By Christopher Benson on March 31, 2021
For the past 25 years, Johnny Hawkins and his hand-picked team of results-oriented legal professionals and paraprofessionals have been helping primarily, members of the Metro-Detroit area with very serious and oftentimes catastrophic personal injury matters, serious automobile-related accidents, and extremely egregious police brutality representation, in the courts, both within the entire State of Michigan as well as in federal courts across the country.
“What makes my firm different is that we provide each client with the highest level of respect, compassion, and professional comforts, as they prepare to embark upon going through a very difficult and challenging legal proceeding, something that is totally unfamiliar to most. We offer each client the level of professionalism, trust, and protection that they truly come to appreciate as they go through the extremely intimidating, difficult, complex, and oftentimes highly stressful legal process after having sustained a serious and life-changing bodily injury. The wheels of justice oftentimes turn very slow and so it takes true patience on the part of each client, and a reliable and trusted legal team on your side to help get them through the entire process. The distinction that I’m most proud of as a legal practitioner, is that I genuinely care for each of my clients; and it’s never just about winning big for me or my team, but instead is about providing exceptional legal service, all the way through, from start to finish. So by the time that a client’s claim or case is resolved by my staff and me, the client is generally quite pleased that their legal matter is finally resolved and over, but they also feel that they’ve earned a new and trusted friend. That’s me in a nutshell.”
Johnny, who is married with 3 adult sons, is the founder and sole owner of the Law Office of J L Hawkins PLLC, and a proud, born, raised, and educated Southeastern Michigan native. Admittedly, he’s also a big Raiders fan and a martial artist and music enthusiast.
Johnny is what we like to call a Local Biz Hero, a self-made entrepreneur who brings true value to his community. It is the high standards of excellence, professionalism, and strong work ethics of small business owners like Johnny which make up the infrastructure of the best in the law practitioner economy.
Every dollar that Johnny makes goes back to supporting the local business ecosystem and the community as the Law Office of J L Hawkins PLLC supports the American Heart Association together with many other charities, as well as actively participates in both short and long-term philanthropic work in support of the homeless and the hungry.
We sat down with Johnny for a quick interview –
Why do you do what you do?
“As a minority (i.e. African-American or Black man), while growing up in a small suburb outside of the City of Detroit, Michigan, I experienced a lot of encounters with law enforcement personnel and with unfair treatment. I despised the experiences that I had to endure while growing up and so after I got out of the military in 1987, and then finished with my undergrad degree in Business School at Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan, in 1992, because I’m a protector by nature, and was the oldest child, I felt it’s important that I consider law as a profession. Why? So that I might help by giving back to those that found themselves in similar positions or settings such as the one that I grew up in. I figured that providing a valuable service such as law to members of the general public, as a legal practitioner instead of ultimately working behind a desk in a Fortune 500 company, would be a much better way for me to serve as well as set an example, give back, and most importantly, possibly help make a noticeable difference within my own community and abroad.”
What is one of the most significant events that ever happened to you?
“I’d have to say that the death of my mother, Siritha Marie, in 1984, when I was only 19 years of age, was the most significant and tragic event in my life. I was only 19 years old, and I was away on active duty in the U.S. military at the time, and my mother, who was my best friend, greatest encourager, confidant, and cheerleader was at home in Michigan, dying of breast cancer. She ultimately passed away at the age of 36. I was devastated. So sure, as her oldest child, I was grateful that she had raised me well by the time I had turned 19, but I still felt alone and depressed when she made her transition. And so at some point after her death, I committed, for the rest of my life, to carry on her legacy, by attempting to do and take on everything with honor, courage, and excellence, both the good and the bad; no matter what. But then following the death of my mother in the Fall of 1984, I was blessed with the birth of my firstborn son in the Fall of 1989. After 1989, I was totally committed to living for my mom and for my children. I knew in my heart, that they, either in spirit or while here with me in physical form, would give me all of the energy and willpower that was required and that I needed to then matriculate successfully through a small junior college and unto a senior college; and finally to law school at Michigan State University’s College of Law, where after graduating, I then was able to pass the bar exam on my first attempt. ”
Currently, Johnny is a member of the National Trial Lawyers-Top 100 Trial Lawyers; The National Black Lawyers-Top 100; a Barrister, Order of Centurions: Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society. Johnny has also secured: the coveted 2019-Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent-Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence designation; been awarded 10-Best Attorneys by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys from 2016-2020; been included in The Global Directory of Who’s Who-Top Lawyers, and The Continental Who’s Who Registry of National Business Leaders. Additionally, Johnny has been listed as an Expert Network Distinguished Lawyer; become a Lifetime Member of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association, and was included within The 2016 Lawyers of Distinction or 10% Best Attorneys in North America; Best Attorneys of America-Lifetime Charter Member, and an Avvo-Pro/Superb Attorney Honoree.
Being a lawyer Johnny works directly with all sorts of people, so we asked him what was one of the most unusual situations that ever happened to him on the job?
“For me, in answering this question, I’d prefer to restate the question as “one of the saddest encounters” versus the most unusual. So with that, I’d have to say hands down, the saddest work that I used to do was when I did criminal defense work, and seeing the vast number of innocent young men of color being excessively charged, convicted, and then sentenced to many, many years of imprisonment and having their best years, their youth, totally taken away from them. That hurt me so much that I decided to change my area of practice. I just couldn’t take seeing this occur every day and pretend that it was no big deal. For me, it was a huge deal.”
If you could share one tip with the readers for choosing a Personal Injury Attorney, what would it be?
“I’d have to say to the reader, don’t just go with the person that’s the most famous, most popular, or the one that’s seen the most regularly on your television; nor the ones claiming on television, over-and-over, that they win big. Instead, I’d suggest they go with the person that after they’ve had an opportunity to speak with their potential lawyer over-the-phone or possibly face-to-face, they truly feel in their heart that person will fight the best for them; and after speaking with the lawyer, they can say with a degree of confidence, that they feel in their gut, that the person seems to be one that can be trusted to always have their best interest, which generally entails hiring a person who is stating that they will big win. Why? Because in being a great Personal Injury Attorney, it’s more about taking really good care of a person and their particular legal matter: treating them as you’d want and expect to be treated: and making sure that ultimately, the client, gets what they deserve, especially after having been involved in a very serious accident. In summary, good or great lawyering is not all about being the most popular or most known: it’s really more about providing an individual with a level of respect, quality service, and being someone that’s genuinely empathetic.”
If you’re into quality service, and you want a person that you can depend on from start to finish, who is going to have your back, and fight all the way through, Johnny and his law firm, The Law Office of J L Hawkins, PLLC should be your first choice. The Law Office of J L Hawkins, PLLC also makes it a point, whenever possible, to support our troops with some pro bono work and in providing special discounts. So make your first call count. Just Call Johnny, Johnny Hawkins-The Warrior Lawyer at 1-855-8WARRIOR or 1-248-567-9990.
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