By: Morris Lilienthal
Two seemingly different roles in my life have a lot in common. In both roles, I’m often called on to analyze a situation from another’s perspective. At home, I must look the through the eyes of an energetic inquisitive 6-year-old boy and at work I’m having to place myself in the shoes of my client who is often injured due to the negligence of another. Who what when and where are often questions I’m asking my son and my clients. Often neither have all the answers to these questions, so I’m left to look at clues and use my experience and gut to figure out these answers.
A striking similarity between both roles is I’m trying to convince someone my viewpoint is the right one. As a dad, I’m called upon to try and persuade a 6-year-old that he does or doesn’t need to do something. You need to clean up your mess or you need to take a bath or no we can’t do that right now. Similarly, I’m called upon to persuade a jury of 12 strangers that my view point is the right one. Telling them the story from my advantage point and trying to convince them my way is the right way. Thinking about both roles, I’m not sure which is tougher. Winning over a 6-year-old or 12 adult strangers, neither is an easy task.
Success as a dad and lawyer in many ways have a similar result. When presented with a problem, analyzing the issues, addressing the issues and achieving the best result possible. The end goal as a dad and a lawyer is to make the best of your situation. I have no doubt that being a dad makes me a better lawyer. Come to think of it convincing a 6-year-old your way is the right way is definitely the tougher job, but it’s also the most rewarding.