Andrew Johnson, affectionately known as AJ around the offices, is an Associate Attorney who began his work with Walker & Walker Law Offices in early 2019. AJ’s undergraduate focus at the University of South Dakota was in psychology and criminal justice, after graduating from USD he went directly to USD’s School of Law where he earned his Juris Doctor in 2009.
AJ worked in insurance and financial planning before coming to work with Walker & Walker. Experience in these sectors gave him a true appreciation for the toll that stress related to financial insecurity can take on a person’s heath, well-being, and mental state. Born in Albert Lea, MN, and growing up and attending college in South Dakota, AJ lived and worked in North Dakota, New York, and Colorado before moving to the Twin Cites to begin his consumer bankruptcy work with Walker & Walker.
WHY I PRACTICE CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY LAW
Consumer advocacy through bankruptcy practice is a chance to make a major impact for our clients in turning around a situation that can often seem insurmountable. Working in financial and retirement planning, he came to appreciate how integral a role income plays as the life-blood of a person’s financial life. Economic trends of the last thirty years, like the decreased purchasing power of a nearly flat median home income, tend to lead to more and more households living paycheck to paycheck. It is common that a single tragic event can put a household that is paycheck to paycheck into a financial predicament which can quickly spiral into a full scale disaster from which it can feel like there is no possibility of escape. For those in retirement it can mean adjusting to a fixed and significantly lower income, and the accompanying uncertainty of whether they will run out of time or money first.
Paying interest on large debts drains someone both financially and emotionally as they realize that the money is continually leaving their hands but that the interest monster will never be satisfied. Large debts will often remain with someone for decades or more, and at times for the rest of their lives. Helping someone understand that the bankruptcy laws are in place to protect them and help free them up to spend their income on necessities and planning for retirement, freeing them from constantly paying toward an immovable debt balance, drives AJ to continue providing legal bankruptcy advice to those in need. Showing someone who feels abused and neglected by ‘the system’ that there are tools in place to help them when they are down on their luck is a powerful experience that regularly brings purpose to his practice of the law.