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Michael T. Bell: Keep Going, Keep Improving

Michael T. Bell: Keep Going, Keep Improving






In the pulsating realm of the legal landscape, where each case is a battleground and justice is the ultimate prize, one name stands out like a beacon of triumph—Michael T. Bell. A highly successful personal injury attorney whose achievements sparkle with multiple awards, whose educational journey reads like a tale of relentless ambition, and whose commitment to the community echoes louder than the gavel in a courtroom, Bell stands at the stern guiding a powerful ship of justice at the Alabama law firm of Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers.

A legal virtuoso with a story that transcends the ordinary narratives of the legal profession, Bell is a man who thrives on continual self-improvement. This isn’t just about court victories and legal accolades; it’s about a man who once dreamt of molding young minds, following in his father’s footsteps as a teacher and later a college professor. Yes, you read that right – a legal maestro who holds not only a Juris Doctor but also a doctorate in education, and if that’s not enough, an MBA to round off his arsenal of knowledge.

It’s always been in the back of my head, ‘keep going, keep improving.’

But what truly sets Bell apart isn’t just the letters after his name; it’s the passion that drives him. Beyond the courtroom drama, he’s deeply intertwined with the heartbeat of his community. His involvement goes beyond the legal jargon; it’s about caring sincerely for his injured clients and tirelessly seeking the best possible restitution for them. Bell isn’t just an attorney; he’s a champion for justice, an advocate for those seeking solace in the face of adversity.

With a stratum of intuitive and learned skills, to unravel the layers of this attorney’s extraordinary journey – from aspirations of shaping young minds to becoming a formidable force in the legal arena– is one that is both impressive and inspiring. This is more than a success story; it’s an odyssey of determination, community spirit, and a relentless pursuit of justice. Buckle up, because in his world, every case is a chapter in an epic saga of triumph.

Kierra R. Irby, Michael T. Bell and Donald E. Blankenship

Balancing Act

“I think there was always the thought that at some point I wanted to become an attorney,” says Bell. “Originally, however, my plan was to teach and become a school principal like my dad. Going into law was something that I planned to do later. When I attended college, along with my studies in education I also became interested in communications and earned my first degree, a Bachelor of Arts in that. Upon graduating I actually started law school but then decided to go for my master’s degree in business. Once I earned that degree I began teaching.”

Bell taught business courses at several local colleges over the next few years and then Career Technical Education at a middle school in Montgomery, Alabama. With a rare determination and almost unimaginable energy, he somehow was able to not only complete his doctorate in education, but also graduated law school virtually simultaneously all the while teaching.

A man of many talents and interests, somewhere along the line Bell added the title of associate pastor to his already impressive list of achievements. Bell, a self-taught pianist, has served as a worship pastor for over two decades, serving churches throughout Birmingham. Currently, he serves as an associate pastor at both the Tabernacle of Faith Church and First Baptist Church of ACIPCO.  His thirst for knowledge and esteem for education was something that Bell credits his parents, particularly his father, for instilling in him.

“My father was an educator for about 32 years,” says Bell, “approximately 27 of those he served as principal at both elementary and middle schools. It impressed me how people looked up to him, respected him. He was a mentor. He was a Boy Scout master for probably two decades, always involved in some type of mentorship.”

In fact, both his parents were professionals. Bell’s mother was a pediatric nurse for more than 40 years. “She worked right up until the time my dad had to go on dialysis,” he says. “She retired so she could take care of him.”

Obviously, education was a top priority in the Bell household. “My father was the first in his family to graduate college,” says Bell. “He served in the Korean War in the Air Force as an aircraft hydraulic mechanic. He joined the military right out of high school, serving four years of active duty followed by four more in the reserves.

“My parents’ example along with being raised with the discipline of a military family has played a role in motivating me,” he says. “It’s always been in the back of my head, ‘keep going, keep improving.’”

Choosing a Path

It’s always intriguing to observe how attorneys are drawn to a specific area of law. For Bell, this choice didn’t follow a straightforward trajectory.

“I had intended to go into bankruptcy and real estate law,” he explains. “Once I was in law school, however, I tried out for the Trial Advocacy Team as a first-year law student. I was quite proud when I earned a spot. That’s when I realized how much I enjoyed the whole trial experience. It was a short leap to personal injury.”

Throughout law school, Bell played a crucial role on the Trial Advocacy Team, eventually becoming the team captain in his second year. In his third year, much like his father, he took on the role of student coach in addition to being a team member.

With an ease that had become second nature to him, Bell continued to challenge himself, even taking on employment at a law firm while still pursuing his law degree.

