Yesterday, I received an email from an attorney who was retiring after 31 years in the practice of law. He shared some words that I thought wise, and I asked him if it was OK to share. He graciously consented. Here is part of his email:
Finally, I want to take a moment to say a few things that I think are important. Retiring from a profession creates a new perspective. Thirty years of practice gives me the right to put a few things on paper. Read on if you wish.
The practice of law has given me the opportunity to help solve problems for others. Helping others overcome a hurdle or reach a new achievement has given me immense satisfaction. Sadly, lawyers have become the punch line to a bad joke in too many people’s experience. For many lawyers, the pressure to make more money has forced choices that have harmed the reputation of a once noble profession. Yet, many of us continue to seek the higher plane where the client comes first and the satisfaction is in a job well done, rather than the amount of the fee. I have known so many great people in my career who have given of themselves again and again to fulfill the needs of others. Being a lawyer can be so very rewarding. For some it is measured only in the paycheck. For many it is measured in the satisfaction felt when the clients’ needs are met….
Lastly, the practice of law has opened me to so many great people and opportunities. I look back now and see your faces flashing before me. Meetings, closings, council meetings, lunches, strategy sessions, board meetings. Sharing more than just work; sharing our lives. And for that I say – thanks for sharing. It was truly my pleasure.
I thank him for his years of service and professionalism. I enjoyed my brief interactions with him, and appreciated his wisdom as he moved on to other ventures in life.
I wish him the best.