Monday Profile: Thomas Sinas

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Tom Sinas is a trial lawyer who has spent his career representing injured individuals and serving the public. He earned both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, graduating with highest honors and high distinction. He then obtained his law degree magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School.

After law school, Sinas practiced with a national law firm in Minneapolis, where he represented catastrophically injured individuals and their families. He was then selected to join Minnesota’s premier state prosecution office on a special assignment to prosecute complex financial crimes.

Sinas and his family returned to Michigan to continue the proud tradition of the Sinas Dramis Law Firm, founded by his grandfather in 1951, with offices in Lansing, Grand Rapids and Chicago.

Sinas was elected to leadership positions at the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, the Grand Rapids Bar Association, and the Legal Assistance Center.

Sinas has tried to verdict civil and criminal cases in several Midwestern states. He has also lectured and authored numerous articles on trial practice and substantive law. Tom specializes in personal injury, auto negligence, and auto no-fault litigation. He is admitted to practice in Michigan and Minnesota.

By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News

What is your most treasured material possession?
My collection of jazz CDs.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Make sure that you plan carefully so that you can practice law in an area that is personally gratifying. There are too many lawyers doing work that doesn’t make them happy. Life is too short and the practice of law too demanding to spend it being unhappy.

Favorite CD: Miles Davis, “Kind of Blue;” John Coltrane, “A Love Supreme.”

What is your happiest childhood memory?
Playing in garage bands with my friends.

What would surprise people about your job?
How much time I spend on the phone.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?
One of my children—to see what it’s like to have me as a father.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? New York City (where I lived after college) in the weeks after 9/11.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
To play jazz guitar like Wes Montgomery.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
You don’t know a fraction of what you think you do.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer? Representing pro bono the guardian ad litem of a child in rural Minnesota who had life-threatening but highly treatable cancer but whose parents refused to allow him to undergo chemotherapy.

What do you do to relax? Listening to music, playing guitar, and spending time with my family.

How would you describe your home?
A wonderful, historic, charming money pit that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

What’s your biggest regret? Not becoming fluent in a foreign language.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Surf.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
That I wanted to be a jazz musician before I ever wanted to be a lawyer.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
If you really want to get better at something, welcome all forms of criticism and don’t take it personally.

If you can help it, where will you never return?
North Dakota in the winter.

What do you drive?
2015 Nissan Altima.

What would you drive if money were no object? I would hire a driver.

Favorite place to spend money: The few brick and mortar record stores left.

What is your motto? “Plan your work and work your plan.”

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