Attorney Spotlight with Malek Khawam

Malek Khawam focuses his practice in the areas of Real Estate and Land Use, Corporate and Business Services, and Civil Litigation. Prior to joining Mansour Gavin as an Associate, Malek was as a law clerk with the firm as well as a legal extern at the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Ohio.

How did law school change you for the better?

Law school changed the way I think about problems and more importantly, changed the way I deconstruct and explain problems. You start with an amorphous issue that needs to be addressed and you have a blank canvas with which you craft a solution. A new law student splatters paint on a canvas and says to their professor "here is art." By the end of their tenure (and not really well into their legal career) the law student is able to sketch problems into a coherent framework. Thereafter, the law student hopes to convey meaning by painting a picture of the full panacea of problems and corresponding solutions. I try to be deliberate with my words because communicating my thoughts to another will not translate if I use the wrong brush. Every brief ought to convey meaning, and if it doesn’t, it asks the reader to interpret. Do not do that.

Do you have any words of wisdom for law students generally as they navigate their career search?

The legal practice is not so much about reading as it is about writing (see above). The only other advice I can offer as a naïve and young attorney is to lean in. For some there is no ideal path in the search for a career. Ask questions, take advice, put yourself out there and lean into opportunities when they present themselves.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Collaborating with a team is really second to none. A shared vision for the success of a client is invaluable. I appreciate a meeting of the minds amongst my colleagues, crafting a game plan, executing on said game plan, and holding each other accountable along the way. Sharing in the success of a team is considerably more satisfying that individual success.

What is the most valuable thing a lawyer can do for their clients?

Be honest. Give them a sober assessment of their situation. Giving clients unreasonable expectations can create a discordant relationship resulting in the attorney reaching for impossible deliverables.

What is something a lot of people don’t know about you?

I use humor like Tom Selleck uses a mustache.

What do you think your profession would be if you weren’t a lawyer?

Telephone operator.

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