SHOW GRATITUDE TO THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS
HON . DOUG BAHR SBAND President
When I practiced law , I greatly appreciated the paralegals and legal assistants I worked with . They helped me be more productive , create a better work product , and be more successful . I tried to regularly acknowledge , both privately and publicly , that we were a legal team and that the quality and success of my practice was largely due to their significant and indispensable contributions .
As a member of the judiciary , I quickly came to greatly appreciate the court personnel who work so hard and do so much to help the judicial system run smoothly and to assist our judges and referees in performing their duties . Court administration staff , clerks , reporters and recorders , law clerks , and other court personnel perform innumerable roles and tasks to assist judges , lawyers , parties , and members of the public ; to help our judicial system run efficiently and fairly ; and to help lawyers , parties , and members of the public navigate the judicial process and have a positive experience in what is often an unfamiliar , intimidating , and daunting situation .
No matter the nature or area of our practice , our success as lawyers and judges is significantly dependent on the assistance of others . I believe our personal satisfaction in the practice of law is also partially dependent on our relationship with and appreciation for those who do so much to help us be successful .
“ Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character . We like to be around those who are grateful . They tend to brighten all around them . They make others feel better about themselves . They tend to be more humble , more joyful , more likable .” ( Joseph B . Wirthlin )
By regularly and sincerely expressing gratitude to those who do so much to help us be professionally successful , we increase both our professional happiness and theirs .
William Shakespeare wrote : “ They do not love that do not show their love .” Similarly , I suggest : “ They are not grateful that do not express their gratitude .”
Reed Smoot stated : “ I would rather have a single flower given to me in life by a friend than I would have my coffin banked with roses .”
Isn ’ t that true of our expressions of gratitude ? And isn ’ t our gratitude measured not just by the number of our words but by the nature of our actions ? John F . Kennedy explained : “ As we express our gratitude , we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words , but to live by them .”
In other words , the test of gratitude is in both what we say and how we treat others .
I encourage our bar members to recognize and acknowledge those who have assisted in their professional success and to express and show appreciation to them by our words and actions . “ We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives .” ( John F . Kennedy )
If we do , I believe we will be happier both professionally and personally .
2 THE GAVEL