Abbott Law Firm, L.L.C.
2100 Morris Ave
Birmingham, AL 35203
(205) 338-7800 www.outlawyer.com
I was born in 1974 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. I was raised in Pell City, St. Clair County, Alabama. My father was an attorney and my mother worked in the District Attorney's office at the courthouse. After school, I hung out at my father's law office, or at the courthouse watching the day to day activities or a trial if I was lucky. These years made a direct impact on me.
I began playing drums in the sixth grade and developed a deep love for music. I'm by no means a "natural" when it comes to music - I worked and practiced as hard as I could to be good.
I was awarded a scholarship to the University of Alabama to play snare drum in the "Million Dollar Band," which I did during the 1992 football championship season. Deciding not to continue studies in Tuscaloosa, I returned to Huntsville and enrolled in John C. Calhoun Community College where I attended night classes and worked for a hardware and lumber company during the day. This was another great experience for me interacting with folks of all types. I saw folks being injured on the job first hand, and also witnessed the pain they struggled with trying to get back to work and fighting with insurance companies for compensation.
At the same time, I also worked part time whenever I could in my father's law office where I performed every task from clerk, to runner, to gopher, to driver, to file clerk to take out the trash man. It was invaluable experience seeing first-hand how a law office operated, and what was expected of an attorney.
Pretty soon, I had taken enough classes to graduate with an Associate's Degree from Calhoun, with honors. I moved to Auburn in 1995 and enrolled, again working various odd jobs as I could for extra money. I continued to play drums for various rock bands, but devoted more of my time to studies. In 1997, I graduated from Auburn with honors, receiving a bachelor's degree in history, with a minor in political science. I was accepted into the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and moved there the same year.
My first job as a "real" lawyer was at a large personal injury firm in Birmingham. It was hard, and I didn't have a lot of direction or guidance. As the "low man on the pole," I learned how to practice law the hard way - by getting my tail kicked all across the State of Alabama by very good and experienced insurance defense lawyers. But, I learned from those lawyers, always vowed never to make the same mistake twice and still managed to do a lot of good for a lot of folks. It was an experience I don't honestly know if I could go through again, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. It made me who I am today.
I left the large Birmingham law firm and went back to my home town of Pell City in 2002 to join a local law firm. My goal was to help the people of east central Alabama find justice when they had been wronged by others, and to make Alabama a better, safer place. After twelve years in Pell City, I believe I did that. I was fortunate enough to work on some very important and large cases that really put me and my legal ability on the map. In 2011, I opened my own law firm and moved it back to Birmingham closer to my home in 2014 where I currently live and practice today.
People ask me - "Where did the idea for the "Outlawyer" come from?" It developed from communication with my clients. I know that sounds strange, but my gift has always been communicating with folks in a way that makes them feel comfortable and relaxed. It's hard for a lot of people to warm up and open up to a stuffy lawyer. People do not naturally trust lawyers, and I get that. The key is to let folks know that you have more in common than not. I've always told clients that they could talk to me and tell me anything, because I understood being more of an "outlawyer" than I was a "lawyer." The clients liked it, and the phrase just stuck.
Eventually, I registered "The Outlawyer" for a United States Trademark in 2015 and decided to use it for a marketing campaign beginning 2016. Why not? What's wrong with setting yourself apart from all the other injury lawyers out there? Being my own boss, I decided to have some fun with my practice and "own" the trademark by letting my hair grow out and wearing a cowboy hat and boots to work to conform with the image. To be clear - I make no representation to be a "cowboy." I am not a cowboy. I am an "Outlawyer" - my horse does not have 4 legs - it is a white Ford F-150! The response from the public and clients has been great, and I'm having more fun practicing law now than I ever have. In this practice, I have learned that life is very short, so enjoying my trade while maintaining my individualism is key for my personal happiness.
Other afternoons, and especially during the summers, I worked in my grandparent's country store in Cropwell, Alabama. It was literally called "The Country Store." This was my first real experience interacting with folks of all types as I ran the cash register, bagged groceries, pumped gas, dipped minnows and stocked merchandise. This experience taught me the value of hard work and always treating folks how I wanted to be treated.
My family moved to Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama in 1987, and I graduated from Virgil I. Grissom High School in 1992. In high school, I maintained my commitment to drums and percussion and received many achievement and leadership awards. I always worked odd jobs during high school to gain experience in whatever I could interacting with people, and to earn extra gas money for my first car, a 1975 Chevy Camaro. I worked as an engraver, a driver and even a telemarketer.
In 1994, I shifted to day classes in Decatur, Alabama at the main campus for Calhoun Community College when I was offered a scholarship to play drums for the school's jazz band. I eventually moved to Decatur and got a job working week nights at a local lumber yard driving a forklift and loading lumber trucks for delivery. I also worked weekends in the lumber yard loading building materials for customers which was another invaluable experience interacting with folks of all types. I met some of the best musicians I've ever come across in Decatur, and my one-bedroom house on Grant Street soon became the place for local musicians to gather for playing loud music and drinking beer. I loved it. Neighbors and cops, not so much?
Lots of people complaint about the experience of law school, but, except for the exams, I enjoyed it. I wasn't the best student, so my grades were not as good as what I was used to. However, I focused hard on the areas of the law that I was interested in and knew I would eventually practice. I made lifelong friendships and met some of the most interesting folks from all across the country. I worked part time at different law firms during the school year and the summers to gain as much "hands on" experience as I could. Law school exposed me to the courtroom through mock trial competitions. I was fortunate enough to be part of several trial teams that won southeastern regional championships and a national championship in 2000. I was fortunate to try several cases as a third year law student through an internship with the Jefferson County District Attorney's office in Bessemer, Alabama. I was elected President of my law school class, and had the privilege of delivering a speech at graduation in May 2000. I took the Alabama Bar Exam in July 2000, and was sworn in later that fall.
It was during those years as a brand new lawyer that I really needed a hobby and some form of constructive stress relief from the long hours. I wasn't playing drums like I wanted to, and golf just wasn't doing it for me when I was fortunate enough to get some spare time. I tried boxing, but gave that up after a few months and significant pain. Then, a friend took me turkey hunting, and then an uncle took me deer hunting the same year. That was it. I grew up fishing, but never had any experience with hunting the great outdoors until my late 20's. I've tried hard to catch up on experience, and I would say I'm an OK hunter. It's hard for me to sit still, so waiting patiently for a buck or a turkey is not my strong point. Any type of wing shooting and shot gunning is probably my favorite. My goal is to cook and consume everything harvested - unless it's a nasty critter or predator.
In 2007, my son was born, and my daughter followed in 2011. They mean the world to me. I have a cool ex-wife, and a smoking hot girlfriend. My life is good.
When meeting with client, I'm often told "you sure don't talk and act like a lawyer." I certainly take that as a compliment, especially in today's world. You can talk to me like your neighbor. I am just like my clients - I just happen to have a law degree. So, call me and let's talk about your case. If there's a way I can help you, I will?