Jake Lambert, of Ocean Springs, is an attorney with the law firm of Dogan & Wilkinson in Pascagoula.
Lambert is a graduate of Mississippi State University and got his law degree from Ole Miss in May 2012.
Prior to coming to Dogan & Wilkinson, he worked as a law clerk to Presiding Justice Mike Randolph at the Mississippi Supreme Court for almost two years, where he did appellate work.
“We would get cases that already had some form of judgment from a lower court,” he said. “From there the parties would brief the issues they wanted the court to address.”
Lambert’s favorite part about working for the Supreme Court was having the opportunity to learn.
“Working for Justice Randolph was a tremendous opportunity,” he said. “He was more than a boss really — more like a mentor.”
When he heard there was an opening for an attorney at Dogan & Wilkinson, and knowing of the firm’s outstanding reputation, Lambert sent in his resume.
After a phone interview with three of the firm’s attorneys, he was invited to an in-person interview.
“After I came down in person, I knew I wanted to come to work here,” he said. “I could tell that Dogan & Wilkinson had the kind of people I wanted to work with.”
Accepting the job offer was easy, but it was difficult making the decision to move somewhere neither he nor his wife are from. But after visiting the area a few times, he agrees it was a good decision for them.
What is the difference between working for the Mississippi Supreme Court and a private firm? Lambert says it’s the pace.
“Things happen faster in a private firm,” he said. “Working as a law clerk, for the most part, you can stay focused on one thing for an extended period of time. In private practice, you may start working on something and five minutes later you have to shift away to something else and then find a way to refocus on that.”
While at MSU, Lambert played college golf.
“Playing college sports is just a unique experience I think — a privilege,” he said. “All in all, it was an experience that shaped my life in many ways.”
Playing golf prepared him for the real world, teaching him about discipline and time management.
“Between traveling, practice and workouts, you have to make sure you have time for school,” he said. “That can be tough for 18-22 year olds who also want to be college kids. But being forced to learn it makes it much easier moving forward in life.”
Lambert enjoys the law for the same reason he loves golf.
“In golf, you can’t ever master it,” he said. “You can always get better. Law is similar. You always have something else to learn. The minute you think you really know one thing, something else pops up that reminds you that you have more to learn.”
The person Lambert respected most was his father who had been an attorney. His father passed away from cancer when Lambert was 21. When he realized golf wasn’t in his future, he decided law school was the route for him.
“Even if I didn’t practice law, I knew I would be following in his tracks so something good would come of it,” he said.
When he’s not working, Lambert has spent much of his time lately reading and talking about college football.
“With the Bulldogs having their best season ever, it’s hard not to,” he said. “And my wife is a diehard Rebel. They have been having a great season too, so there’s a lot of discussion at my house.”