The "Kind-ness" of Things for Which I am Grateful in my Law Practice.

It is the time of year when pre-printed “holiday” cards arrive from insurance companies and court reporters, thanking me for my business. As I have resumed my own sole practice, the extent of my vendor largesse is smaller. As December proceeds, there are lovely cards and greetings from my lawyer colleagues. My favorites lawyer cards are the ones that make me laugh—-probably because they include a humorous caricature of their firm or the profession.

The best cards, without a doubt, are the ones that come from current or former clients. I love (and keep) ones with photographs that show a child or family getting on with its life. Each year I note the children getting older, as cartoon t-shirts give way to college sweatshirts. These are the cards that make me smile—-and perhaps shed a happy tear or two.

I am grateful for the clients who remember me with these images of their families. For some period of time I felt like an extended part of their family— Aunt Mari with the briefcase and all the questions!

I appreciate all the clients who trust their important legal concerns to me. Their confidence in me boosts my own professional spirit when “hiccups” inevitably arise in any matter. Their patience with me (and the legal system) reminds me of the importance of perspective and tenacity.

Some other things for which I am grateful: the call returned; the willingness of a clerk or bureaucrat to spend a little more time in crafting a response; the courtesy of opposing counsel; the generosity of a fact or lay witness to actually speak with me (rather than dodging my calls!); the humanity of a health care provider to squeeze a little more time out of their day to speak with a lawyer and write a report to help their patient; the courage of another attorney to think outside the litigation box and work towards resolution; the college-age neighbor who knows how to troubleshoot an unexpected technology glitch; the referral of a legal matter; the goodwill of a colleague to offer input and advice; the reasonable excuse to buy office supplies; and the dog who keeps me company.

In thinking about all of these sources of my gratitude, the common thread is kindness.

During this time of year, please accept my best wishes for good health and humor as well as peace of mind. May you experience kindness.

Mari Bush