Daily Archives: April 17, 2013

How to Find Happiness in the Practice of Law

While searching the College of Law Archives for items to include in Professor Feller’s upcoming memorial service, I came across a gem in the Spring 1989 Forum (a former periodic publication of the College of Law): The Commencement Address, given by Paul F. Eckstein, to the graduating class of 1988.

Good speeches stand the test of time, and 25 years later, Eckstein’s advice is still solid.

How to Find Happiness in the Practice of Law:

1. “(A)lways be respectful of those who are your adversaries and understand that your role as an advocate or negotiator deles not require you to assume the demeanor of those you represent…

2. (Do) what you can do well and (take) care with each word that you write and with each thought that you put forth…

3. (S)eek out and master new areas of the practice, however foreign and intimidating they may at first appear to be…

4. (M)ake the time to read great novels, listen to fine music, keep a watchful eye for new architecture and above all to develop a deep appreciation of our history and of our governmental institutions…

5. As a fifth key to happiness – indeed survival – in the practice of law you must be prepared to resign your position or fire your client, however painful that may be, when you are asked to participate in or bless unjustifiable conduct…

6. Perhaps I have an old-fashioned sense of values, but I cannot imagine how one can ever be truly happy in the practice when he is more concerned with the quantity of his possessions than the quality of his service. Thus, the sixth key to happiness is constant attention to the quality of your work.”

To read the Commencement Address in its entirety, click here.

 

~SL