Meet Paul D'Angelo, Legal Practitioner Director of D'Angelo Legal. We asked Paul (P) a few questions about his career.
Q: D’Angelo seems like a common legal name in Western Australia. Where does the name come from?
P: It’s an Italian name, my father was born in Italy, in Abruzzo. He was a solicitor with another law firm who advertise quite frequently, but for the past few years now he has worked for himself as a Barrister at Wellington Chambers. The firm engages him in variety of Personal Injury and Commercial Law matters as required.
Q: What made you choose law as a career?
P: Having worked with my father in law firms from a young age, I developed a real appreciation of the law and how it works. I enjoy helping people through various situations whether it is resolving simple or complex problems or assisting people in their businesses and transactional work. I wanted to expand my knowledge in these areas and hence law was the natural progression.
Q: Where did you study law?
P: I studied at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle.
Q: What did you like about University?
P: Notre Dame was a great place to study law and I loved the intimate class sizes and the calibre of lecturers – all of whom were working lawyers, registrars, and judges, not soley academics. They were able to relate with practical advice and real life examples, rather than just theories.
Q: When did you start working in law?
A: I’ve been working in a law firm since I was 14 years old, making tea and coffee and helping with photocopying and other office administration duties. While I was a university student, I trained to be a paralegal and I also ran the library office in a large privately owned law firm.
Q: What do you like about law?
P: I like being able to help the little guy, the underdog. Sometimes people are victims of bad business and I don’t like it when people get taken advantage of. In Commercial Law, I take great pleasure in having legal ways where we can get results for clients. I’m in a position where I can help people and make things happen. The one thing I like about law is that it is a profession first and a business second. Yes, we are all here to earn a living, but it’s a profession first, and as such, comes with strict legal and fiduciary obligations to the Courts, clients and the wider community.
Q: What is one perception about lawyers that you would like to change?
P: That lawyers are in it for the money. Maybe some are, but not us. We’re a small sized law firm and that means we have lower overheads. We pass those savings onto our clients because we want to keep our prices fair. Compared to large firms, we are not expensive and in some circumstances (like Personal Injury matters) our fees are conditional: no win, no fee. Often people don’t think twice about engaging a tradesperson and paying for their service. Just because our service is advice or words, it doesn’t make our service less valuable.
Q: Outside of work, what are your interests?
P: Family – my wife and two girls, golf, four wheel driving, boating and camping.