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Executive Q&A: Jeff Boyd, Boyd Trial Consulting

In addition to running his own practice, Seattle attorney Jeff Boyd is also the founder of Boyd Trial Consulting, a service which provides coaching and advice for attorneys going to trial. With business growing, founder Jeff Boyd sees his service, which teaches clients how to better engage with juries, expanding beyond the Northwest.

//Can you tell us a little bit about your upbringing and education – perhaps some formative experiences in your past that led to the creation of Boyd Trial Consulting?

BTC came out of my education in and fascination with psychology, and my work as a trial lawyer. As I had more trials, I wanted to understand more about jurors’ perspectives. Why do people make the decisions they do? What motivates them? How do they judge right and wrong?

//What is your elevator pitch – how do you describe your company to others?

I put trial lawyers in touch with how real people view legal issues so that they can get better results.

//What is the problem that your company is designed to address?

Lawyers have lost the ability to see cases the way real people see cases. That’s a problem, because at the end of the day, it is real people, not lawyers, who are the decision-makers. If it’s important to a juror, it’s important, even if the law books didn’t teach you that.

//What do you envision the future of Boyd Trial Consulting to be?

I expect to grow what is now mainly a Northwest practice into a national practice.

//What values do you feel are important for an individual to be successful in your business environment?

Deep commitment to outstanding service and an outstanding product, combined with strong personal relationships and mutual trust.

//What appealed to you about the trial consulting industry in particular?

I like helping my colleagues get in touch with what really matters in their cases, and with finding how to make complex ideas simple. They work too hard at the wrong things.

//The individuals who make up a trial jury must be a very robust set of people – what are some key differences you’ve seen in the different generations represented, if any?

Almost everyone under 30 has a very different perspective on the world than those over that age. This is nothing new – think back to the slogans of the 1960’s – but it is profound. It is based in technology, and in an uncertain economic model. People my age (in their 50’s) were linear thinkers and actors. “First comes love, then comes marriage, then came (whoever) in a baby carriage” (after going straight through college and getting a good job with a company you expected to stay with for a long time). Younger people sense they are going to live to be 100, or more, and don’t want to lock into any one life path forever. There is too much to see and do. “A little college here, some non-profit work in Africa there, we’ll get to the baby carriage when we get there.” I think it is very healthy.

//Finally, if you could offer your younger self any advice, what would you say?

Follow your dreams, take more risks, put less emphasis on stuff and more on experiences. And in the end, nothing matters more than friends and the people you build relationships with.

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