“They had me doing collections work for large corporations,” he explains. “This firm also handled a lot of real estate, landlord/tenant work. So, while I was working there it was primarily for big business, getting them paid and dealing with what turned out to be mostly low-income renters who were behind in their rent and getting them to pay. Many were kicked out of their apartments. It was not enjoyable work for me.

“The people at the firm were great people,” he hastens to add, “but that area of law was just not something I was interested in. I really wanted to be on the side of helping rather than hurting people. There are a lot more poor people in the world than there are rich. There was just no joy in the work at all.”

His Own Firm

Clear as to where his real passion lied, Bell made the decision to open his own law firm where he knew he could dedicate himself to helping.

“I began researching the best way to go about this,” says Bell. “But in the meanwhile, I had the good fortune to meet Keith Givens, who was a founding partner and managing partner of The Cochran Firm, whose namesake is the famed attorney, Johnnie Cochran. I was actually invited to join their firm working out of the Birmingham, Alabama office in a managerial role. So that’s exactly what I did!”

For the next two years Bell enjoyed working in an environment and for causes that he thoroughly enjoyed. Then COVID hit.

“Trying to handle personal injury cases, traveling from state to state became impossible,” he says. “Everything shut down. We were all wondering what we were going to do. The funny part about this was during COVID my first son was born. Those two events – COVID and becoming a new dad sparked my decision to go ahead and chart my course for establishing my own firm.”

Bell’s vision was to create a firm where clients are treated with respect and personalized care and where employees could find the joy he couldn’t find in his first position.

“I think what makes our firm special is that we’re not your average, every day, staid and stale firm,” says Bell with deserved pride. “We have a young, eager staff and it’s a diverse group. We all come from different legal experiences, different walks of life, and we are intent on practicing law in a way that is different. We see the world a bit differently. We try to interact and help our clients on an individual basis. There’s a unique mindset where we get the client involved throughout the whole process. We don’t leave the client out there wondering what’s going on with their case.

“Not only that, but as a firm we are committed to maximizing the compensation for our clients whether that be settlement or in court. Ideally, we get our cases before a jury.”

Committed to utilizing every tool available, it’s not surprising that Bell is a strong proponent for harnessing the power of state-of-the-art technology.

“One of the things I was adamant about when we started the firm,” he says, “was the use of technology. Of course, we utilize things like websites and social media, but we’re really big with our case management software which includes a mobile app that allows potential clients to download the app as well as current clients, and both can easily follow their case. We’re in a mobile age so we want to make sure we offer as many avenues as possible.”

Now embarking on their fourth year, the team of Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers has already built a firm that clients trust and colleagues admire.

“The ability to bring closure to situations where injured individuals had felt there was no hope or that something had been taken from them is very rewarding,” says Bell. “Sometimes it may not be exactly what they think they deserve, but it’s definitely something that makes a difference in their lives and helps them move on. Most clients that we see are more appreciative just to know that someone is fighting for them. That someone hears and cares about what they are going through. Trying to get some closure for them rather than a specific dollar amount seems to be most important to our clients. But again, we’re always fighting for the maximum results.”

Of course, as any attorney will tell you, there are challenges. “Dealing with the court system can be frustrating, especially when they are using outdated technology. I know attorneys who feel just the opposite, who want to delay the process and throw up obstacles whenever possible. Instead of finding a reasonable solution their philosophy is to keep kicking the can down the road. They are hoping that the client will reach the point of frustration where they’ll accept anything.”

Some battles can have an even greater impact.

“There is now a big push in Alabama to follow the example of other states to litigate negative security cases. Recently, we were fortunate to secure a $4.2 million judgement for our client who was shot in the back and paralyzed while she was attending a block party,” he explains. “Many attorneys have not opted to litigate this type of case like they do in other states such as Georgia.”

At Home

As a father of three – two sons and a daughter – Bell’s home life is nearly as bustling as his office. With his daughter now in college and two toddlers at home, Bell and his delightful wife, Ty, have relished the joys of raising Grayson, Harrison and Zaherra

“Balancing travel and staying abreast of the kids’ activities keeps us quite occupied,” Bell remarks with a blend of humor and pride.

As the law firm and his family both expand, Bell remains optimistic and genuinely content, finding fulfillment in what he loves most—assisting others and savoring precious moments with his family.

At a Glance

Mike Bell Accident and Injury Lawyers
1804 7th Ave North
Birmingham, AL 35203
(205) 666-6000
mikebellinjurylaw.com

Practice Areas

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