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Posted In: Culture & Diversity, Strategic Planning

What are We Most Thankful For in our Legal Careers?

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them,

is the true measure of our thanksgiving

-W.T. Purkiser

As a law firm consultant, it’s easy to get consumed by what needs “fixing” at law firms rather than what people are thankful for in their legal careers.  With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I posited a simple yet profoundly important question to industry experts, friends, colleagues, and clients.  I’ve included my favorite responses below and hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

 “As I think about my career in the legal industry and current job, I’m most thankful for….”


Challenging work

I’m grateful for having learned from my mistakes

I’m thankful for my mentors, and for the chance to prove myself

I’m most thankful for clients who value and appreciate my counsel

I’m most grateful for being shown the ropes by attorneys who I respect and admire

I’m most thankful for the support of a knowledgeable and helpful management team

Improvement.  Every day I become more knowledgeable, more intelligent and a better lawyer.

I’m most thankful for having an opportunity to be involved in many broad and diverse cases which have helped me get a better grasp of the legal profession

I’m most thankful for relationships.  Whether it’s with friends who have become clients or clients who have become friends, knowing how to build a network has been invaluable in my success.

I’m most thankful for the opportunity to study the legal profession at the very moment when it is undergoing major change, because this represents major opportunities to help reshape it for the future.

I’m most thankful for a supportive law firm where I am given extreme autonomy to conduct my business the way I want but also know that anyone I work with will always brainstorm or support me when I need it.  I am thankful for this because in family law, the pressure and stress of what is at stake for your clients is so great, that without a supportive group of attorneys around you, the job would not be possible.

I’m most thankful for the ability to make a positive impact in the lives of others. My agency (the Employee Benefits Security Administration) is charged with enforcing the country’s pension laws, and in doing so we make sure that the retirement future of millions of Americans is secure.  Although sometimes the amounts of money at issue or the problems to correct may seem small, they have a large impact on individuals, and I’m proud to have a career where my work has a positive impact on those individuals’ lives.

And what am I most thankful for?  A career that challenges me intellectually and creatively, and allows me to use both my “lawyer brain” and “MBA brain” to help clients solve interesting problems.

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