Why I Danced on the Stage for My Law School Diploma

 ...and you should too. 

Let me tell you a story about a young man that grew up with everything he ever needed, not necessarily everything he ever wanted. He took advantage of all the generous teachers providing their patience, professional lives, and talents to a student population that was often times apathetic, or worse, just plain rude. He was never the caliber athlete that would have scholarships thrown upon him but he competed and played football, basketball, and ran track from midget league to varsity.

When he was provided erroneous high school curriculum direction from an inept guidance counselor he modified the change after one semester and made better grades to make up for the loss in GPA. He dealt with and experienced, the insecurity in being a young adult, young love, and down right ignorant decision making processes that were often times done multiple times before the lesson was learned. 

Life threw him curve balls, sometimes never experienced by others, although impacting way too many. He hit rock bottom several times mentally, physically, and emotionally with the roll-a-coaster ride that comes with the certainty of life and that is death. But through it all he completed the accomplishments that come through hard work, perseverance, luck, and prayer. 

Undergraduate studies were largely funded by the state of South Carolina through various scholarships and the remainder through hard working parents and summer jobs. After a little over a year in the professional setting at various non-profit entities and then a stint in Mexico teaching English as a foreign language, he sought further education through a law degree. 

He was accepted to several schools, none of them being affordable, and went head first into the abyss of student loans. He was taught how to think within legal parameters, told when to attend class, and surrounded by hundreds of strangers in which only a handful of real friends would exist. When an opportunity arose to study international law through another school's summer program he was denied that opportunity, strictly based on financial reasons. (Money to another school for tuition meant no money for his current school). 

After facing the death of his mother at the beginning of the second year of law school he reached out to the readily available medicinal values of alcohol. Fortunately law school courses only have one exam per class, per semester so he was easily able to rise to the occasion when it mattered. The rest of the time was filled with a glass half empty perspective and cynical nomenclature of those more "enlightened" through higher education. 

By the time graduation rolled around he was beginning to see the dense clouds and fog clear on the horizon and thought the worse may actually be close to over. That was until graduation gowns and "caps" were selected, boldly reflecting the pious and pretentious enigma of a law school graduate. This was the last straw and a purging of the experience could only have been done by pulling this scholarly hood ornament down far upon his face like a toboggan. Then when it was his turn to politely, professionally, and with the honor of a highly educated individual walk across the stage to receive his diploma...he danced. 

 After Incurring over $150,000.00 in student loans only to receive a degree that merely allowed him to take a three day exam before he could call himself a professional he studied three years to become; after inquiring with administrators why attendance had to be kept since he was paying them a handsome yearly sum to teach him;  after being denied international educational experiences for which he qualified; after loving to write but not being a good legal writer, and after some tumultuous ups and downs through those three years, he entered the stage in a city that bore the "Allman Brothers" feeling the need to let his soulshine so he danced, jumped, and gave shout outs to his family.

You, high school, technical school, college, graduate school, and/or doctorate degree graduates should dance upon the stage, too. Remember the past remains behind you unless you allow it to overcome you in the present.  The present is all you have to enjoy for today but use it wisely as it determines your future. Always remember to dance regardless of your stage. 

 

17 Years Of Accomplishments, Reflections, and Experiences

I usually reserve these self reflective articles for Fridays or on specific anniversaries but for some reason I felt compelled to sing to the high hills all the wonderful things life has provided me as I reflected this morning not just on my ripe old age of 34 but on my upcoming anniversary from 17 years of remission with leukemia. You see, I doubled my age. That may not be relevant to anyone that has never had a life threatening scare with cancer or some other trauma but it is relevant to me and therefore very relevant to want to express that joy.

First and foremost I am most blessed to be in a loving relationship with a beautiful woman that allows me to call her wifey, among other adoring names.  Speaking of anniversaries, we just celebrated our first year of marriage and lucky for my chemo zapped brain my birthday, our anniversary, and her birthday all fall within a two week period of each other. Mrs. Kristen Mills has been a life saving relationship, companion, and lover.

