As I said in my first post on this subject, a great trial lawyer need not have all of the attributes set forth in this series of posts. Admittedly, the "great trial lawyer" hurdle has been set high. Very high. Indeed, if complete fulfillment of all of these attributes is required, the great trial lawyer may not exist at all.
These words and high standards are not meant to discourage lawyers from embarking upon the path to becoming a great trial lawyer. Every time a lawyer meets one of these super-standards clients will be better served, professional reputation will be enhanced, and profession satisfaction will increase. Thus, I believe that virtually every trial lawyer, even those who choose not to make the commitment to be a great trial lawyer, can benefit from the thoughts expressed in this series of posts.
These writings capture and applaud what I have observed in lawyers whom I truly admire. It includes observations I made while following my father around courtrooms in Central Wisconsin four decades ago, insights I gained in law school during an unforgettable speech by Ramsey Clark and discussions with a number of extremely competent professors, and my experiences during my almost 27 years at the Bar. As I mentioned at the beginning of this series of posts, the work of my mentor, John T. Conners, Jr., put me in the position to learn much of what I now know.
I am forced to admit that writing this series of posts began with one purpose and ended serving another. As I said in my first post, I originally hoped to expand upon the comments I used in a speech for the Tennessee Bar Association. Putting pen to paper (keystroke to screen?) quickly became an attempt to articulate for myself what I must do to become the lawyer I want to be. I can only hope that the thoughts expressed over the last five months have been as helpful to you as they have been to me.
The rest of the series.
Note: I have received many kind words about these posts. Thank you. Indeed, several publications have already asked permission to re-print this series. I have consolidated all of the posts and made appropriate edits in permit publication of these words in one 9600 word article. If you believe your state bar or trial lawyer association would like the opportunity to publish the article please let me know. If you want a copy of the article for your own use please send me an email at email@example.com.