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It’s About Those Folks Called Clients

Ever have one of THOSE days?  When every little (and big!) thing seems to be working against you?  You know, those days when:

  • you get to the office late because your chosen mode of transportation has a temper tantrum…
  • when you finally do make it to your desk, your computer takes forever to boot up, and when it finally does, it freezes…
  • you can’t type to save your life, and you find yourself deleting and correcting the same word over and over again…
  • all the other technology in your office decides to go on strike as well…
  • the phone never stops ringing, but the people you need to get information from to finish a project (or 10) are NEVER the persons calling you…
  • you spill your coffee (on your keyboard)…
  • you remember you left your lunch in the fridge at home…
  • and then you spill your store bought soup on your keyboard…
  • that you finally would have gotten a chance to eat at 4 PM…

I’ve had all of these happen to me, fortunately not all on the same day, but close.  And like all jobs, we have our own, job-specific, lawyer-specific frustrations:

  • adversaries that are unreasonable, overly argumentative and sometimes downright cranky…
  • judges that don’t think lawyers have lives outside the profession (we have law partners like that too!)…
  • court clerks that think they are judges…
  • briefs that aren’t…
  • writer’s block…

And the beat goes on, and on and on.

But I’ve found that just when I think I’ve reached my limit, my clients save me.  That’s right: my clients.  It’s on these days that I get a letter or a phone call from a client that I’ve worked for in the recent past that give me the dose of perspective I need, and the reminder I’ve been missing of why I practice law.  For example, on one such day I received the following letter:

“I just wanted to write this letter to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I can’t express how much my family and me appreciate all the hard work that you and your staff did for me.  I know that my case was not a big one for you and your law firm, but it was huge for me!  Thank you again.”

When I get a letter like that, it offers me the opportunity to reflect on the good that we lawyers are sometimes able to do, especially for individuals and families that ordinarily would not be in a position to fight against those that have injured them.  It also puts into sharp perspective the incredibly minor annoyances that accompany my chosen profession.  And it brings me back to the point of the work: it’s about the clients.

So, after reading that letter: back to work—cleaning my keyboard.

 

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