Secondly, my family and her family remain close and constantly involve each other in their daily living. Dealing with clients for a living I see so many instances of where families are not supportive or sustainable for a litany of reasons. I am happy to have my father, step-mother, and more immediate family members along with Kristen's family to be so loving and caring about any time that can be spent as a family.

Thirdly, I am fortunate to have had the professional opportunities to be a partner in a law firm that shares my last name. There are no long lines of doctors or lawyers in my family. Just me. How I got here and down this path to legal litigation, God only knows. More importantly, I am fortunate to absolutely love what I do for a living when I see so many struggle day in and day out at something that makes them miserable. Couple that with the fact that every income I earn comes directly from the operating account of insurance companies and I almost feel like I have a connection straight to heaven where any misdeeds in my life have been erased. Like the crusaders of days past, I am truly doing God's work.

In 17 years after my cancer diagnosis with a two week prognosis and worrying how my family could afford the medical bills and treatment if the health insurance company got its way in wiggling out of their responsibility in paying for them by trying to find loopholes in my parents' benefits:

  • I am fortunate to have my health;
  • I am fortunate to have my wife;
  • I am fortunate that we are so blessed with with such loving families. 

Insurance companies are not so fortunate because:

  • I love what I do;
  • I hate everything about what they do;
  • My wife and I like nice things, vacations, and giving back to the community (all paid for directly from insurance companies).

I will never forget someone saying that "insurance companies are just untouchable" when all that was going on and my parents were trying to figure out how to pay for my treatment. No they are not.

You just have to hit insurance companies in the wallet where it hurts because they don't have hearts.  --Trey Mills

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

 F___ You If You Have Never Had Cancer!

 Living the Dream: While Looking Behind the Curtain

 The Greatest New Year's Resolution Ever

 Charity Events Don't Just Help the Cause-They Help the Contributor
 

 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's South Carolina Man & Woman of the Year!

Hello 15 Years of Remission from Cancer, So Good to See You


Charlie Sheenisms: How They Relate to Law, Marketing, & Life

What an amazing spectacle of media, publicity, and sheer genius,or insanity, have been shown the last few weeks through a man, or warlock, and his tiger's blood. You may have surmised it from the title, your vast knowledge of recent media, or from not having your head in a hole, Charlie Sheen is entertaining.

His latest rants and quotes have caused popularity chasers to start a website entitled, http://www.livethesheendream.com/, consisting of recent quotes to include:

• “They picked a fight with a warlock.”
• ”I have one speed. I have one gear. Go.”
• ”It was so gnarly I can’t remember.”
• ”I’m not ‘aw shucks’. Because I’m gnarly.”
• ”One of my favorite poets is Eminem.”
• “We’re Vatican assassins. How complicated can it be?”
• “If you’re a part of my family, I will love you violently.”
• ”Let’s hook up and just bring fiery death.”
• ”I don’t know, winning, anyone? Rhymes with winning? Anyone? Yeah, that would be us.”
• ”I’m a peaceful man with bad intentions.”
• ”Duh, WINNING.”
• ”I guess I’m just that goddamn bitchin’.”
• ”Resentments are the rocket fuel that lives in the tip of my saber.”
• ”Mistook this rockstar, bro.”
• ”Park your nonsense.”
• ”I have a disease? Bullshit. I cured it with my brain.”
• “A lot of people think Major League’s called Wild Thing. As they should.”
• “I’m on a quest to claim absolute victory on every front.”
• ”Go back to the troll hole where you came from.”

Why should you care and how does this relate to law? Well sometimes the craziest most unique stories get all the attention. They tend to overshadow the reality and everyday lives of so many hard working, intelligent, and compassionate people. These people go on with their lives without making the news or making millions of dollars. However, without these wonderful people the United States of America would not be where it is today. Thank you hard working, intelligent, and compassionate America. I know you are out there, even though my TV will never have you on it.

