Editor's Column

Editor's Column

Give to Those Less Fortunate:  Each Other
By: Kaylan Dunn

It is easy for young attorneys to take for granted how truly fortunate we are to be a part of the legal profession.  I can say with little hesitation that none of us would be where we are today if it were not for the support, guidance, and insight we have received from others, be it family, teachers, coaches, co-workers, or mentors, along the way.  For many of us, our attorney mentors have had a significant influence on the lawyers we’ve become. 

As summer associate and judicial internship programs are wrapping up, and new lawyers with shiny bar cards will soon join the team, I am reminded how far I have come since I was in their shoes.  I remember drafting my first motion, then reviewing and tweaking it until I thought it was perfect, only to have my legal assistant ask whether I’d prepared a certificate of conference.  “What’s that?” I asked.  Clearly, I had a lot to learn.  And I am still learning new things every day from those I work with and those on the opposing side.       

The knowledge and experience we gain as we practice the law are truly our fortunes, which we should share with those less fortunate.  Yes, helping the less fortunate means accepting pro bono representations and participating in legal clinics, but it also means helping other lawyers (young, old, and aspiring ones too) who are “less fortunate” in that they have not had the same experiences as you. 

I see a shining example of this idea in action on the Texas Lawyers Facebook page, a forum that allows lawyers across the state to ask each other questions about practice and work-life balance (if you aren’t a member, you should be!).  But offline, as we practice day-to-day, we should all strive to share our knowledge and experience with those less fortunate: each other.

Judge a moot court round at the local law school; give a co-worker a heads up about the idiosyncrasies of a judge she has never appeared before; forward a recently decided opinion that may affect an in-house lawyer’s regulatory obligations; share a pearl of wisdom about how to manage expectations at work with family responsibilities at home. 

Even if we are on opposite sides of an issue, we are all in this together.  Helping each other makes better lawyers of us all.  

Kaylan Dunn is an associate at Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP’s Houston office where her practice focuses on commercial and fiduciary litigation.  She serves as a director on the board of TYLA, representing Houston.  She can be reached by email at kaylandunn@andrewskurth.com.

Views and opinions expressed in eNews are those of their authors and not necessarily those of the Texas Young Lawyers Association or the State Bar of Texas.

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