“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis
An annual headline in many law publications state that this was a record year for attorney disbarments and discipline in the state of Missouri. Too often, lawyers can exude entitlement and ego over their clients and cases. Lawyers can put themselves first and forget that the representation of a client is a sacred trust in which the client’s interest, and only the client’s interest, comes first. An over-inflated ego and a lack of humility can perpetuate a negative perception of those in our profession. A client can fire a lawyer at any time and for any reason.
Lawyers practice their profession under a code of ethics that has been adopted nationally and in every state bar. These rules govern attorneys’ behavior and conduct towards their clients, other lawyers, the court and the public. The rules stress that a lawyer must competently, diligently, and zealously represent the client’s interest, but do it with a sense of fairness and honesty towards all. These are simple rules and simple ideas, but when lawyers over-complicate matters and do not simply do the right thing on a regular basis it could lead them into bad practice.
In our firm, we regularly work on our craft – but also work to reinforce our gratitude for our clients, law practice, and ability to help people with their legal claims. As trial lawyers, we have strong egos and personalities, and use that to further our clients’ interest. We pride ourselves on being top notch trial lawyers and practitioners in personal injury litigation. However, we are constantly reminded that it is not about us but about our clients. This is very easy – we talk to people every day and are touched by the circumstances which force them to hire us, their stress and worry about what has happened to them and what will happen in the future, and their need for help.
In 2016, and as we get older, we sometimes worry about the state of the law practice. However, keeping it simple and adhering to the basic ideas that embody our ethics rules will avail our profession well. We have strongly endeavored to have a high and ethical level of practice in the last 15 years and we certainly look forward to continuing to do this and helping our clients in the legal profession for the next 15 years and beyond.