we’re talking to Sharon about her proudest professional accomplishments and what she sees for the future of Zinns Law.
How did you get started in your particular practice areas?
I always knew that I wanted to do trial work, but I started working as a plaintiffs lawyer by accident. When I moved to California after law school, I got a job at an asbestos firm after passing the bar exam. And it was a great fit. I found that I did really love it. In addition to the excitement of courtroom work, I love helping people. I can’t bring someone’s loved one back, and I can’t cure their cancer. But I can give them a voice, and I can help them get some compensation for what they’re going through and help their family get by once they’re gone.
Why did you decide to start your own firm, Zinns Law?
In the plaintiff’s side practice, you really have to have your name on your door to get the success that you want — to get the recognition and a piece of the pie. A lot of people are afraid to talk about the law as a business. Yes, it is a higher calling. Yes, we do these things because they are noble. But it is also a business. It is rare to find a firm on the plaintiff side where you get to share in the success of the practice in the same way if your name is not on the door. I reached a point with my old firm where I wanted more. I had reached a point in my life where I wasn’t sitting around waiting for someone to give me what I wanted and what I deserved. I was going to go make it. After 10 years with one firm, I was recruited by another large plaintiff’s firm to start an asbestos practice – and I did. I started a successful one. But after two years of working for somebody else, starting a business, I realized that if I can start it for someone else, I can start it for myself. And so I did! I’ve not regretted it, not one day. There are days when I wonder where the next client is coming from, and there are days when I wonder where the next check is coming from. That is difficult; that is one of the challenges of being a business owner. But I would rather go through that challenge than be working on-call for someone else’s success.
Zinns Law is about to celebrate an anniversary. What accomplishments over the past year are you most proud of?
I’ve just hired my second full-time employee. She worked part-time in 2021 and I made her a full-time employee in 2022. She’s a wonderful addition to the firm. We’ve had some good settlements for our asbestos clients and for other firms we’ve been working with. It’s been a challenging start to the year because of Covid-19 and housing situations. I’m moving, one of my paralegals is also moving, and one of my other paralegal’s son has been really sick. I have lived up to the ideal that I set, which is “We are all human beings, and I’m going to treat my employees like human beings and not like robots.” We learned during Covid that we can work remotely and be successful. We’re still getting work done. We’re still sitting in front of our computers just like we would if we were in the office. I won’t treat my employees any differently than I would act myself. So, when they’ve got something going on, I’m living up to that. I’m not demanding, “Hey, put your family aside and get to the office,” and I’m proud of that. I am creating the kind of firm where human success is valued along with business success. I think that you really engender loyalty that way and can still run a profitable, successful business.
How are you active within the legal community?
For the past three years, I have served on the board of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association as a committee chair. I’m going to be co-chair of the education committee for GTLA this upcoming board year. I also serve on the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) as a representative for the women’s trial lawyer caucus. I strongly believe in the missions of GTLA and AAJ which are about education, lobbying, and networking. I’m also on the board of the Southern Trial Lawyers Association – which is a great group of lawyers. Everything about STLA is networking, camaraderie, and fun.
What do you see for the future of Zinns Law?
Although I continue to work on asbestos cases and specialize in that field, I have also branched out to other toxic torts, using my skill set to help those in need. I also know that the firm is going to be growing into different areas, as well. I feel like the future of the firm is something that’s still being figured out. But we’re definitely going to keep growing, and I think that’s a good thing! I want to see the firm have more people, eventually, and continue to serve the community. We have great partnerships with friends and co-counsel. I’ve done things like present to the VFW about legal issues that affect veterans. I just want us to continue being good members of the community, and keep helping people, and I don’t know what form that’s going to take in the future. But I think if we just keep being smart about the cases that we’re taking, and doing good service to our clients, then the opportunities will present themselves.
If you have a legal question for Sharon Zinns or the Zinns Law team, please reach out to us at (888) 882-9002 or via our online contact page. We’re always happy to help.