Best Law Firm Mentors 2022: Christopher Tinari

Christopher Tinari, Margoli’s Gem

Tinari is described as a masterful litigator. He has tried cases in both federal and state courts located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. From him, associates have learned how to mentor other younger attorneys, passing on the skills he taught them. When building up the department, Tinari was very focused on having strong diversity in new attorneys hired. The employment practice liability (EPL) group is predominantly female, with attorneys from a varied ethnic and social-political background.

According to his colleague Michael R. Miller: “Over the time I have worked with Chris, he has built up the EPL department at Margolis Edelstein from just two associates to having four partners and 10 associates located in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Mount Laurel and Delaware locations.

He has also made efforts to show true compassion and care for the attorneys he has mentored, attending significant life events (weddings, funerals, christenings) for those he is teaching how to build a law practice.”

As you built your career, who mentored you?

I joined Margolis Gem out of law school and I have been with the firm for 27 years. I was hired by the managing partner, Michael McKenna. From the time of hire to today, Mike has been my mentor, counsel, and friend. I have never encountered anyone as skilled as he in posing just the right question at just the right moment to just the right person. From those experiences with him and observations of him in action over the years, I learned so much about making arguments, deepening analysis, managing people, and building legal skills that have been so helpful to me in my career as a trial attorney and in firm management over the years.

What is the value of robust mentorship?

Graduating from law school, passing the bar exam, and joining a firm are key milestones for new attorneys. But mastering elements not taught in law school such as acquiring practical legal skills, developing business and navigating firm culture can be daunting. That’s where mentors can make a difference. Mentorships can play a pivotal role in smoothing a career path, and finding a mentor who can offer ongoing guidance and support is key. Mentorship creates better lawyers, and it also creates happier lawyers. A strong network of knowledgeable and helpful confidants may be the most important investment one can make in a career.

Keeping in mind today’s rapidly changing profession, what’s one piece of advice you would give to a young lawyer?

Prepare and over prepare. Hard work is crucial.

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