Tom Economy, Attorney
November marked a special milestone for the firm — attorney Tom Economy’s 4-year anniversary with Christensen Law. Since passing the bar in December 1999, Tom has amassed an impressive record over his 21-year career. Early on, he was one of the youngest attorneys ever to try cases before the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, with numerous appellate wins at the Michigan Court of Appeals.
On Joining CL
Tom joined Christensen Law as a seasoned trial lawyer with nearly two decades of experience of helping injured victims with an emphasis on automobile and trucking negligence, no-fault insurance, and child lead poisoning.
“I knew Dave by reputation,” says Tom, on discussing how he came to work for Christensen Law. “He is highly respected as a skilled trial lawyer and known as someone with a good heart.” In Tom’s view, Dave’s orbit is incredibly positive and supportive, which fosters a highly engaged culture at the office. “That starts at the top. I feel privileged to work here; the people I work with are top-tier.”
The area of injury litigation is stressful, involving long hours of preparation and never-ending deadlines. But these difficulties pale in comparison to what our clients have been through, which in addition to pain, often involves the loss of their independence and dignity. An empathetic litigator, Tom understands the necessity of connecting on a human level. In law school, he recalls, “They teach us to detach emotion from our cases, but I cannot be a good lawyer if I’m not emotionally invested.” PI can be a grind, he says, but he can’t imagine practicing any other form of law. “There is nothing more rewarding both personally and professionally, than using my skills to help someone who desperately needs someone to fight for them.”
Tom enjoys building long-term relationships based on trust. Known to give his clients his personal cell phone number, he makes himself completely available from the very outset. “Christensen Law is known for being accessible to our clients and taking the time to listen. People usually have no idea of what is ahead, or what will come next. My first focus is to educate them on the process, to both ease stress and explain potential case outcomes and timelines.”
He believes there is a significant amount of creativity necessary in litigation, but not at the expense of authenticity. Driven by altruism, Tom feels it is less about being a lawyer than being an effective communicator. To get to the essence of what the jury needs to hear, you must be adept at persuasion, well prepared, flexible, and able to adapt.
The satisfaction of having done everything that he can makes it worthwhile, he says. Even the smallest case can have a huge impact on job satisfaction. “It is all about the people, not the numbers.”
Intellectually curious, Tom is an information addict, and enjoys reading all genres. The same applies to music. With eclectic tastes running from jazz and EDM to rock-n-roll, hip hop, and country, he equally enjoys the Beatles, Waylon Jennings, Mozart, Miles Davis, and Freddie Mercury. “Why limit yourself,” is his creed when it comes to expanding one’s horizons.
He also enjoys travel and history, combing both on family trips. A memorable recent journey was to Greece, where he still has relatives. The Economys visited Athens, Paros, Santorini, and especially enjoyed Rhodes, a beautiful island in the Aegean Sea. “Anywhere with architecture, museums, water, and the sun is good for me,” says Tom.
A former football (Michigan) fanatic, his love of sports is now more focused on those his kids enjoy. “Football used to be a very large part of my life, ever since childhood,” Tom recalls. But the current pandemic has given him a new perspective. “Covid has made me realize that some stuff just isn’t as important as we once thought it was.”
“You have to really love what you’re doing,” says Tom. “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my career.”