I meet lawyers who tell me they wish they were not practicing law. When I ask why, as often as not they tell me they are not enjoying what they are doing.

I think part of the problem we have as lawyers is how we view our work.

(Photo taken by Nancy from a house where we stayed in Kohala Ranch on the Big Island of Hawaii.)

When you are working on a matter for a client, what are you thinking? What is the context of the work you are doing?

William James, a 19th century American philosopher and psychologist  once said:

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

Over 100 years later, Steve Jobs shared an inspirational thought on this subject:


I want you to think for a moment about what the William James quote and Steve Jobs’ thought means in the legal profession.

At times, the work you do for clients will be boring. At times, the work you do for clients will be stressful. At times, the work you do for clients will take you away from something you would far rather be doing. At times, you will wonder why you ever decided to become a lawyer.

I know, because while I loved practicing law, and would not have traded it to do anything else, (well maybe coaching college basketball), I experienced being bored, being stressed out, times when I preferred to be home, and even times when I wondered why I became a lawyer.

At any of those times, remember this: Everything you do for a client makes a difference for that client. Everything your client does makes a difference to those that client serves, and so on…