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Thirty years in the law and thirty years the Navy

I graduated from law school 30 years ago this month. I also served 30 years in the Navy both on active duty and as a reservist. And wrapped that up in May of 2015.

Here’s what I’ve learned about the practice of law:

Practicing law and serving in the US Navy are wonderful blessings. My life has been fulfilled by those experiences.

While the practice of law is not an easy profession, it is a rewarding one. The hours can be long. The pressure can be intense. You have to have thick skin and a good sense of humor, but there are no jokes when a friend calls in the middle of the night asking for help or a referral due to a life altering incident.

While I hung up my Navy uniform nine years ago, I’m hopeful to serve many more years as a lawyer.

One of my favorite quotes by fellow lawyer Abraham Lincoln:

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbor to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”

Being a peacemaker and resolving conflict in a professional, zealous, and empathetic manner have been the most rewarding aspects of my legal career. And I get to use those skills in my role as an ombuds.

I’m thankful for my family and the friends, fellow members of the Bar, clients, and employers who have provided me such a worthwhile career.

For those graduating from law school this week, congratulations!

- Do good with your law license and guard it.

- Help others, but ask for help when you need it.

- And be a peacemaker.

If you do those things, you will have a rewarding career! Good luck.

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