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Bottom Up

Apr 29, 2024

Attorney Tom Watson, the featured guest in the latest episode of the Bottom Up Podcast produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, knows what it means to reinvent yourself. 

Tom started his career in broadcast radio. He interviewed big names like Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, entertainer Red Skelton, and others. At age 37, Tom enrolled in law school. He's now the CEO and president of Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company (WILMIC).

From radio to public relations, from family law attorney to legal malpractice insurance executive, Tom talks about his multi-phased career path before diving deep into the world of legal malpractice insurance, and the parade of horribles.

Co-host Emil Ovbiagele and guest host Joe Forward steer the conversation with Tom, who has been with WILMIC for almost two decades. They learn that Tom approaches his role in helping lawyers with enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the legal malpractice insurance industry.

Tom says estate planning continues to be a high-risk area, as claims can come from disenfranchised, third-party beneficiaries. But he also says claims that stem from cyber fraud and/or social engineering are on the rise, and lawyers should be on the lookout. Tom, a natural storyteller, shares stories about "craziest claims" he's seen in his two decades at WILMIC. 

Throughout the show, Tom provides advice for lawyers in their early years and beyond. That includes taking time to build relationships, being patient with success, and finding your passion.


00:00: The Great American Eclipse and Tom Watson, the Early Years
19:32: From Radio to Law
29:46: The Importance of Showing Up
38:37: The Growing Threat of Social Engineering and Cyber Fraud
52:40: The Need for Malpractice Insurance
1:02:16: Challenges in Estate Planning and Disputes
1:11:45: Other Common Areas for Malpractice Claims
1:25:01: The Flexibility of a JD in Career Choices