If you’ve not seen this great letter, How to Succeed as A Lawyer (Roland Boyd), that was first published more than 40 years ago in the Texas Bar Journal, then put down what you’re doing and read it now. On the surface, the letter simply dispenses tips from a father to a son on how to succeed as a a lawyer, but the subtext gives us a look at a forty year legal career rich with integrity, satisfaction and optimism. For example, Boyd writes:
The only limit on the amount of success you can achieve [in law] is your time and energy. And the thought that will give strength to finish when the hour gets late and going gets rough, is that irrespective of how it might look to others, you know you are fighting according to the accepted rules of the game.
These days, our profession spends so much time discussing the business of law, making money and managing (the clients, the paperwork and everything else). I cover those issues at MyShingle as much as anywhere because they’re basic survival skills without which solo and small firm lawyers can’t function. But when we focus all the time on the business of law, we lose sight of the higher purpose we can serve as lawyers, the changes we can make and the people we can help. If you read Boyd’s letter, you’ll be reminded of what brought you to law to begin with and why despite the stresses and the problems, you still want to stay.