I do workers’ compensation, and I have since Day 1 at Joye Law Firm. We help people who have been hurt on the job. Typically, the person has been hurt and has tried to go forward on his or her own. Then they hit some sort of roadblock, whether it is medical bills not being paid or not getting weekly benefits.
The typical person is someone who does physical labor. When they get hurt, that has a big impact on their future. They may not know whether they’ll be able to go back and do that kind of work again. If a pharmacist hurts a rotator cuff, it’s not that big of a deal. But if a construction worker tears a rotator cuff, it can be a life-changing event. That’s when those workers come to us. We help them on those areas they are stuck on, whether it’s medical benefits or finances.
My dad was a teacher and a coach my whole life. My mom was a nurse. I was always around my parents as they were helping people. Taking care of others is what I grew up with. As a lawyer, it’s very gratifying to use what my parents taught me in a completely different aspect of life.
I played soccer for 30 years but, unfortunately, I tore my ACL in an adult league. I ended up have three knee surgeries and a back surgery. Strangely, those medical events have been helpful at work. I’ve been able to understand a lot of the things my clients go through because I have also been through those surgeries and recoveries and therapy. It’s great to say, “I’ve been through this, are you having this pain?” or “You’re going to be dealing with this.” My physical injuries have been an unexpected perk.
I’ve played sports and I’ve been on teams my whole life. And I watched my dad as a coach. It’s important to grow up and learn sportsmanship. It’s important to be a good teammate with clients and coworkers. I try to make all my clients understand that we are part of a team. It’s not just me. There are paralegals and the law firm’s staff, and they are all super important. We have each other’s back. We are a team.
"Pat and his staff were very professional and I truly appreciate their knowledge and assistance in making this process a smooth one. My family and I definitely would recommend this firm to our friends and colleagues."
My grandfather went to law school after World War II, but he was never able to pass the Bar, so he was never a practicing attorney. It was one of the greatest moments of my life being able to tell him that I’d passed.
When a client first comes into my office, the most important thing that I do is listen. I let them get out their story and talk about the problems and issues they are having. I let them know that a person is listening to them, has heard what they said and is going to work to fix the problems they are having. You obviously can’t fix everything. I let them know that some of these issues we can take care of, and some of these we can’t. I’m honest right up front, and I set expectations.
I always walk my clients to the front door of my office. I try to leave them with a smile or a laugh, so that they walk away feeling that they don’t have to be scared and worried. I don’t like wearing a suit and tie. People feel more comfortable when they’re relaxed, and they talk more when they are relaxed.
The genuine smile I sometimes get when the case is resolved goes a long way. It’s a satisfying feeling. Clients have taught me not to judge a book by its cover, to be patient and to be listening even more than I think I should be. I always try to dig a little deeper so that clients realize this is a person who cares. I take what I’ve learned from one client and use it on the next one. That can make a big difference.
A native of Maryland, Pat Jennings attended Clemson University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in economics and a minor in legal studies in 2003. He received his Juris Doctorate in 2005 from the Florida Coastal School of Law. He won the Pro Bono Award from the law school for Community Legal Service.
Pat joined Joye Law Firm in 2007. He works in Joye Law Firm’s Workers’ Compensation Department, where he has represented hundreds of injured workers.
Pat is a member of the Injured Workers’ Advocates and has served on that group’s Executive Committee and the Continuing Legal Education Committee. Patrick is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Charleston County Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar Association and the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association.
Among his honors, Patrick has been recognized since 2018 by The Best Lawyers in America for Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs and Workers’ Compensation Law-Claimants. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyers’ Rising Star since 2016. He gained this recognition through professional achievement, peer recognition and other distinguishing criteria. Pat has enjoyed a 10.0 Avvo rating from 2017 to the present and was presented with the Avvo Client’s Choice Award in 2019.
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