At a Thanksgiving dinner years ago when my son was a small boy he asked me, “Dad, what do lawyers give thanks for?” Unsurprised at his question, I responded with the expected categories—family, country, good health and good food. He wasn’t buying it, and a cross-examination followed: “No Dad, I mean what lawyer things are you thankful for?”
Now that was a question! I don’t entirely remember how I answered on that Thanksgiving Day, but this Thanksgiving I’d answer it this way:
My Clients: their trust makes me a lawyer.
The Constitution of the United States: it is the foundation of our democracy.
The Law: it is the living, changing construct that even after nearly 30 years of practice continues to fascinate, inspire and challenge me.
My Adversaries: they make me a better advocate.
My Colleagues: their support and advice are invaluable.
Atticus Finch, my fictional inspiration for wanting to become a lawyer.
Judges William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall, my real life inspirations for wanting to become a lawyer.
Every profession, every way to make a living has its ups and downs, its bright spots and dark days. This Thanksgiving as you sit down to celebrate, take a moment and be grateful for what it is you do. Even if it is not who you are, the way you make a living gives purpose to your days and provides material support to your loved ones.