Insight

For Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey, the Focus Is on Quality over Quantity

Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey on the firm's formula for success.

Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey
GL

Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey

October 23, 2017 12:03 PM

Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey (GJELL) has a formula for success: it involves scrupulously vetting potential cases. The purpose is twofold, according to partner Andy Gillin, “It is our constant goal to keep our caseloads low in general and to see to it that those cases we do accept are uniquely suited to our skill set.”

By keeping its caseloads extremely low and by seeing to it that the cases it does accept are those that are suited to the GJELL approach, the firm brings enormous focus and intensity to each case it accepts. That is not to say that the firm ever turns down a case just because it is difficult.

To the contrary; GJELL is known for record-breaking verdicts in cases that have been turned down by other firms.

A substantial amount of time is spent getting to know the potential plaintiff.

“Not only does the case have to be ‘right,’ but the chemistry with the client has to be right,” says Gillin. Once those two factors lock in, hard work and creativity start to flow.

“We are a fortunate bunch of lawyers.

We get to do something that we believe in, for people we believe in.

It makes for a rewarding career,” says Gillin.

Finally, a lower than normal caseload also allows more time for pro bono work and public service. Every summer GJELL hosts its “Introduction to Careers in Law.” High school students from around the Bay Area are invited to the firm to spend a week receiving extensive, in-depth exposure to a law firm culture.

This will be Luke Ellis’s 16th year coaching the award-winning Mock Trial Team at Miramonte High School in Orinda. In spite of a full trial calendar handling catastrophic injury cases, Ellis makes time teaching basic rules of evidence and procedure to the students and honing his teams to compete with other high schools from around the county and the state in the annual mock trial competition.

“It’s hard work, but well worth it,” says Ellis. “Being with these kids as they come alive with the law and develop critical thinking skills is truly special.”

For decades GJELL has operated programs that offer good paying entry-level jobs to college graduates who are between college and law school. The firm employs two to four interns at all times. These interns typically work several years in the firm, and GJELL partners mentor these interns, helping them to matriculate to the best law schools around the country. More than 20 of these former GJELL interns are now practicing attorneys at places as diverse as California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) to big law firms around the country.

According to managing partner Andy Gillin, “We all began our careers in public service and are grateful for the mentoring we were given along the way. We want to pass something on to the next generation, particularly to kids who otherwise might not have an opportunity to be exposed to the many job opportunities in the legal system.”

Related Articles

Billy N. Jones - Georgia 2020 Lawyer of the Year


by Best Lawyers

Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs Savannah, GA

Billy N. Jones

Maintaining a Legacy


by Best Lawyers

Ben Zimmerman and the SUGARMAN team carry on the tradition of excellence at the storied plaintiffs' law firm.

SUGARMAN Lawyers on Their Trial Strategy

IN PARTNERSHIP

Results That Make a Difference


by John Fields

Thomas Moore and Judith Livingston continue to secure some of the largest verdicts in New York state for their injured clients.

Male and female lawyer in blue suits

IN PARTNERSHIP

Consequential Cases, Life-Changing Results


by John Fields

Best Lawyers honoree David Perecman on his firm’s commitment to helping the seriously injured.

Headshot of man in light blue suit standing outside

IN PARTNERSHIP

2022: Another Banner Year


by John Fields

Block O’Toole & Murphy continues to secure some of New York’s highest results for personal injury matters.

Three men in business suits standing in office

Fighting for Florida


by Justin Smulison

Three-time “Lawyer Of The Year”* Steve Yerrid reflects on how South Florida was the setting for some of his most memorable trials.

Headshot of man with dark suit and red tie outside in front of fountain

A Roadmap for Safety in D.C.


by Justin Smulison

Three-time “Lawyer of The Year” Patrick Regan explains how we can protect cyclists from injury and the city from more litigation.

Several lawyers sitting and standing in a group in office

Protecting Small Business Owners: Trial Experts Connick Law LLC Notoriously Successful with Fire Litigation


by Justin Smulison

When small business owners become the target of insurance companies in fire-related lawsuits, hiring a firm with a reputation for understanding the science of fire suppression trials can save their livelihoods.

Gold Indoor Sprinkler Heads on Red Background

Unwavering Dedication to Clients


by Best Lawyers

Trial attorneys Michael Lyons and Chris Simmons find motivation when the result means everything.

Trial Attorneys at Lyons & Simmons

Dan Sciano Renaissance Lawyer


by Justin Smulison

Tinsman & Sciano recently celebrated 50 years as greater San Antonio’s leading trial law firm for civil litigation and personal injury. Daniel J.T. Sciano obtained judgments for his clients in both Federal and State courthouses in 2021. A trial lawyer with many talents and diverse knowledge of the law.

