The business world can get murky and complicated. When litigation is necessary, it takes an exceptional lawyer to wade through the complex matters and put together a simple and clear case.
When Todd Levine was new to his career as a lawyer, he was assigned one such intricate case. To his surprise, he was not only good at it, but genuinely enjoyed it too. He put creative problem solving and clear thinking to use for clients to help make the confusing world of commercial litigation clear.
Levine spent the next 28 years as an attorney using his talent in litigation to help clients navigate the confusing world of commercial law. Levine understands the challenges of litigation as well as starting a law firm and has plenty of advice to give new lawyers looking to make their mark on the legal world.
From Graduate to Law Firm Founder
Todd Levine's ambition and hard work provided him with success at each step during his journey as a lawyer. He graduated with high honors from the University of Florida in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He then attended the University of Florida College of Law and graduated with honors in 1991.
Upon becoming a practicing attorney, Levine discovered he had a knack for making the complicated simple. "I am able to present legal precedent, statutes, and arguments in easily understandable language, and judges and jury members are consequently able to quickly grasp my clients’ positions," he says. This talent served him well, and many of his clients were able to have cases resolved in their favor
Levine went on to become a founding member of Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, PL, based in Miami, Florida. Although he takes on a wide variety of cases, Levine specializes in real estate litigation and complex business disputes. His hard work has earned him numerous awards, including U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Lawyers in America,” Florida Trends’ Legal Elite, Super Lawyer’s magazine’s Super Lawyers, the South Florida Business Journal’s Top Lawyers and Best of the Bar, and the highest available rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubbell.
What Levine finds most rewarding, though, is helping his clients. “There is hardly a feeling as satisfying as walking a client out of their complex, disheartening, and overwhelming circumstances into a successful outcome,” he says. “I am privileged to experience this feeling often as I assist my clients in resolving their issues.”
In addition to practicing law, Levine is an avid musician and lover of the arts. Rather than practicing music in his free time as his only creative outlet, he harnesses his creativity to bring something unique to his skills as a lawyer. Rarely do cases go as planned as a lawyer. It takes creative problem-solving and the ability to think on your feet to be successful repeatedly. “Musicians and artists have to think on their feet, and I bring this skill into the courtroom,” he says. “I believe having a mind that works in different ways allows me to handle anything thrown my way, because I can and do approach problems from several angles.”
Advice for New Attorneys
After almost 30 years as a highly skilled commercial litigator, Levine knows a lot about what it takes to become a successful lawyer. He has plenty of useful advice for lawyers on how to create lucrative businesses.
First, Todd Levine knows how important it is to be passionate about what you do. As he says, "if you do not love your job, find another way to make money. You will never experience fulfillment and happiness if you hate your work."
Next, Levine believes in the power of letting your work speak for itself. Most of his business was built through word of mouth, as was his reputation as a lawyer who not only wins and successfully resolves his cases, but provides excellent client service. He never lets a message go unanswered for more than a few hours, for example, and he will respond quicker if he is not in court or otherwise predisposed with other clients.
Clients can tell if you genuinely care about them and their cases, or you are on autopilot. "I value being attentive to my clients, and I want them to see me as their trusted business advisor," says Levine.
Levine’s ability to anticipate potential outcomes became essential to winning and successfully resolving cases for his clients, but it has taken years of experience and practice. “I can predict several different approaches to the same argument,” he says. “As a result, I consider a wide array of viewpoints and develop arguments that address each approach and my adversaries’ responses. My experience and my penchant for being completely prepared for anything my opponents might cast my way help me provide my clients with excellent legal representation.”
Building a Career Through Hard Work and Excellence
Levine has built a prosperous firm and career through his dedication to his field and clients. He credits his abilities to listen carefully, think ahead, prepare diligently, and harness his creativity with helping him succeed in a field that he truly loves.