Growing up I always liked those corny police drama shows that would always conclude with the bad guy being arrested at the end of the episode and generally that was it. But the son of an assistant AG knew different. I understood from an early age that the legal process was a lot more complicated than that. Someone must be tried and convicted by a jury of their peers and sentenced by a duly-elected judge to fully seal the fate of the accused.
Obviously, this process can become complicated when factoring in all the complexities and intricacies of a case. It takes an educated person of the law to clarify such a complicated manner, and that is where attorneys come into play. However, being an attorney takes more than being educated, it requires someone to adopt a servant’s mentality. To exert yourself to the extreme in gaining the best result for your client, whether it’s an individual or the state.
My passion for this type of service developed through observing my role model, my dad. My father, whose father, grandfather, and great grandfather were all attorneys, is a 1981 graduate of Cumberland Law School (named after my great grandfather) and was an assistant attorney general for Alabama for 18 years. While I never actually saw my dad practice, I see what an impact the education and experience did for him. It has instilled a moral code of conduct that you will very rarely find in your fellow man and is something that I’ve always strived to achieve. I truly feel that this is one of the more beneficial ways to help other people, for most people are laypeople relative to the law.
I feel that a good lawyer should have simple traits so that he or she can better serve his or her clients. These traits can be summarized in three words; patience, understanding, and transparency. Patience is key because most people don’t understand the legal process and might be shocked by their legal predicament and what that represents. Understanding is also important due to the client/attorney relationship. It is important for an attorney to understand what his client’s needs are to better formulate a resolution in representation. And the third, transparency, might be the most important. It is always important to be upfront with your clients. They’re entrusting you with their well-being and expect you to give them plausible solutions as soon as possible. Even if you know that the outcome isn’t going to be good, it is always better to be honest with your clients so that they can mentally prepare for the next step, whether good or bad.
I feel that these traits are what most embody a true servant and what everyone should strive to be. Not necessarily an attorney, but a servant. People shouldn’t seek out a job because of its simplicity or benefits, but for the positive impact they can make on other people’s lives. This is the day to day routine for an attorney. They go in day after day trying to make people’s lives better, and that’s what has always attracted me to their line of work. As some say, “It’s not a job, It’s a calling.”
his article was written by Brad Robinson, one of Reid Law's 2018 summer interns.