Monday Practice Tip for Young Lawyers- Maintaining Integrity, Loyalty

One of the few universal guarantees in life is that the one person with whom you will have to live with your whole life is yourself.  You alone carry your words, your actions and your choices with you forever, and many good people have taken a negative turn in life because of disappointment in themselves. 

I start today’s post in such serious fashion because young attorneys sometimes face difficult choices between their responsibilities at work and their loyalties to family and friends.  We have discussed a young attorney’s time commitments in most legal positions in prior posts.  While we need to hone our skills at all times, our production is measured by billable hours. 

Sometimes, however, friends or family need us more than our yearly hours count does.  Things happen to our loved ones and they rarely happen at the perfect time.  Now, should you drop everything your doing and abandon your job to be there for a friend no matter what the circumstances are or no matter the cost?  Of course not, there are exceptions to every rule.  When you’re in trial, you’re taking a big depo, have a critical meeting, etc., sometimes you cannot leave.  But, if your main concern is that you need to bill hours or that you just took a sick day last week and can’t be out of the office again, step back and take in some perspective.  Get in a little earlier tomorrow, skip lunch if you have to to make up for it.  Your loved ones need you more.  Remember, you always have to look yourself in the eye and live with your decisions. 

This post is dedicated to my dear friend and fellow member of the Florida Bar, Ryan H. Sherman, who just lost his loving dad Michael this past weekend. 

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