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Alabama Attorney Elliott Owen Lipinsky Sits Down and Talks

Mr. Lipinsky, you’ve been practicing law in Alabama for quite some time now. Could you tell us about what initially drew you to pursue a legal career in this state, and what makes practicing law here unique?

Well, I am from Alabama. It is my home state. I always thought the state could improve to serve all its citizens. I thought pursuing a legal career might provide an entrée to politics. Unfortunately, that has not panned out yet. So, the real surprise is the daily impact I have on people. That might be more lasting and gratifying than being able to fix the larger issues facing the state. I know it is certainly more attainable.

You mentioned the daily impact you have on people, which is such a commendable aspect of your work. Can you share a specific case or experience that stands out as particularly meaningful to you?

Yes. I do not want to divulge too much. Recently, a client was in jail for over two years. He was charged with a plethora of robberies. He sat in the county jail throughout the COVID pandemic, the birth of his first child, and he missed his high school graduation. After a lengthy fight with the local district attorney’s office, we got his cases dismissed. It is not the first time we’ve been successful in disposing of what appear to be serious crimes, but it just comes to mind right now. He is out living life. He is with his family, has a great job, and is completing his GED. There were plenty of times I would not have blamed the young man for giving up, but we persevered.

In light of your experiences, how do you think the legal system in Alabama can be improved to better serve its citizens, particularly in terms of access to justice and fair representation?

We need to hold our prosecutors accountable and our judges. What goes on in the courtroom rarely makes front page news, unless the media presents whatever the prosecuting attorney puts out in a press release. That is a significant disadvantage to everyone. First, local media cannot field a real journalism department and they become a mouthpiece for the state. It impacts the mood of our country. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. It seems like that is slowly being subverted. Most people do not care. They think it will never occur to them, but there is an old adage. It isn’t 100 percent apt, but whatever: everyone has a plan, until they are punched in the face. With the environment changing, I think more and more people will come to the realization we let our fundamental rights erode away.

As an attorney with a deep understanding of the legal landscape in Alabama, what advice would you give to aspiring lawyers who are looking to make a difference in their communities and protect citizens’ rights?

Do not get discouraged or take things too personally. There will be a lot of times you will want to pack it in, for a variety of reasons. Keep on plugging away.

Moving on to a more business-oriented question, how has the legal industry in Alabama changed since you began your practice? Are there any emerging trends or challenges that you believe new attorneys should be prepared for?

I love the power of generative AI. It cannot replace a trial attorney, but it will replace the need for transactional attorneys. I think the only way to really prevent it is to have the Alabama State Bar step in and protect the profession. I really enjoy AI though. It is extremely helpful, and I foresee so many applications from solo practitioners to huge firms.

As you mentioned, AI has the potential to greatly impact the legal profession in Alabama and beyond. How have you personally adapted to these technological advancements in your own practice, and what benefits have you experienced from integrating AI into your work?

Yes. I hopped on the AI train early on. We use a variety of programs. I love the early access from OpenAI. It is probably my first love. Training our own large language model is fun. I think it will have a lot of applications to firms in the southeast. Maybe we need to focus on that profit driver.

Given your experience with AI and its impact on the legal profession, do you envision any potential ethical concerns or challenges that may arise as AI becomes more prevalent in the industry? How do you think the Alabama State Bar and other legal professionals should address these concerns?

That is a tough one. Self-preservation ban its usage. I do not think that will occur. I do think it will not impact the attorney who is in court every day. That has been my life for a decade. Excellent question.

As the legal profession continues to evolve with technological advancements like AI, what do you believe are the essential skills and qualities that attorneys should focus on developing to remain successful and relevant in the field, particularly in Alabama?

Alabama could offer a great location for future AI startups. The state is full of great minds and abundant resources. Again, it goes back to our local and state leadership. I am not sure they are ready for much in the way of truly revolutionary thought or action.

Throughout your legal career, you’ve undoubtedly encountered various obstacles and challenges. What has been your primary source of motivation and inspiration to keep pushing forward, and what advice would you give to others facing similar challenges in their careers?

I think my family is my main motivation. I want to create an Alabama that is better for my children. I want an Alabama that my parents can be proud of. I try to do my part with my little law practice.

Lastly, looking ahead, what are your aspirations for the future of your law practice in Alabama? Are there any specific goals or initiatives you hope to achieve in the coming years?

I am going to keep trying to make those everyday impacts. I still am not out of the political game though. As much as some want me gone, they cannot get rid of me that easily. I will probably take my own advice and keep on trying.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. Your insights into the legal profession in Alabama, the potential of AI, and your personal experiences have been truly enlightening. I am confident that our readers will find your story and perspectives both inspiring and thought-provoking.

Thank you Elliott for your time!
You can follow up with Elliott Owen Lipinsky at