In January, 1996, I was working on a large construction dispute in California, teamed with a Los Angeles firm. I got caught in two snow storms trying to get back to Virginia. I decided I wanted to live in the center of the country in a city with a great airport. Nancy and I had grown up in Chicago and she reminded me we left because there are only two seasons-winter and construction. So, we chose Dallas for location and the airport, but we got much more.

When we moved from Virginia to Dallas in 1996, my friends in Virginia asked me how I liked it. I jokingly replied:

It’s brown, it’s flat, we get tornadoes and ice storms, the downtown sidewalks roll up at 5:00 or 6:00, the trees are shorter than I am and I hate the Dallas Cowboys. But, other than that, I really like it.

Nancy told me that I could not call a city home and cheer against the home teams. I suggested that she just watch me. Like many things in life, Nancy was right. We are now Rangers, Mavericks, Stars…and yes, even Cowboys fans. My Virginia friends still can’t believe it.

I spent my days practicing law in Dallas in Fountain Place, the beautiful building designed by I. M. Pei. Here is a short description of the building from Wikipedia:

The building is known for its unique architecture—it was designed as a large, multi-faceted prism. Its various slanted sides cause the building to have a completely different profile from all directions. The building gets its name from the array of 172 dancing fountains in the plaza at its base.

If you watch the opening credits for the new Dallas television show Fountain Place is featured. It is one of the additions to the skyline since the opening credits of the original Dallas show.

Why do I love Dallas? It is not because of the beautiful skyline, that includes Fountain Place. It is not because of the professional sports teams, although they provide great entertainment. It is not because of the restaurants, although there are many outstanding ones and they are packed every night. It is not because of the truly authentic Mexican restaurants, although I dine at them regularly.

Why do I love Dallas? More than any other reason, it is because of the opportunities to do legal work for interesting clients and on interesting projects. No, the clients are not as interesting as J.R. Bobby and the other characters on the TV show. But, Dallas is a business city. It is a city where money changes hands in deals and litigation. No one cares where you went to school, or where your children are going to school. As a lawyer you are more likely to be judged based on the quality of your work and the quality of your relationships.

I am not saying that you should pick a place to live solely based on the business opportunities, and I still miss the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. But, opportunities came to me in Dallas I would not have encountered in Virginia and for that reason I love Dallas.