Attorney Thomas J. Scribner Celebrates 30th Anniversary Practicing Law

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Thomas J. Scribner, of Scribner Fowlke Attorneys at Law, PC, marks his thirtieth year practicing law, and reflects on how his profession has changed over the past three decades.

Thomas J. Scribner

A few years in and the American Bar Association decided we could advertise, and within a short time obtaining new clients went from being based on reputation to being based on marketing.

Thomas J. Scribner, co-founder of Scribner Fowlke Attorneys at Law, PC, recently celebrated his thirtieth anniversary as an attorney.

“It’s been a privilege to represent my clients for the past thirty years,” said Scribner. “It’s also been amazing to see how much change has occurred in law over the course of the past three decades.”

The law, adds Scribner, is getting increasingly competitive with no clear way to advertise.

“When I first started practicing law thirty years ago, lawyers couldn’t advertise, except for a small ad to help people find you in the white pages,” said Scribner. “A few years in and the American Bar Association decided we could advertise, and within a short time obtaining new clients went from being based on reputation to being based on marketing.”

Additionally, when Scribner first started there was no computer system at his firm and the lawyers used analog tape machines to verbally draft letters.

“We even had a secretary who still took dictation,” said Scribner. “Wills were typed in duplicate using carbon paper and you just couldn’t make typing mistakes. Now, most lawyers do their own drafting on the computers in their offices, can store frequently used forms, and can easily send drafts to clients for editing.”

Thirty years ago, when a legal issue needed to be researched, Scribner and his associates would go to the BYU Law Library. There they would bump into other local attorneys looking through book after book to find a case, check to make sure it hadn’t been overturned, copy it on a huge copier, then go back to the office to dictate a brief for the secretary to type up. Now, he uses paid legal research sites on the Internet, spends minutes on the same tasks and never leaves his seat.

“Now, with the Internet, everything has sped way up,” said Scribner. “Through all of the changes, though, the specialized knowledge of attorneys is still needed. Historically, a new lawyer was hired into a law firm and was trained there with direct supervision by an experienced attorney. Now, a much higher percent of new law school graduates must go it alone, partially because of all of the new technologies.”

However, mentors like Scribner work with beginning attorneys to help them learn the basics of actually preparing complaints and contracts and corporations and how to file them, things that are not taught in law school.

“I look forward to the inevitable changes in store in the next few years for the legal industry,” said Scribner.

About Thomas J. Scribner, Scribner Fowlke Attorneys at Law, PC
Thomas J. Scribner focuses on real estate, estate planning, family and business law. For more information, please call (801) 375-5600, or visit The law office is located at 2696 North University Avenue, Suite 220, Provo, UT 84604.

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