The lawyers I know all went to law school for different reasons. Some folks knew in high school that they wanted to practice law – others didn’t move into the legal field until much later in life following other careers. I was one of those people who knew early on that this was what I wanted to do. Granted, right out of law school I was confused as to the type of law I wanted to practice. I ended up representing insurance companies and corporations my first few years out of law school. While now I cringe at the thought of doing that, the experience was invaluable and I have maintained great relationships with my mentors from that time.
The other day, my young daughter was speaking with me about what I do each day. It quickly became clear to me that she thought mommy sat and looked at a computer all day. I struggled with trying to get her to understand what I really do all day, despite the fact that in fairness to her, I am indeed on a computer a lot. While driving her to school, I received a phone call from a potential client asking for representation following a car crash in St. Louis, Missouri. My daughter overheard my portion of the conversation and when I got off the phone she asked, “mommy, are you going to help that lady who was in a car crash?” She asked “Is she your friend? How do you know her? Why are did she call you? But you don’t know her?” Her questions stuck with me. Yes, I help people. I help strangers. They call me out of the blue and put blind trust in me. They hope that I will respect them and treat them fairly.
In the age of tort reform where large corporations and politicians are trying to limit the rights of the injuries, it is tough not to get distracted. It is tough to forget what this is really all about while we are all fighting with opposing counsel, judges, politicians and others. Some days are filled with arguing with people, getting angry about motions that are filed, feeling frustrated by deposition testimony. But I do this because I love to do it. Sometimes it takes a 6 year old to put things in perspective. I am proud to be a lawyer – a personal injury lawyer helping the injured and their families. I have been privileged to work with countless people who didn’t know me before they walked into my door but believed in me anyway. And I believe in my clients. It is a good feeling. I am thankful that my daughter reminds me every once in a while of what it means to be a lawyer.
©Lindsay Rakers, 2014