Sometimes, you learn by osmosis. You spend time around people who practice a trade, and you pick things up. Sometimes, you learn things by doing—by diving in, getting your hands dirty, trying it out for yourself. For Roland Christensen, he learned the law by doing both, and it’s shaped his practice of the law ever since.
Roland grew up surrounded by jurists and legal scholars. His grandfather was a judge, his dad and uncle both went to law school, and his uncle even became an injury lawyer. He saw firsthand how the law could help give people justice, to dignify their suffering, and empower them against entities that had done wrong by them.
Early Career & Life Around the World
Roland was born in Indiana but had the pleasure of living in Boston, Tokyo, and London while growing up. His family eventually put roots down in Provo, Utah. After high school, he earned a degree in Family Studies at Brigham Young University, then enrolled at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU. He graduated among the top 20 students in his class and served as a lead editor on the BYU Law Review. During law school, he was an intern for the Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal and worked for the Utah Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Division. It was during these experiences that Roland understood the importance of preparation.
“If you are prepared, you don’t need to be afraid. Preparation is key to whatever we do,” he says. “It’s always a good reminder to myself that when you prepare thoroughly, things rarely go sideways.”
Finding His Place at Arnold & Itkin
It wasn’t until Roland served as a law clerk for Arnold & Itkin when he found his true calling. He joined our team shortly after earning his law degree in 2015, and then joined us as an attorney in November 2016 when he passed the Texas bar. He passed the bar in Louisiana and California shortly after that.
Those first few months at Arnold & Itkin were a whirlwind.
Watching Arnold & Itkin’s staff work around the clock on their cases made an impression on Roland.
“I don’t know many other people that work as hard as we do,” he says about his first cases with Arnold & Itkin. “The amount of effort we spend on all our cases is tremendous. When you combine huge amounts of effort with some of the most capable attorneys, the very best results follow.”
Having never practiced law in court before, Roland had to be willing to learn fast and jump in with both feet.
“The best way to become a great personal injury attorney is to find great attorneys to work with and then dive right into the work.”
“You only get better by doing,” he added. “Attorneys who are just starting out need to get into the courtroom, take lots of depositions, and then try cases. Nothing replaces the real deal for building experience.”
Tackling Demanding Cases with Life-Defining Stakes
Roland handles cases with the highest stakes. He’s proudest of his work on industrial events with multiple parties: incidents like oil rig explosions, refinery fires, and offshore disasters. Figuring how to make the case when the facts are complicated is immensely satisfying for Roland.
“I like when the case is complicated, and I get to learn about all the moving parts and unravel how the incident occurred.”
Since trying his first case, Roland has proven himself to be as capable as he is compassionate. When asked about his most memorable cases, he thinks about all the people who came to him after losing a loved one.
“The things that are most memorable about cases to me are the family members who are affected. I’m working on multiple cases right now where husbands, fathers, and children were killed. These cases stand out to me because the loss is tremendous and real when I get to talk to our clients. Cases like this motivate me to do my very best work all of the time.”
It’s those very same people who become the best part of Roland’s day.
Speaking about the most rewarding aspect of his job, Roland describes “how it changes the lives of our clients forever. They’ll remember us for the rest of their lives. I still keep in touch with my past clients, and it’s amazing to hear and see how they’re thriving and growing because of what we did.”
When people have suffered a tragedy, when a truly catastrophic event has robbed them of their health or their loved ones, Roland is the kind of lawyer they think of first. Someone who is capable, empathetic, and single-minded in their pursuit of the truth. Its people like that who have what it takes to get justice.We’re lucky to know a lot of people like that—and Roland is among the best of them.