Tim Coffield is an experienced attorney based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Tim is the founder of Coffield PLC, where he is a practicing attorney in areas such as civil litigation, contracts and employment, artists’ rights, and business and environmental interests.
Tim Coffield’s backgrounds in philosophy and English, both of which he studied at North Carolina State University, have offered him a thorough understanding of effective communication with clients and litigators alike. He uses these communication skills on his law blogs, on which he explores Supreme Court cases and various facets of employment law.
Above all else, Tim Coffield cares about his clients. As Tim puts it, “Our practice is defined by our clients, built from the ground up, providing legal information and services that are tailored to you and your situation.” He maintains strong relationships with his clients throughout the entire process, streamlining the litigation process and offering tremendous value to everyone who comes to Coffield PLC.
Tim Coffield established Coffield PLC in 2012, and throughout its existence, has provided aggressive, personalized assistance to individuals and businesses. Tim is affiliated with the Virginia Employment Lawyers Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association, and the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association.
Out of every success in his career, Tim Coffield is most proud of his role in Boswell v. Panera Bread Co., 2016 WL 1161573 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 24, 2016). Tim served as co-class counsel in this national-level employment class action suit alongside attorneys Dennis Egan and Bert Braud of Popham Law Firm.
Other recent successes include the cases Goines v. Valley Cmty. Servs. Bd., 822 F.3d 159 (4th Cir. 2016) and Smith v. Loudoun County Public Schools, Case No. 1:15-CV-956, Dkt. No. 128 (E.D. Va. November 15, 2016). Tim Coffield argued successfully for civil and disability rights, respectively.
Our Interview With Tim Coffield, Attorney
Question: What’s the most important thing we should know about you?
Tim Coffield: I’m an employment attorney. When I first started out, I noticed a lot of prospective clients had questions about their legal rights and responsibilities in the context of the employer-employee relationship. The laws governing these rights and responsibilities are often nuanced and fact-specific, and not always well-publicized. It seemed like there was an opportunity to provide a useful service by focusing my legal practice on these laws, and on employment rights and responsibilities generally.
Question: Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.
Tim Coffield: Early on, I could have done a better job meeting and building relationships with other attorneys. I was a little shy. I’ve worked to overcome this by making a concerted effort to spend quality time with other folks in the same line of work — by attending conferences, having lunch, trying to help answer questions on attorney listservs. That sort of thing. Strong relationships are the center of everything, personally and professionally.
Question: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Tim Coffield: Helping any particular client get a result that satisfies them and feels just.
Question: What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?
Tim Coffield: Trying to craft well-worded emails. It’s more important to be efficient and just communicate what you need to say.
Question: Name a tool you use for work that you can’t live without.
Tim Coffield: My 2018 MacBook Pro.
Question: What is your favorite hobby and why?
Tim Coffield: Weightlifting. It gives me a chance to turn my brain off and just move.
Question: What excites you the most about your industry right now?
Tim Coffield: The trend towards electronic filing and electronic evidence presentation in courts and administrative agencies. Compared to paper filings and preparing large binders of paper exhibits, I think electronic means of exchanging and presenting evidence in court and administrative proceedings saves time and money. It’s a more efficient and effective way to share information.
Question: What concerns you most about your industry right now?
Tim Coffield: Litigation has a tendency to polarize parties. As a mechanism for dispute resolution, it sometimes incentivizes strategies that emphasize discord over reconciliation.
Question: What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
Tim Coffield: I started a solo law practice soon after law school, without any clients.
Question: Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.
Tim Coffield: I don’t know if this qualifies as a habit, but I make a concerted effort to keep in close touch with my clients throughout the representation. Phone calls, emails, texts. Whatever works best. A good friend once told me that more communication is always better, and I’ve found this to be true in life and in business. I think it’s especially true in the attorney-client context, where clear communication about goals and expectations is vital to a lasting and effective relationship.
Question: What tips do you have for getting a seat at the table?
Tim Coffield: Insist on a table with enough chairs for everyone. When it’s a party of three, never settle for a table with two chairs.
Question: What book has made the biggest impact on your life?
Tim Coffield: The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf.
Question: Do you value intelligence or common sense more? Why?
Tim Coffield: I’m not sure there’s a meaningful distinction between intelligence and common sense. I think both terms speak of an ability to think creatively and solve problems. In most contexts, professional and personal, I believe both are more valuable than what I’ll call book smarts – an extensive knowledge of complicated facts.
Question: What would you consider to be the perfect day?
Tim Coffield: Getting a lot of exercise and spending time with my family and dog.