My life in 10 years

I find myself in my study looking out the window.  I smile to myself, feeling both a blessed and lucky.  Opposite me, I glanced at a picture of a man fishing with his son.  Next to that is a wall calendar that shows the current month.  June 2018.  I look out the window again, and whisper life is good.

I look back to the time when I transferred to the University of Michigan on my sophomore year.  At that time, I was taking up history, just because it was the one nearest to my hand in the tick boxes of courses that the University offered.  I really do not know how I got into law, maybe it was because my best buddies on campus were law students, or maybe because the University’s law school produced a significant number of outstanding alumni.  Or maybe, I just had it in me.  For whatever the reason, my law studies became my anchor.  Whereas before, I would have described myself as a drifter, not really knowing what I’d do in life.  My law studies had my father, who have always said that I would not amount to anything, very perplexed.

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When I graduated, I immediately accepted an offer for a support staff position at the Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, where I interned.  Life there was tough, where we worked long hours preparing for various cases against criminals from all walks of life.  When I passed the bar, I continued working for the PA Office, but now as an assistant prosecuting attorney.

It was doubly taxing for me back then, but I treasured the opportunity to be able to handle a lot of different cases, which involved different laws.  What’s more, I hated losing and I was growing addicted to the strings of successful prosecutions that I was adding to my portfolio.

In the course of my work, I came face to face with hotshot lawyers and big, established law firms.  One of them was Hertz, Schram & Saretsky, a nationally known criminal law firm.  I was prosecuting a murder case against James Burdick.  I lost the case, but won Burdick’s admiration.  What followed was a dizzying flurry of offers from Hertz Schram, something that is not new to me back then.  The Hertz Schram offer was different, however.  It was highly attractive, financial-wise, and it offered an opportunity for me to work not as an associate, but as a partner.

            I was soon on the other side of the fence, defending criminals that in the past year, I would have put to jail in an instant.  Still, the successes kept coming.  I earned a reputation for being a thoroughly prepared lawyer.  Indeed, it was my objective to “out-prepare” and “out-research” everyone on the other side of the courtroom.

            Three months ago, I withdrew as a partner at Hertz Schram, much to the dismay of James Burdick, who over time became my mentor and trusted confidante.  I felt that I have spent enough time with their practice, and while the friendship and fond memories will linger, I decided to open my own firm.

It was a risk, but I feel that it is worth it.  When I announced my plans to my family, my mother was overjoyed while my father fell silent.  Two days ago, I received a Fed-ex package that contained the same picture hanging on the wall across me.  With it was a note from my father, written in his cursive script: Congratulations, son.

The door to my study opens.  My wife comes in, holding my son in her arms.  She offers me a penny for my thoughts, while Brent is cooing, tilting his head and motioning for me to get him.  It’s a Sunday, we’re off to church.

As I close the door behind me, I look back at my study.  It contains everything that happened to my life so far: my law books, framed newspaper clippings, a folder holding the articles of incorporation and other documents for my new law firm, pictures of my wife, my son, my parents and siblings, and of course, that fishing picture.

Life—indeed—is good.

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