“When you are young, all areas of law are the same, except jury work”


When you are young, all areas of law are the same, except jury work. Do jury work. It will set you apart for your next job.


As a part of my series about “5 things I wish someone told me when I first became an attorney” I had the pleasure of interviewing John DeGirolamo.

John DeGirolamo is a dedicated and passionate divorce trial attorney. This means that he’s not simply an expert in the theory of family law, but also in wielding that knowledge to make a serious impact for Tampa men in a courtroom environment. A five-time National Trial Lawyers of America “40 under 40” recipient, he is one of Tampa’s most experienced and committed advocates working on behalf of husbands and fathers. His flawless Avvo rating is reflective both of his skills as a litigator, and the respect he has earned from his tireless efforts for justice in the community. Author of the highly-rated “Plea for Mercy: The Anatomy of The Federal Plea”, he is ideally placed to create and employ the most effective strategies when facing Tampa’s family law judges.

A five-time National Trial Lawyers of America “40 under 40” recipient, he is one of Tampa’s most experienced and committed advocates working on behalf of husbands and fathers. His flawless Avvo rating is reflective both of his skills as a litigator, and the respect he has earned from his tireless efforts for justice in the community. Author of the highly rated “Plea for Mercy: The Anatomy of The Federal Plea”, he is ideally placed to create and employ the most effective strategies when facing Tampa’s family law judges.

John has developed a law practice those champions men as an integral aspect of the family unit, and dedicated partners in their marriages. Operating as a divorce expert for men in Florida, a state renowned in the legal profession for a bias toward women, he knows that too often his clients find it difficult to walk into the courtroom with confidence that their case will be treated fairly. He has therefore cultivated a direct yet agile approach to divorce law that seeks to redress that balance. He is always honest about the potential outcome of a case, even when it’s not particularly pretty. But with that honesty always comes a plan of action individually tailored to each client’s unique circumstances.

John DeGirolamo has a heartfelt passion for representing the underdog in an environment that is often unjustly stacked against his clients. He has earned the trust of hundreds of Tampa men seeking a divorce, working with them to create a smooth, fair outcome of their years spent as dedicated husbands and caring fathers.


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. What is the “backstory” that brought you to this particular career path in Law?

I was trained in criminal and civil courts as a litigator, a fighter, an aggressive position taking lawyer. Then, a mentor of mine pointed out that family law, and specifically guys, could use someone like me. There are a lot of family law lawyers out there, but not a lot of family law litigators. So I applied my craft to the area of divorce and family law fighting for men and their rights, and so far so good.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your law career?

July 5, 2011, was my first day and my first big boy job. Case Anthony was acquitted on this same day, and our phones were going crazy. I asked the legal assistant why everyone was calling us about this, having no idea that the firm I just joined represented her in her civil lawsuits. From there was a two-year journey helping represent the most famous woman (at the time) in the country.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Standard stuff for now. I don’t have a practice that changes the law or takes cases to the Supreme Court; I just have a practice made up of people needing help with their everyday family law issues.

What are some of the most interesting cases you have been involved in? Without sharing anything confidential can you share any stories?

Standard stuff for now. I don’t have a practice that changes the law or takes cases to the Supreme Court; I just have a practice made up of people needing help with their everyday family law issues.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

I don’t much relate to history; rather, I seek out any and all relatable figures that I can learn from, whether they are lawyers, family lawyers, or people in business.

What advice would you give to a young person considering a career in law?

Get experience first, money second. I took a $10,000 pay cut from my first job to my second job, and my second job is a large reason why I am in my third and final job making the kind of money I only dreamed of.

If you had the ability to make three reforms in our judicial/legal system, which three would you start with? Why?

From a family law specific spectrum:

  1. Better scheduling and access to the courts
  2. Setting guidelines for timesharing from the beginning of a case, as opposed to the end, and
  3. Holding lawyers more accountable for their day to day ignorance of deadlines and requirements

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Yes, every time a guy calls this office and has not seen his kid or kids for months because of the selfishness of his ex, and then he is reunited.

I know this is not an easy job. What drives you?

The uphill battle that we take on for men in family law, and the feeling we get once on top of that hill, then doing it all over again all year long.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Start setting goals immediately
  2. Save money
  3. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint
  4. When you are young, all areas of law are the same, except jury work. Do jury work. It will set you apart for your next job.
  5. No one will understand why you are working so hard, and they don’t have to.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Dave Ramsey or Gary Vaynerchuk.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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