For the rest of you, "You're on a drug and it's called vanity." --Trey Mills.

Hello 15 Years of Remission from Cancer, So Good to See You

I never thought I would be able to celebrate past my early twenties much less into my thirties. As I come around high school kids and young adults I feel like it was only yesterday that I was in high school or college. Ha. Ha. Time has flown by and only a cliche like that can be used because as I look back on a decade and half of borrowed time from the reaper, it has gone away in the snap of my fingers.

It would seem as you reach each milestone- 5 years, 10 years, & now 15 years you would become exponentially wiser, healthier, and wealthier. I can't say I have reached all those but;

  • it does feel good to be alive;
  • to love;
  • to be loved;
  • to be away from the encumbrances of IV lines, doctors, and hospitals, in other words, to be healthy;
  • to give back;
  • to be productive and have work; and
  • mainly to live in its truest since.

I know there are many that have not reached their goals or moved on from worldly constraints so I simply want to celebrate today, for it is all I have.

 

I was in a deposition a week or so ago, bored silly, so I was going through the "Motivational Quotes" application on my phone and this has stuck with me since:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Mark Twain

I have done that in the past 15 years and it feels good.

Tick....Tock.... Spring Forward/Fall Backward: Wake Up!

Too busy to make time for this and that, have to try and sign up this new client that really needs my help, one of my rentals is almost finished and I need to show it to potential renters, need to have my car looked at, need to have my back looked at, have to establish new relationship with local bank, (blah, blah, blah)...

Let's just forget it all and go enjoy a wet Saturday at Clemson with a beautiful date. Then make the rounds to all friends and family, go enjoy some box seats and finally sit down to watch the game. Tigers run down the hill to start the game and I jump up to enjoy some of the box amenities...

Who's that bald kid behind me? I bet he has cancer. I will talk to him when I get back down there. Wait, I know that bald kid, that's Chase Hamm and his mother, Melissa. ( A young man that grew up in the same town I did, went to the same high school, and is currently battling a brain tumor.) I turn around to say hello and I am greeted with a strong, yet excited handshake from Chase. We immediately recognize a bond and the struggle he is currently going through without saying a word. I couldn't help but be reminded  of 14 years back to a similar time in my life with a mother that carried the same expression on her face. A look of a mother willing to do anything to give happiness to her sick child, one of exhaustion, and one of relief that someone around her may actually be able to relate rather than look on with ignorance and/or pity.

During one point in our conversation, I realize my eyes are feeling really red and starting to fill with water. I dont have time to rush out of the room and I have not burst out crying since I watched my mother take her last breathes on her death bed.  I am able to turn toward the game in time and quell the eruption coming from my stomach. I think I do so without anyone noticing but that was not the case, especially given the silence of all parties. 

To hear how elated both Chase and is mother were to be able to attend the Clemson game helped me remember the simple joys in life.  When life was not the luxury I enjoy today by being able to physically do as I please. Not being restricted by my "counts", ie hemoglobin, white blood cells, and platelets.  It was bitter sweet how this outing back home may help them recharge for another couple weeks of battling in the trenches at St. Jude.  Chase was also excited to watch his cousin play for the opposing team, Coastal Carolina.   

Seeing Chase helped on several fronts:

  1. It was a reminder of where my life was and where it is now;
  2. A reminder to snap out of that typical American nature to be so caught up in everything that you don't see anything;
  3. A refresher that no amount of possessions will replace love and companionship;
  4. That cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me because I have experienced, accomplished, and obtained more in the 14 years of extra life than most do in their lifetime; and
  5. Normal people are boring, crazy is cool. 

 

How Powerful is the Human Mind?

It could be the sound of a familiar song, the deja vu experience of having been there, or the intuition with having made a last minute adjustment that completely altered your life.  Well as I sit and write this article, I do so after having been awakened from a dead sleep to memories of my mother, Patricia Y. Mills, taking her last breathes as our family stood at her bedside on the early morning of September 1, 2003.  Six years ago, almost to the hour she passed, I am awaken by memories I knew I would never be able to rid myself of but was not expecting the reminder to be so poignant.

