News & Publications

Enjoy the company of lawyers

I have heard and overheard one of our Terre Haute attorneys say many times, “I enjoy the company of lawyers.” Almost without regard to our area of practice or practice setting, we lawyers have much in common. Generally we are conversant on, if not active in, politics and current events. We share a full, and sometimes stressful, lifestyle and workload. Among lawyers, we can share details of our “war stories” with an attentive audience (knowing full well that such details would bore a nonlawyer to tears). The discussions need not be limited to the law, and often no legal points or issues are discussed. Like my Terre Haute comrade, I too enjoy the company of lawyers.

Embrace those opportunities. They arise (among others):

  • around the office at a firm or shared office space arrangement;
  • at the courthouse;
  • at local bar meetings;
  • at community events, social gatherings and fundraisers;
  • at the Solo & Small Firm Conference held each June;
  • at the State Bar’s Annual Meeting, which is ordinarily held in October of each year; and
  • over lunch.

We are all too familiar with the opportunities we have to communicate with one another without having to look each other in the eye. (I can still remember how much more hectic my life seemed when the use of fax machines picked up, and now I look back and recall those as the “good old days.”) But play devil’s advocate or espouse a staunch position for emphasis in one of today’s “virtual” ways, and you risk being misunderstood. