The beginning of a school year and the beginning of a new season, since our calendar still seems to be based on a September-June year. With this comes (at least if you still have children in school) the inevitable notices, newsletters and forms to fill out, and, if you have 4 children like I do the repetition of the address, names of parents and phone numbers. One such notice with the motto “Be the best that you can be” came as the beginning of the track and field season is announced; a phrase coined by Jean-Marc Deneau “instructeur extraordinaire” (now retired) at Ecole Pine Grove in Oakville a teacher who challenged Pine Grove School and its community to break and make a new world record in the number of people juggling at the same time.
Completing these forms as the season changes causes reflection on the law and I share my thoughts as I approach my 20th year in practice (a halfway mark according to a recent CBA Magazine article) about what it means to be the best that one can be:
1. Commitment to the Profession: it is incumbent upon us to maintain the high standards and integrity of our profession; to distinguish and improve our reputation each and every day.
2. Commitment to the Younger Generation: it is incumbent upon us to train our younger colleagues. We must train them in the black (and grey) letter of the law, in the discipline of the profession, in the business of the profession, and in the passion of the profession, each and every day.
3. Commitment to Clients: it is incumbent to put them first (or don’t take them on). This may seem like a given but they do come first and before the all mighty dollar (I know some of you will disagree but surely it was more than a way of life that lead so all those years ago to apply to law school).
We must assume responsibility and ownership of our profession.
Lesson Learned: Be The Best That You Can Be: for you, your firm, your family, your colleagues, your clients and your community.
Until next time,