In May, Matt Parsons of Stoll Keenon Ogden was named the Fayette County Bar Association’s 2017 Outstanding Young Lawyer.
The award recognizes an FCBA member who has practiced in Fayette County for less than 10 years, fulfilled an attorney’s duties to the court, clients and community, and shown dedication to the justice system through community involvement.
“It was a complete surprise,” said Parsons, 37. “It was a very great honor, and I was very grateful. I was nominated by Gene Vance, who’s been a great mentor for me at this firm, and I was certainly humbled.”
Parsons focuses his practice on civil litigation, particularly in the areas of business litigation, products liability and warranty defense, insurance defense, and employee benefits litigation.
Parsons is past president of the FCBA Young Lawyers Section and previously served on the boards of directors of the FBCA and the Fayette County Bar Foundation. He is a volunteer instructor with Junior Achievement and leads fundraising efforts for God’s Pantry Food Bank and other charities.
He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law and holds a computer information systems bachelor’s from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
We asked the young attorney about his experience practicing law.
TLR: Why did you choose this profession?
MP: It was an opportunity to go into a field that presents challenging work and a continued opportunity for a lifetime of learning. There’re people who are very experienced in this field who still say they are learning new things every day. Also it’s an opportunity to help people and businesses solve problems.
TLR: What do younger attorneys do differently than the veterans?
MP: This is not unique to the legal profession, but technology has changed the way that we practice, and I think that is most acutely felt when you’re a younger attorney. We tend to be more reliant on technology and use it more in our day-to-day practice.
TLR: How have you set yourself apart in the legal world?
MP: I think for one I actually was in IT for a career before I went back to law school, and that has been really useful for me. And being civic minded and engaged in the community is something I’m passionate about. It’s really important to be well rounded and focus on both your professional obligations and community obligations.
TLR: What advice would you give people considering law school?
MP: Look at it as a financial proposition. Understand the loans you’re going to take out and the debt you may get into, and how that may compare to your current situation. And contact a career services office at whatever graduate school they’ll be at to find out their placement rates and salary ranges.