This article is part of an ongoing series designed to give our members an opportunity to learn more about their colleagues. Members are chosen at random and asked to respond to a set of ten questions.
Brian Servatius, Law Office of Brian J. Servatius, has been a practicing attorney in Hayward since 1972. Brian is a graduate of Santa Clara University, and obtained his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. Brian decided to specialize in consumer bankruptcy because it was a “helping” area of the law, which could be utilized to better the lives of individuals and families.
1.) When did you know you wanted to be a lawyer?
In my senior year at Santa Clara University, I had no idea of what I wanted to do after college, but four of my friends were going to law school so I applied and was admitted to Boalt Hall, University of California. I knew if I became a lawyer I would be able to make a decent living, so my friends and I roomed together in Berkeley and all graduated in 1968.
2.) If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would you be doing instead?
If I had not become an attorney, I think I would have ended up with a business career, but I would have loved to have worked in the film industry as a film editor.
3.) What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were first admitted to practice?
That law is more of an art than a science, and that the practice can be demanding and stressful.
4.) What is the biggest challenge facing you as a lawyer today?
Because I am older, technology is my biggest challenge. I grew up in the world of paper and it has been very difficult for me to adjust to the speed and constant change in the digital world. There is no time to savor and appreciate a new technological advance before it is outmoded and another takes its place.
5.) What is your favorite part of being a lawyer?
My favorite part of being a lawyer is analyzing a problem for my clients, creating a solution for them, and then doing a conscientious job. I am a consumer bankruptcy attorney and we are able to help so many clients with financial problems: individuals, single mothers, families – all come through my office. Law as a helping profession provides lots of psychic rewards.
6.) What is your dream vacation?
I would like to go back to the U.K. and spend one month in London, attending theater nearly every night, and then for several months drive through all of England and Scotland, exploring towns and villages and playing golf on the links courses.
7.) What are you reading now?
I like English mystery novels and favorite author is Peter Robinson. I am also reading “The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock.” I just read the recently published life story of Bay Area golfer and British Open champion Tony Lema, “Champagne Tony Lema: From Triumph to Tragedy,” and “Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years.”
8.) What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
I am the father of four adopted daughters, all sisters, now ages 28 to 32. I’ve also been a golfer since age 11 and love the history of the champions of the game. My golfing skills are above average, not outstanding, but in my 50th year I had three holes-in-one on three different courses.
9.) What person, living or dead, real or fictional, would you like to have dinner with?
Abraham Lincoln, Alfred Hitchcock, John Lennon, and golfer Ben Hogan. Ben was a private person, and wouldn’t say much, but I could just stare.
10.) Why do you choose to be a member of the ACBA? What is the greatest benefit you have enjoyed as a member?
In attending the bankruptcy section sessions and MCLE sessions at the ACBA office, I was impressed with the work of ACBA and have come to believe in the value the organization provides for Alameda County attorneys and law firms. The networking and educational benefits ACBA provides are so worthwhile along with the volunteer work ACBA does. I think it is important for attorneys to feel they belong to a community of lawyers and belong to a networked profession that is needed and important for society. This is the benefit I have enjoyed in being a member of ACBA, and this is why, in my opinion, ACBA deserves our support.