IB Member Spotlight: Frederick Schenk

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Frederick Schenk
Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield LLP
San Diego, CA

5 Fast Facts: 

Favorite sports team. College: UCLA. Professional: San Diego Padres and New York Yankees

Where can we find you on the weekend? You can find me with my 14-year-old daughter at her dance lessons. After that, I enjoy walking in Del Mar (Calif.) along the beach.

Inspirational person. My father. He was a Holocaust survivor and Hungarian immigrant who worked his entire life as a tailor. He had a strong work ethic and was dedicated to his family. He always worked hard and was a kind and gentle man. His will and determination to survive great hardship has always been my greatest inspiration.

Favorite book/magazine or blog. Anything by John Grisham and I enjoy reading political news, financial and sports magazines and blogs.

Advice for young law students. Growing up, I didn’t have the opportunity to witness lawyers do their work and do it well. Today’s students should take advantage of the opportunity to sit second chair, make mistakes and learn from them. Get over to the courthouse and observe both civil and criminal trials and ask questions during breaks. I also always recommend getting involved with state and local TLAs.

 

You have been with CaseyGerry for 32 years now. What initially drove you to become a trial lawyer?

FS:  I’ve always loved being an advocate dating back to my experiences on the high school and UCLA intercollegiate debate teams. Although I was a communications major, I cannot remember a time in my life where I didn’t want to become a lawyer. I had dreams of being in the courtroom. Today, I can say my favorite part of the profession is waking up in the morning and knowing that I have the opportunity to make a positive change in the lives of our clients.

What are you passionate about?

FS:  For the last 35 years, I have felt extremely passionate about helping to resolve my client’s legal needs and making a difference in their lives. I am also passionate about my community service work. Currently, I am president of the 22nd District Agricultural Association also known as The San Diego County Fair. In 2011, I was appointed to the nine-person fair board by Gov. Jerry Brown, and was then elected president by my fellow board members in 2013. Each board member serves as a volunteer and together we host the month-long summer fair that runs from June 5-July 5.

Approximately 1.5 million people attend annually and it is the fourth-largest fair in the United States. We take an innovative approach to give our kids from San Diego the opportunity to experience the fair through as many entertainingand educational programs as possible. It is important for us to teach our youth the benefits of a healthy diet, proper environmental and agricultural practices, and the importance of treating animals with integrity. The fair is the biggest event in San Diego during the summer and I’m proud I have the opportunity to  help put it together.

How has technology changed the legal industry? Do you see social media as a valuable tool for law firms?

FS: In 1996, there were no other law firms in San Diego that had a website. I approached my partners and said, “We need to get on the Internet.” I will never forget when one of my partners said, “What do we need to be on the Internet for? We are in the ‘Yellow Pages’.”  I battled and convinced them we needed to adapt and we became one of the first firms in California with a web presence. Fast-forward to today, I spend as much time much texting and emailing with clients as I do on the phone.   I am excited about how technologically productive we have become in our own work and see social media as an integral part of the future of law practices.

Like other IB members, you’re very involved in your local community. Can you tell us a little bit about why community involvement and is important for trial lawyers?

FS: It is important for those that have been blessed in our profession to help bring safety and education to not just our clients, but the people that live and work within our communities. We must continue reach out to make sure our neighbors all have the benefit of our knowledge to ensure the community is healthy. It is our duty to make this world a better place for our children that will be our successors.

How has IB been of value to your firm?

FS: The greatest value is the camaraderie. I enjoy connecting with IB members both online as well as in person. Our membership has the unified trust to share valuable information and the values of the group are unlike any other. It is also beneficial to know that there is always an IB member or employee that can help me out with whatever our firm needs.

If you would like to be featured in an IB member spotlight, please contact Braden Kowalski at bkowalski@injuryboard.org.

 

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