Tinsman & Sciano Celebrates 50

Texas' Best Lawyers 2022


by Best Lawyers

Our Texas' Best Lawyers 2022 publication features top-ranked legal talent in Texas.

Texas' Best Lawyers 2022

Aim High and Fly


by Khalil Abdullah

From a silent victim of hometown segregation to Air Force captain and lawyer of consummate skill, Karen Evans exemplifies leadership—and vows always to help those who seek to follow her path.

Karen Evans' Leadership in the Airforce

Kelley|Uustal: A Firm Like No Other


by Kelley|Uustal

Florida firm Kelley|Uustal navigates the importance of client representation and the hard-fought personal injury battles that the firm has taken on over the years.

Catastrophic Injury and Wrongful Death Firm

Will Recent Boeing Settlements Create Tailwinds In Corporate Law?


by Justin Smulison

Prominent litigation against Boeing is setting a precedent of accountability, professionalism and commitment among company boards as well as ushering ESG further into the courtroom to help monitor and prevent safety issues.

Recent Boeing Settlements and Corporate Law

New England's Best Lawyers 2022


by Best Lawyers

Our New England's Best Lawyers 2022 publication features top-ranked legal talent in New England.

New England's Best Lawyers 2022

Mind Matters: The Importance of Diagnosing TBIs in PI Cases


by Bobby Saadian

Many lawyers fail to identify and diagnose traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in personal injury disputes. But it can be critical to your case—and render any potential settlement or award far more advantageous for your client.

Representing Traumatic Brain Injury Clients

Trending Articles

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in America Honorees


by Best Lawyers

Only the top 5.3% of all practicing lawyers in the U.S. were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Gold strings and dots connecting to form US map

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2023


by Best Lawyers

The third edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ highlights the legal talent of lawyers who have been in practice less than 10 years.

Three arrows made of lines and dots on blue background

The Best Lawyers in South Africa™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers proudly announces lawyers recognized in South Africa for 2023.

South African flag

Could Reign Supreme End with the Queen?


by Sara Collin

Canada is revisiting the notion of abolishing the monarchy after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, but many Canadians and lawmakers are questioning if Canada could, should and would follow through.

Teacup on saucer over image of Queen's eye

IN PARTNERSHIP

2022: Another Banner Year


by John Fields

Block O’Toole & Murphy continues to secure some of New York’s highest results for personal injury matters.

Three men in business suits standing in office

Famous Songs Unprotected by Copyright Could Mean Royalties for Some


by Michael B. Fein

A guide to navigating copyright claims on famous songs.

Can I Sing "Happy Birthday" in Public?

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in Canada Honorees


by Best Lawyers

The Best Lawyers in Canada™ is entering its 17th edition for 2023. We highlight the elite lawyers awarded this year.

Red map of Canada with white lines and dots

Wage and Overtime Laws for Truck Drivers


by Greg Mansell

For truck drivers nationwide, underpayment and overtime violations are just the beginning of a long list of problems. Below we explore the wages you are entitled to but may not be receiving.

Truck Driver Wage and Overtime Laws in the US

What the Courts Say About Recording in the Classroom


by Christina Henagen Peer and Peter Zawadski

Students and parents are increasingly asking to use audio devices to record what's being said in the classroom. But is it legal? A recent ruling offer gives the answer to a question confusing parents and administrators alike.

Is It Legal for Students to Record Teachers?

Thirteen Years of Excellence


by Best Lawyers

For the 13th consecutive year, “Best Law Firms” has awarded the most elite and talented law firms across the country through a thorough and trusted data review process.

Red, white and blue pipes and writing on black background

The Upcycle Conundrum


by Karen Kreider Gaunt

Laudable or litigious? What you need to know about potential copyright and trademark infringement when repurposing products.

Repurposed Products and Copyright Infringemen

Choosing a Title Company: What a Seller Should Expect


by Roy D. Oppenheim

When it comes to choosing a title company, how much power exactly does a seller have?

Choosing the Title Company As Seller

Caffeine Overload and DUI Tests


by Daniel Taylor

While it might come as a surprise, the over-consumption of caffeine could trigger a false positive on a breathalyzer test.

Can Caffeine Cause You to Fail DUI Test?

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Australia™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Australia.

The Best Lawyers in Australia™ 2023

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Germany™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Germany.

Black, red and yellow stripes