In 1986, I graduated from law school. After interviewing for jobs in different parts of the country, with the both the large law firms and small law firms, I realized that my thoughts of what lawyers should be did not match reality.
The overriding discussion in every interview and every job offer was how to generate the most money from a client. I returned to my hometown, disillusioned about the practice of law, and went to work for a small two-person law firm.
One of the attorneys in that law firm, Terry McArdle, gave me my greatest lesson about the practice of law. Terry was never the wealthiest of attorneys, but he had a fiercely loyal client base of small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Terry taught me that being a lawyer cannot be just about the money. It is about the relationships that you build and the trust you earn.
Most people don’t know what they need when they come to see a lawyer. What they do know is that they need someone to talk to, who listens to them, understands what they are going through and can help. They need an advisor they can count on whose sole focus is not on money, but on how to help them reach their goals.
It is been that idea, of helping others achieve their dreams, that has been the guiding principle for me. This is the true role of an attorney. It has allowed us to go from renting three small rooms in an old office building, to our current suite of offices in our own award-winning, restored historic building in the heart of downtown. By making service to others our guiding principle, we have been able to establish relationships across the country that benefit our clients.”