From Our Readers
Grace in the Pursuit of Perfection
January/February 2023Download This Article (.pdf)
Re “The Insidiousness of Perfectionism,” President’s Message, November 2022
Having experience as a trial lawyer for the last 46 years, I am driven by the belief that grace can be found in the pursuit of perfection. When I learn that a young person, in high school or in college, wants to be a lawyer, I provide my vigorous 100% endorsement. I understand that many lawyers don’t feel this way, but for me, the creative pursuit of excellence in the law has been the highest, most rewarding professional experience in my life.
One thing I often tell clients is that in litigation, the side that prevails is usually the side that makes the least mistakes. Inherent in this advice is that the goal is perfection in our work. Quite frankly, anyone who is putting their life in our hands, whether we are a cardiac surgeon or a trial lawyer representing an injured plaintiff, deserves our highest effort to achieve perfection in our work. I am almost 72 years old, and I have been practicing since I graduated from the University of Colorado in 1976. The effort to protect my clients in this way has me fired up and going strong every day.
I respectfully take exception to Ryann Peyton’s November 2022 President’s Message, “The Insidiousness of Perfectionism.” I appreciate and am open to hearing differing views, but for those of us who have dedicated our lives to excellence in this profession, or even excellence in other professions—whether it be medicine, music, or art—the idea that we should not strive for perfection is a difficult one to accept. I believe our clients, whether they be criminal defendants or horribly injured plaintiffs needing legal representation, would agree.
I respectfully ask your consideration in sharing my opinion so that young lawyers in our profession can see there is another view.
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