In the past six years I have done some amazing things and I have done some amazingly stupid things.  The old adage "two steps forward, three steps back" come to mind.  I often wonder with the guidance and advice of my mother if any steps in my life would have changed or been altered for better or for worse. I don’t think I would have the drive that catapults me to the forefront of living my life in such a manner that I try not to look back, enjoy those moments with friends and family,  and interact more with real people not engaging in fake, superficial relationships.  


There are many things my mother taught me but my fondest quote was given to me when I was distraught over a 11th grade relationship with what I thought was the love of my life. My mom was quite the looker, yet could tear you apart with her eyes and cutting glances. Twenty years as an Emergency Room nurse on the 3rd shift can teach you those innate qualities of dealing with all walks of life. My mother said this:
 

Do you want to ride the merry-go-around all your life, where nothing really changes and life is always the same OR do you want the roller coaster, where you have your ups and downs but it’s always exciting?---- Patricia Y. Mills
 

I always chose the roller coaster.  It was her way of reminding me to always go for the best life has to offer because most people are too scared, too insecure, or too worried about what others think to take chances. You may not succeed every time but if you are going down, eventually things will go up and always be prepared for the downward ride when things are really high.  This week is another reminder that the roller coaster has its ups and downs but it is always exciting.  



 

Life Is a Lot Like Running

I am NOT an avid, amateur, or competitive runner. I do not read Runner's World on a regular basis. However, I do like to get out there on a beautiful day and exert some energy, get rid of some stress, and challenge my body to stay healthy.

Recently I have enjoyed getting back out on the streets and trying to increase my stamina. My left knee still gives me some grief but I enjoy the pain and struggle that running provides. I am the type of runner that enjoys running in the South's 90+ degree weather and torturing my body. Sure there are the health nuts that think that is not healthy but neither is binge drinking/smoking/excessive eating/ tomfoolery so let me pick my own poison.

I enjoy physically participating in the real life challenge of getting over the next obstacle in front of me. In Greenville, it is not that difficult to find hilly terrain to have a challenging jog. Lately, I have struggled with the hill coming from North Church Street, headed South towards the intersection of S. Church Street and University Ridge. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't the last leg of my run.

That hill has taught me some things:

  • If I dread doing it, I'm not going to push myself to complete it;
  • If I stop before I get to the top, I lose the discipline to start back up and finish the task I set out to perform;
  • If I look too far ahead because of the distance that lies before me, I lose hope in my struggle and often times fail to complete it;
  • If I put my head down and focus on one step at a time it's a lot easier; and
  • When I do blow past the top and turn the corner towards home, I feel like I can conquer the world!

 

 A little "Eye of the Tiger" Rocky style to help those on Friday run out of their offices.

F___ You If You Have Never Had Cancer!

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE THAT MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO OTHERS. PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU CAN NOT HANDLE THE FREEDOM OF YOUTHFUL AND IGNORANT EXPRESSION IN THAT SAME DICTION.

(Since Friday is Good Friday, I am using Thursday as my liberal expression day)

That's right. I just said, "F*&k you if you have never had cancer!"

  • If your world has never stopped;
  • you have never had to immediately face the reality of your immortality;
  • never witnessed the shame of your invincibility being brought down before you;
  • never interacted with all the well wishers that just make things worse by telling you about their friend/family member/or loved one that DIED of the same cancer you are fighting;
  • never received intravenously a chemical brought in by nurses wearing rubber gowns, in a bright yellow bucket with a covering warning of the dangers of exposure, WTF!;
  • never gotten high off of Benadryl given intravenously; and
  • never lost your hair as a result of those highly cautionary chemicals brought in by the nurse in the rubber gown or by a machine that applies radiation directly to your head.

