YOUNG LAWYER CORNER
By Michael J. Dennin
Spring has finally sprung! We patiently waited through a chilly
and unseasonable March and early April, to be greeted by some lovely weather. Every spring is
different. from year to year. No month is the same. No day is the same. Our Phillies
baseball team has taken the
field, although looking more like the 2012 Phils versus the World Series squad.
They had quite a nice run, and certainly hope that they will pick it up.
In our legal profession, our legal field. we cannot win the World Series every year. Highly paid professional
athletes often do not even obtain a glimpse at the Mecca of a World Title. To even make the
playoffs is a feat. Perfection is nearly impossible. We should only strive to be as perfect as
we can be within ourselves.
Every year is either not as good “legally” as the prior year, or is better. Because one
year is better than the other, or worse than the other. we can not measure ourselves against
perfection in general. The only thing we can do is strive to be the best we can be as
Attorneys and as individuals. Some years are down yea rs. some are up. If one never had a
down year how would one know what an “up” year is? This goes for billable hours,
victories and verdicts, settlements and acquittals, and all other marks we are measured against
as lawyers. If we allow a “good” year to define us, then we are doomed to failure and
to not living up to our own expectations. This is no way to practice law. However, due to the
difficult legal economy, and the “dog eat dog” world, we cannot escape being defined. We must
define ourselves by who we are as people. It starts there. It starts with optimism and hope.
Many of us have loved ones, children, parents, brothers and sisters, good friends, colleagues,
mentors, and the like. We are defined by how we act and how we think. We are not defined by
numbers. There are “better” attorneys that came before us, and there will be “better” attorneys
that come after. We will never be the “best” attorney. We will never win every game, or every World
Series, because we are human. We can not dwell on failure. While none of us like failure, or
like losing, it is part of the game. There are only 16 games in a football season and the Dolphins
are the only undefeated team in the history of the NFL. Does that make every other
team a failure? Surely. it does not.
We are happy when we win, when we achieve and obtain success, but we must learn from mistakes
and failure. As attorneys, young and old, we learn from failure. When we win. we think there
is nothing better we could have done. Winning is not always good for us. Winning
may be the best for our clients, and we must always give it 100%, but a loss is human. The way
we react from a loss is the key. Do we roll over and retreat back to our shell ? No. As
counselors. we must know that we have, if we a re fortunate enough, numerous other clients that
rely upon us. Family relies upon us, as do friends. We are held, rightfully so, to a higher
standard of conduct and professionalism. We cannot even contemplate taking our toys and
going home. That is not in our make-up. Perspective is the key.
In keeping with a wider view, I would like to take the time to personally thank the Bar Association
for providing me the opportunity to assist in navigating the Young Lawyer
ship. Since I have not been around as long as some, it has been a great pleasure to serve at the direction of so me wonderful human beings. Larry Pelletier, Denise Whybark and Kathy
DelPrato keep things running smoothly. My fellow Board members are tremendous. Brenda Eutsler is
quite possibly the most pleasant individual to work with and Linda Eynon has taken the
Foundation to another level. Fellow Board members have welcomed me with open arms. To see the
inner workings of and t he incredible effort by the Board is astounding. So many attorneys work
pro bono to make our Association the second largest in the State. From seminars to
cocktail hours, from picnics to golf outings, from meetings to swearing-ins, we strive
at nothing short of perfection.
Thank you to my fellow Young Lawyers, to the Lobster Bake Committee, to everyone who
came out to listen to me at meetings and participate, to everyone who
came to charity and happy hour events. to all who organized CLE on tap (Bill Cook especially).
To everyone for being involved and giving t heir time. I wish the best of luck to next year’s YLC
Chair. Your term will be different. Not better or worse, but it will be your own.
At the Association. we know everything is not perfect, but we all give 100%. Each year is
different than the last. Every day cannot be a championship, but every day is a victory
because we are a live and employed as counselors in a difficult profession. Each time we give
legal advice we win. Every time we impart information to those who need it we have done our
Each day is different, but so long as we keep perspective each day is a great one and better than the last.