Yes, you read my headline correctly – lawyers appreciate passion. At least, that’s my official response to the Second Annual what do lawyers appreciate meme , for which I’ve been tagged by my friend Sheryl Schelin.
My answer may surprise you. After all, we generally, we don’t associate staid lawyers with passion – unless it’s kind of carnal passion like thisthat keeps bar disciplinary committees in business. But lawyers appreciate the another kind of passion: the inspired committment that the best lawyers bring to bear in representing clients, running their practices and participating in the blawgosphere. In fact, if you think about it, passion lies at the core of our profession, formally codified in our duty to zealously represent clients. What is zeal, after all, if not passion?
So how do I know that lawyers appreciate passion? Well, first and most obvious, because even though in our profession passion is in short supply, either squeezed dry by the rigorous demands of a job we don’t like or the monotony of the same cases over and over again, many of us lawyers yearn to restore passion to our own practices. Second, because passion accounts for the public success and personal satisfaction of those lawyers at biglaw or their own solo practice, who practice law with joy and purpose, and in doing so, evoke our admiration. And finally, because passion drives the success of our beloved blawgosphere, home to memes such as this one. The blawgosphere depends upon the participation of hundreds of lawyers who blog their hearts out for audiences of ten or ten thousand simply out of sheer passion for exchanging and sharing ideas. And silly contests aside, for those laywers who passionately and genuinely captivate and inspire their readers, the blawgosphere bestows a wealth of riches like complimentary comments, mutual respect, intellectual satisfaction and, as Sheryl said, friendship.
That said, while I may appreciate passion in the practice of law, I don’t have much passion, just patience, for memes. But I’ll dutifully tag Scott Greenfield, Nathan Dosch, Bob Kraft and Ed Poll and Greatest American Lawyer. And of course, you don’t need to wait for an invite – feel free to jump in and join the party as I did last year (lawyers appreciate…clients).
Update 12/24/07 made a few stylistic edits.