In keeping with the theme of this week's National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week, I thought I would share the thoughts of a young cancer survivor, aka me.Therefore, I will tell it from my generation's diction.

"Be still, and know that I am God." That passage has stuck with me a long time as a result of my whole world stopping on or about June 17, 1995 at Lexington Medical Center when they informed me that my white blood cell count was over 160,000 (normal range 4,000-10,000). The following days of needle insertions, Hickman line insertions and reinsertions, chemotherapy, spinal taps, radiation to the head, constant monitoring and loss of privacy, and bone marrow aspirations were not that delightful.

Funny story. I got so sick, weak, and delirious on the first round of chemo that I believed I could still stand and operate my body. It had only been 1 day for heaven's sake. My parents finally decided to let my aunt and uncle watch over me, while they ran home to take showers and get clothes for a longer stay. When I tried to get out of bed, I had so many damn tubes going in me and I was so weak, I stumbled and stepped on some of those tubes.  Those tubes were connected to the Hickman line that was surgically inserted in my jugular vein. My 180lbs of downward momentum ripped that tube right out of my chest and the rest is kind of a blur. I remember a loud noises, lots of nurses in my room throwing sand bags on my chest to stop the bleeding, a shot of morphine, and an extended stay in the ICU.  That was just the first few days. I guess that wasn't too fucking funny was it?

Or how about one of the nights in ICU the first week when all the chemicals started really fucking with my head and .....

 

Continue Reading...

Live Life Like a Corona Commercial: Check

I apologize to those devout readers that were obviously starved for new blog entries. Or should I just say devout reader, Austin Watts.  Another friend of mine, Michael Dixon, and I most recently traveled to Cancun, Mexico for a long weekend of R&R. I thought I would come back with inspiration but I just came back with a bronze, to red, tan, and still hear waves crashing in my head.

Come with me to a little place they call Mexico......

 

A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words

From the

to the

people use poor judgment.

Consider this

like one of my clients struck by

 

  1. What is Full Coverage automobile insurance? (click on "Full Coverage" to find out)
  2. What do you do about Property Damage to your car after a wreck? (click "Property Damage")
  3. Why does Allstate Insurance suck so bad? (again click to find out)
  4. How do you win the Insurance Claim Game?

 

How Can a 6th Century Warrior-Philosopher Help America?

In Sun Tzu's "The Art of War", there is a chapter entitled "Doing Battle":

Therefore I have heard of military operations that were clumsy but swift, but I have never seen one that was skillful and lasted a long time. It is never beneficial to a nation to have a military operation to continue for a long time. -Sun Tzu

I was trying to gain some deeper sense for my law practice but these quotes continued to make me think of other things going on in the world:

When a country is impoverished by military operations, it is because of transporting supplies to a distance place. Transport supplies to a distant place, and the populace will be impoverished. -Sun Tzu

How can this Chinese person from the 6th century possibly be relevant in 2009?

When resources are exhausted, then levies are made under pressure. When power and resources are exhausted, the the homeland is drained. The common people are deprived of seventy percent of their budget, while the government's expenses for equipment amount to sixty percent of its budget. -Sun Tzu

At least we have remained a presence and allowed the infidels to know we are not leaving until the job is done!

So the important thing in a military operation is victory, not persistence. -Sun Tzu

 

I Already Got an Attorney

I dedicate this song to all those sorry sack of s*& attorneys that steal clients from other attorneys after they sign them up. 

(Scroll to the bottom and click on the video to get "the beat".)

