Small Law Lifestyle: Robert Way

October 12, 2011

Our featured attorney, Robert Way, has the martial arts skills of a Navy Seal, and still balances life as a family man, former professional violinist, and Estate Planning attorney.  Check out more interesting details about Robert’s niche legal practice, his hobby, and how he sums up WestlawNext.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO PRACTICING  LAW?

This goes back to when I was 23 years old playing as a professional violinist.  I organized a 20-piece orchestra that did 1960s Jamaican music.  We recorded 24 songs in six days, and started negotiations with a major producer for a record deal, but things fell through because I got stuck on a contract.  At that point I wanted to learn more about law, so I went to law school.

WHAT TYPE OF LAW DO YOU PRACTICE?

I do Estate Planning and Elder Law.  You could say I am a boutique firm because I only do Estates, Trusts, and Probate, and then I do some corporate work.  One of the main things that I do in my Estate Planning practice is very niche. I do a lot of Catholic Estate Planning working closely with churches and the diocese.  That includes pro life concepts for end of life documents, healthcare powers of attorneys, mental healthcare powers, living wills, and drafting documents.  It allows my clients to make a declaration of their faith and put what they believe into legal documents, to live it out accordingly.

It’s hard because you have to have a gentle, charitable approach and not everybody believes the same thing.  Sometimes what they do believe may have a skewed view.  You have to present it as “this is how the church does it, this is how the church teaches it, and these are the reasons.”  Of course the lawyer can never force someone to do something they do not want to do, but you also have to present both sides.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR MARTIAL ARTS HOBBY?

I started martial arts when I was ten years old.  Since then I have been certified with a Masters degree by the International Shou Shu Association and now run a private school.  I teach people on a one-on-one basis, and only if I know they have a good intent because what I teach is not something that every guy on the street needs to know.  I have taught many former students who were federal agents, border patrol customs, and ICE.  Some of my students have gone on to teach the Navy Seals.  In fact, one student in particular was on a boat with some friends who were divers, but he didn’t know they were Navy Seals.  They started sparring on the back of the boat and he ended up easily controlling the commanding Officer in a match.  The Officer’s response was, “You need to train us.”

SHOU SHU…WHAT’S THAT?!

It means beast ways or animal art.  It is the term for seven different martialarts styles when they are used together as taught and preserved by the International Shou Shu Association a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  When each style is used separately, they are called by their animal name.

What do you have to say about WestlawNext?

I started using WestlawNext awhile ago.  Quite frankly, it’s just a lot easier.

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