There are several things that Jamie Wiggins wants you to know about her legal practice that proves her mettle, that best presents who she is as a Philadelphia lawyer since opening her own practice in 2019, and as a woman.
The Scranton, Pennsylvania native (Lake Ariel, to be exact) who received her undergraduate degrees at Penn State’s main campus – with a BA in Political Science, and a Minor in Sociology – got into the legal business, driven by a personal passion, and a universal understanding of justice’s shortcomings in two different scenarios.
The first circumstance brings Wiggins back to her hometown, her youth, and a father who acted as a psychiatric security corrections officer for what was then a Pennsylvania state asylum for the criminally insane (now a State Correctional Institute), and was “horrifically injured” on the job, while carrying out his duties. “Inmates being rehabilitated, with the use of a pool table, tried to put a billiard ball through a guard’s head,” said Wiggins recalling the dangerous situation. “My father intervened, it turned into a pile-on, and two of his knees were busted and his spine was severely injured. He’s never been quite the same since.”
The young Wiggins was just old enough to, not only understand her father’s physical and mental anguish, but how having a lousy, disinterested lawyer worsened the family’s predicament in every way. “He never called, never answered my family’s calls, and when we finally go to hearings, the lawyer didn’t even know who is client was or what he looked like. He knew nothing, and understood even less.”
Wiggins knew, right there and then, that she would make being a lawyer her living, and that her calling would manifest itself in pursuing justice and letting her client in on every step of the legal process – from its start to after its finish. Wiggins internalized the legal process, and made it personal as well as personable. “All my parents needed was 10 minutes of a lawyers time, a human conversation, for what they were paying out. It was awful. So I vowed to be different.”
One of the things that Wiggins was awarded for in law school was client counseling, a gift based on her desire to know her clients intimately, so to best help them in ways suited to their life and legal troubles. “I want to help my clients in ways they don’t expect.”
Jamie Wiggins’ law firm is a full service one of course, but, due to her father’s predicament, she made injury law her métier. “Look, I’ve been in car accidents and been hurt, and understand the level of physical and emotional pain people go through. I am on my clients level, and so it is important to me – on a sociological level – to get up-close-and-personal. The law needs more social work involved, because the average person doesn’t always understand all of the law, and all of their entitlements under the law. I bring that flavor to injury law because that is where I am most relatable. If you, say, don’t have health insurance, I’m going to follow through and get you the right numbers to call to get the benefits of which you are entitled. It’s about knowing your demographic.”
The second defining event of her legal life came when Wiggins began practicing in 2014, first for a local law firm, and felt as if she was underappreciated and never heard due to being a woman.
“I was used for all of my legal expertise and given none of the credit and none of the marketing,” she said firmly. “I was told to stay in, and work behind the scenes. I vowed to never allow that to happen again, and now that I am on my own, I am shining.
To that end, Wiggins Law is an all-woman firm, with male staffing. “It is entirely run by women, and I will never hire a male lawyer. I don’t believe that there is enough singular female representation in the business. There are so many women going to law school, but, so few women running their own firms when they come out. That needs to change. Women do thigs differently, and men shouldn’t get to ride4 that coattail any longer and use us.”
Along with developing a firm based on her personal life and the legal life of female lawyers, everywhere, Jamie Wiggins and Wiggins Law does that no other Philadelphia lawyer does comes down to one solid fact: “I’ve been there. I care on a different level. I want to know you for life.”
Sponsored content from the Metro Advertising Department.