I Already Got An Attorney 

Verse One:
Aiyyo sweetie, you're lookin kinda hurt
What's a client like you, doin rubbin their face in the dirt
I'm just here, tryin to hold up my frown
Yeah, I think I like how that sounds
What you say we gets to know each other better?
That sounds good but I don't think that I can let ya
I don't know, tell me is it so
Do you get a kick, out of tellin attorneys no?
No it's not that see you don't understand
How should I put it, I got an attorney.
What's your attorney got to do with me?
I told ya
I'm not tryin to hear that see
I'm not one of those clients that go signing up all around
I'm not some defense attorney, so don't play me like a clown
I'll admit, I like how you litigate it
Now you're talkin baby, dats da word of mouth I need
Now don't get excited and spewing legalese
I already told ya, I got an attorney
What's your attorney got to do with me?
I got an attorney
I'm not tryin to hear that see
I got an attorney
What's your attorney got to do with me?
I got an attorney
I'm not tryin to hear that
Now you can persist to play King of Torts all day
But ain't nothin gonna change
Yeah baby, sure you're right
I'm a break it down and do whatever I gots to do
I tell you now, I got a personal investigator already working for you
You got eyes, but they not for me
You better use them for what they for and that's to see
You know what's the problem, ya not used to greed
I'm Big Daddy Warbucks, and your attorneys picking up somebody’s Starbucks
I got a question to ask you peep
Are you on the Trial Lawyers Listserve, cause its got a leak
You know what they say about those who represent themselves
You might find the fool, by yourself
I'm not waitin because I'm no waiter
So when I litigate that big case, don't try to kick it to me later
All them other clients must got you gassed
A-when they see a good thing they don't let it pass
Well that's OK, cause see if that's their plan
Cause for me, I already got an attorney
What's your attorney got to do with me?
I got an attorney
I'm not tryin to hear that see
I got an attorney
What's your attorney got to do with me?
I got an attorney
I'm not tryin to hear that
What am I, some PI paying off low life ambulance runner
that just caught wind of a death case and sweatin you for a date?
I don't want no beef, I just wants to strike you with leather
But how you talkin, pssssh, whatevah!
We can't have nothin
It all depends
Well if we can't be professionals than we can't be friends
Well then I guess it's nothing
Well hey I think you're bluffing
Well I'm a call my attorney
Well I am going to be huffing and puffin about not knowing you had an attorney
Ya better catch a flashback remember I'm the King is this small town
You know my style, I don't let nobody hold me down
All I remember's an excuse me miss
You can't get a client like me with a lame ass runner like this
Well look I'll get you paid
My attorney gets me paid better
I talk sweet on the phone
My attorney writes me letters
I'll tell you that I want you, and tell you that I care
My attorney says the same except he's sincere
Well I'm clean cut and dapper, that's what I'm about
My attorney reads me things and lets me pout
Well you can keep your attorney, cause I only go the money route
Don't you know you better respect my authority
There's a lot of clients out there who won't say no
You're out for numero uno
Boom batter my pockets is gettin fatter
I wanna treat you up and provide for you
Let me know the spot on your body and I will have a doctor treat you
So when your attorney don't treat you like he used to
I kick in like a hen house Rooster
You want lawyering you don't have to ask when
Your attorney's a headache, I'll be your aspirin
All confusion, you know I'll solve em
I got an attorney
You got a what?
How long you had that problem?
What's your attorney got to do with me?
I got an attorney
I'm not tryin to hear that see
I got an attorney
What's your attorney got to do with me?
I got an attorney
I'm not tryin to hear that
I got an attorney
Aiyyo baby put the dial numbers or your address
I got an attorney
I told ya I treat you right
I got an attorney
Aww c'mon now ain't no future in telling the truth
I'm not havin it
C'mon Miss, oh we back on that again
Uhh, I'm not tryin to hear that see
I got an attorney
But your attorney ain't me
Uhh, uhh, I got an attorney
You got a WHAT?
Uhh, uhh, uhh, I got an attorney
You got a WHAT?
 

 

You hear that ___________ Law Firm, they already got an attorney!

 

 


Positive K - I Got A Man - Positive K

3 Ways Social Networking Ruined My Social Skills

A once gregarious, crowd worker that could shake hands, kiss babies, and provide that, "How Yooouu Doing!?" (see below) pop was amazed what a few months of social networking did to his real world social skills this past week on a cruise ship full of strangers.

