Mike Garland — A Personal Perspective
Mike Garland credits his father for his strong work ethic. Growing up in a blue collar family, Mike's father never missed a day of work in the 38 years he spent at the RJ Reynolds factory in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Even when his father was not at work, he continued to set an example for Mike as he worked on tasks around the family's home in Winston-Salem.
"My father never complained about his work life, and it was easy to see that he loved his job. It reflected into all areas of his life," Mike said. "This instilled the ambition within me to find a career path that I loved."
Mike struggled to find a profession that he felt matched his aspirations to make a difference in the world. His sister suggested that he should consider studying law, a discipline where he could apply the work-ethic inherited from his father. Eventually, he decided that litigation interested him most, believing the courtroom is where he would have the most impact.
Early on in his career, Mike learned the significance of being a lawyer when he represented a family that lost their father in a motorcycle accident. Although the claim was originally denied, Mike took the case and fought for the man's wife and children in a time of need. Mike believes that cases, such as this, are worthwhile and fulfilling and the reason he became an attorney. Today, Mike's experience ranges from auto accidents, such as this, to products liability claims.
"I meet people that really need a hand and it is rewarding, as an attorney, to fight for these people. It is more than gratifying to help a family that lost their father and husband."
Mike's ambition extends beyond the workplace. After losing his father to lung cancer, Mike dedicated extra time and effort serving on the North Carolina Leadership Council of the American Lung Association.
"It is important for others to know the dangers of lung cancer," he said. "No one should have to lose a family member to something that can be prevented."
In his spare time, he is mastering cycling and hopes to participate in a sprint triathlon.