Paying Forward Feels Good
Often during a busy work day, the phone rings while my assistant is at the copier, meeting with a client or otherwise engaged. As I answer and before hearing the voice at the other end, I wonder if this call is the next “big” case. While sometimes it is just that, frequently it’s someone with a simple legal problem or concern who just wants to pick the brain of a lawyer.
“I bought this car at the used car lot and now it won’t run and I want to give it back” or.. “My neighbor plays loud music late at night, I’ve called the cops..Now what can I do?”
When I first began practicing law 28 years ago, I thought that every minute not billing a client or settling a case was time wasted. Lawyers are taught that “time is money” and don’t waste either. However, I’ve learned over the years there is no such thing as wasted time when talking to someone about their legal concerns. While it is certainly financially rewarding to settle the big case or get a jury verdict, it’s morally and ethically satisfying to counsel the unknowing, direct the aimless and help the lost find their way.
It’s my way of paying forward without spending a dime. And the feeling of fulfillment gained is priceless!