  1. Instead of playing the name game and asking their profession, I wanted to see a list of their "connections" and a brief run down of their working history as told by them. (LinkedIn). Making connections the new cyber space way. Click here.
  2. I wanted a little photo of everyone on the ship and then ask the ones I felt I had more in common with to be "my friend".  (Facebook)
  3. I realized I was not interested unless they could illustrate their point in 140 words or less. (Twitter). Start tweeting to your heart's desire.  "Tweet" me here  

          

 

 

Why Would You Want to Be a Heartless, Lying, Self Centered, Ambulance Chasing, Sue Over a Penny, No Good, Family Wrecking Attorney?

Short Answer: I'm not. I do not believe I have ever met anyone by that description in my profession either plaintiff, defense, corporate, tax, real estate, or otherwise.

The past three years I have been working in this state after having met the requirements set out by the Supreme Court of South Carolina by passing three days of testing for the state Bar Examination and adhering to the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct under Rule 407.

However, just to get to that stage I had to:

  • graduate from a reputable four year university or college with an above median grade point average;
  • graduate and acquire my Juris Doctorate degree from a three years of legal education at a law school which was approved by the American Bar Association (and in doing so incurring over $125,000.00 in student loans);
  • pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE);
  • complete my Rule 403, SCACR Trial Experiences to be certified to appear as counsel in any hearing, trial, or deposition; and
  • convince a practicing attorney to hire me straight out of law school with no true practical experience;

You always hear people say:

"I should be a lawyer. I thought about becoming a lawyer but just didn't have the time. I wish I was a lawyer. I took the LSAT and just decide not to go."

I decided to become an attorney. I worked hard, made sacrifices, went in debt because I could not afford it, and delayed my earning capacity while my peers from college started upon their careers.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, I worked for the American Red Cross as an Apheresis Recruiter in Columbia, South Carolina.  This is a much more entailed process than giving blood but my sales pitch was always this:

If you or someone you loved had cancer and was in need of platelets or whole blood wouldn't you expect the hospital to provide you with those necessities? Why are you willing to receive it but not willing to give it?

In turn, you expect competent legal representation if something were to ever happen to you or your family but you're not willing to give the profession the praise it deserves.

Why are you willing to receive it but not willing to give it?

Bring Your Grandmother to Work Day

Yes, I did.  My grandmother, Becky French, had a heart attack several months ago and I promised I would bring her up to Greenville to see my house and where I work.  I had not made good on that promise yet and she reminded me every time we talked.

However being a third year lawyer,  I still needed to work. Although the Trammell Law Firm, P.A., is not officially one of the over 100 companies on the Parenting in the Workplace Institute's list that allows babies in the workplace, I felt they would be flexible with a more mature adult.

What I learned from bringing my grandmother to work:

  1. Don't say it, if you don't want others to hear it- She started off in my office and when I reminded her about confidentiality, she responded that she had not heard a thing my paralegal and I were talking about.  A few minutes later, she inquired how someone could get hurt the way the lady said she got hurt, as told to me by my paralegal.
  2. I am blessed to have an office job- My grandmother worked at Oakland Mill for 22 years and 13 years in a sewing room.  The fact that I sit in a temperature controlled room, in a comfortable chair, and strain my brain and not my brawn was amazing to her. She also found it a little boring.
  3. Live each day like it is your last (in a good way)- Steve Jobs' commencement speech to Stanford in 2005 had that quote, along with a lot of other interesting points. I spend hours on end talking with complete strangers about the most intimate and traumatic moments of their lives. I need to make sure I take advantage of the time I have with loved ones.
  4. Pride comes before the fall-As I took my grandmother home, I felt a wave of arrogance for being the first attorney in the family. Then I asked her how her day at my office was and she replied, "I enjoyed being a banker for today." 
  5. Nobody loves you like your family
  6. I need to go to a good church, get married because I am getting too old, provide great grandchildren, clean my house, plant more flowers in my yard..............

"You don't need a holiday to celebrate every day". -- Trey Mills