Ken Thayer Podcast with guest Thomas Prol (1)

Ken Thayer Interview Thomas Prol

In this week’s episode of Attorney Talk, Ken Thayer interviews Thomas Prol who is an attorney and partner with Laddey, Clark & Ryan in Sparta, New Jersey. Tom’s concentration in his legal work is in environmental law public entity representation, business litigation and government services. He is the vice president in the New Jersey Bar Association and president-elect.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What is environmental law public entity representation?
  • As an attorney, is it your job to make sure your clients are being compliant with the EPA rules?
  • Did you have a proper educational background in environmental sciences, or is this something you got into as you progressed through college and got into law school?
  • How did you like your time as an adjunct?
  • Talk about the New Jersey anti-bullying bill of rights that was drafted.
  • What is a state bar association, and what are some of the duties and responsibilities of the officers of that bar association?
  • What got you personally involved in the bar association to the point where you are now the president-elect?C
  • Come next year when you take the mantle of the presidency, what are some of your issues that are going to be important and addressed by the association?
  • What is the biggest misconception non-lawyers have about lawyers and the legal profession in general?

Key Lessons Learned:

  • A lot of attorneys get tripped up on wanting to sound smart, but the reality is that people want to know information in simple terms.
  • Clients are making major life decisions on the opinion or information provided by attorneys, so people want huge, complicated concepts broken down and simplified into core essentials.
  • Law students also learn a lot better when concepts are broken down into digestible information chunks.
  • Legal writing is unlike creative writing or any other writing, and is a way of presenting a coherent persuasive argument.
  • A lot of college students have difficulty going from college into law school and learning how to write like a lawyer.
  • The state bar is a trade organization for attorneys that is also a voice of reason and council to legislative bodies on various laws. At the heart, it is about defending the constitution.
  • A lot of younger attorneys are becoming very adversarial, which is due to a combination of factors including the different generation, mindset, and competitive nature of the job market.
  • Many people perceive attorneys are out for their own interests and looking to make a buck or work over a client.
    Attorneys in general are passionate about helping and advocating for their clients and getting them over the goal line.
  • Attorneys hold the key to the courthouse door, do fundamentally important work for our democracy, and help our society become and achieve the more perfect union that is in our constitution.
  • When you are a good attorney, you are helping someone achieve a success or make a decision where it is going to change the trajectory of their life.

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Links to Resources Mentioned


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Thomas Prol is the president elect of the New Jersey Bar Assoc. Hear his story @laddeyclarkryan @gaylordpoppllc

Interested in environmental law? Find out what it’s like with Thomas Prol @laddeyclarkryan @gaylordpoppllc

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