I have been practicing law now for nearly 30 years. For a salty litigator in his mid-50s, I’m fairly well acquainted with technology, both in and out of the office. However, I must attribute at least some of my “electronic savvy” to my teenagers, who are immersed daily in Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and God knows what other social media.
So why, now, am I writing my first blog post?
Probably like most guys and gals my age, be they lawyers or plumbers, I’m thinking more and more about what drew me to my profession in the first place. And, since these reflections take me back some 30 years, this would seem to be the appropriate starting point for my first blog – what first attracted me to the law, and what continues to engage me today?
In college, and to a lesser extent high school, I thought lawyers enjoyed a sort of civilized esteem in society. There were rules, the participants abided by the rules, in a respectful way, even as they fiercely battled for the opportunity to be first, victorious. The mystique of courtrooms, and the responsibilities of the jurists who occupied them, were awe inspiring. Always competitive, I wanted to be a part of it all. As Al Pacino famously said during his opening statement in And Justice for All, “Winning . . . is everything.” *
Even after 30 years, when I step into a courtroom, for a hearing or a trial, I still get shivers up my spine. These aren’t shivers born of fear (those have passed) but rather respect for the institution that continues to be the best, most imperfect system yet devised to resolve disputes among people, businesses and public institutions. These disputes seem invariably to arise from the great victories, dramas and tragedies of the people involved. And that’s what makes them—and the practice of law—so utterly fascinating.
Maybe someday a better system will be devised to resolve these disputes. And a better system would probably be driven by the technological advances that have made blogging, for example, possible and so popular.
Until someone (or some “thing”) devises a better way, I will continue to enjoy the competitive mystique which first drew me to the law, so many years ago.
* The “Winning is Everything” mantra will be the subject of my next blog post. Until then.