Written by: Laura E. Cutbirth | Photography by: Chris Alley
The attorney who cares… No Really! Meet Ms. Mital D. Patel
Mital, a mom of 2 littles, prides herself in her zealous and individualized representation of her clients. “The greatest reward to being an attorney is recognized in those moments when you see your client after a resolution is reached with their legal problems. You realize that what you have done for them during what is often their most difficult time has not just been another job for me, but has profoundly effected someones future, their family and/or their business. And it is when that resolution brings them peace and clarity that I am reminded why I chose to practice law. “
To whom much is given, much is expected. This is the life motto 35-year-old attorney, Mital Patel, lives and works by.
Ms. Patel had aspirations at a young age of becoming an attorney. Closely following her father’s every business move, she learned quickly the value of knowledge, and the burden of being entrusted with it.
Mital grew up in the UK, but soon moved to the U.S. at age 12. She received her B.A. from The University of Mississippi in 2004, and earned her J.D. from The University of Mississippi School of Law in 2007. In just one year, she made partner at General Knox Law, P.C. (fka Hyman, Carter & Patel, PLLC). With honors and excellency, prestige would appear to be the top agenda of this resume, but her priority was clearly marked by something greater. She knew she wanted to be an attorney, but knew that her approach would look very different.
Starting out, Ms. Patel was faced with the intimidation of tenured colleagues, and what was previously a predominately male field. It may not have been the reality of her work environment, but Ms. Patel recalls on several occasions feeling the pressure of performance up against the attorneys boasting more years in practice of law. In retrospect, Mital sees that her fears were insecurities, and that her concerns were not ill founded, but rather misperceived. She soon stood in the confidence that she had earned her right of passage and that the years in the practice of law did not necessarily translate to a better interpretation or application of the law. Thorough research, preparation and understanding of the facts as well as the law, has been the key to providing effective representation for her.
Mital’s passion is to not only to provide clients the legal direction they needed, but also peace of mind by taking time to fully explain issues at hand. One of the greatest things that brings her pride, is when a client says, “oh I didn’t know that.” Education and knowledge are power, and Mital knows that while she provides clients with the legal application of their issue, she also brings a personal touch to the conversation. Ms. Patel has set herself apart from other attorneys by making sure that her clients know that she is there for them. She wants clients to feel that they are getting her undivided attention, and that they are not there to provide her a paycheck.
Since Ms. Patel began practicing law, the initial consultation with an individual has always been treated as an opportunity to educate and allow sound decision making with how to proceed with legal matters. In more recent years, Ms. Patel has had numerous requests and opportunities to take this educational approach to a much larger audience by presenting at Estate and Trust planning seminars, Parenting Classes, discussing Fathers Rights to groups of young men and lecturing on various legal issues with groups of other professionals in community. Ms. Patel has made it a personal goal to continue to contribute more of her time and resources to educating the community and arming individuals with the knowledge they need to make sound decisions for themselves, their families and/or their businesses.
To establish this trust, Ms. Patel offers a flat rate billing structure for most cases. This way, there is not a surprise invoice arriving at the end of a long fight through the judicial system, whether victorious or not, just seems to suck the life right out of unsuspecting client. Although hourly rates are also discussed with clients, most opt for the flat rate billing structure so they can avoid time clocks ticking in the background, making her clients feel that less is more, because time is money. Mital understands that by allowing time for conversation, sometimes the most significant details are discovered. Ms. Patel has seen one too many cases lost over not enough time spent discussing details of the case because clients deemed them irrelevant or insignificant for time purposes.
In stride with her work ethic, Ms. Patel’s lead motivation for work are her two children. Milana, 6, and Deven 8. They are her reason for being. She realized that perhaps their little eyes were greater judges and determiners of her success than any jury or judge in a courtroom.
Along with being a mother, Mital serves in several other capacities. She is one of 50 women in Knoxville to serve on the Woman’s Coalition Against Cancer. She also teaches Junior Achievement classes for youth regarding business, careers, trade, voting, working, and money management. Mital enjoys spending her free time exploring and experimenting with healthy eating options along with fitness related activities. She has been able to enjoy and share these interests with a Fitness Challenge group she started this year that now boasts 25 other strong and successful women. “Reaching a goal or living your best life alone is doable, but try it with a tribe of other successful, positive women and it is a game changer.” Ms. Patel’s practice areas are: Business Law, Estate Planning and Trust, Family Law, Probate Law, Civil Litigation and Appellate practice.
Her dedication to serving her clients as well as Knoxville, is what has made her standout as the attorney with heart.