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By Jordyn Burnell, 2019 corporate challenge winner

It was my first day working at Milestone. The concepts of “settlement planning” and “attorney fee deferral” were as foreign to me as Egyptian hieroglyphics, and I even googled the meaning of “plaintiff” [and other super basic legal terms] while sitting at my desk waiting for my first training meeting.

While I pat myself on the back for coming leaps and bounds from day one in my understanding of the terms and concepts of this weird universe, what surprises me most is how working at Milestone – even for a short six months – has forced me to analyze and appreciate the human condition on a deeper, more profound level.

On the surface, Milestone is a settlement management company. We work with personal injury plaintiffs post-settlement to create a financial plan that will ensure their settlement monies and financial futures are secure. But at its core, Milestone is so much more.

Imagine working with people who have just endured the greatest tragedy they’ll ever experience and are now faced with the daunting task of moving forward with their life. They are hurting, they are vulnerable, they are in need of care and guidance. They’re facing life for the first time through the lens of their new reality (that could be both legs lost in a workplace disaster or maybe cognitive functioning depleted as a result of a freak train accident). They don’t need legal and financial jargon shoved in their faces. These plaintiffs – these human beings – need trusted guidance, a partner to take them by the hand and lead them to the next milestone in their life and beyond.

As a communicator, that’s a stark shift from promoting products and services to promoting peace of mind and security. When your target audience is humans at their most vulnerable, you can’t expect to throw together a few information-packed brochures, ads, and blog posts and call it a day. Reaching and truly connecting with these brave individuals takes an involved sense of empathy to understand their emotions on a deep level and meet them where they are at.

Another thing that has really surprised me as I’ve settled into my role here at Milestone is – now that I know what to look for – how relevant a settlement management company is in the context of American society and culture. The victims of the 9/11 attacks, for example, or the girls who endured horrible abuse by Larry Nassar – these are the strong, resilient people Milestone supports. They’re the ones who have suffered through circumstances they did not deserve, and are now trying to rebuild their lives from the ground up.

Milestone has a truly altruistic mission: to provide trusted guidance that lasts a lifetime. So often those in the legal and financial industries get a bad rap for being money hungry or not having the plaintiff’s best interest at heart. As a newcomer to the industry, myself, it’s a relief to discover firsthand that this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth for many players in the field. We work day in and day out with some remarkable, hard-working, and driven trial lawyers who truly care about the future and wellbeing of their clients. They know that recommending Milestone’s services to their clients is the best way to ensure a secure and prosperous financial future for these individuals following a personal tragedy.

I still have a ways to go before I think I fully grasp the gravity and scope of this world I’ve thrown myself into, but in the meantime, I’m proud to work for a company that challenges me in so many ways and exists for the express purpose of bettering the lives and futures of Americans. 

(Originally published on LinkedIn)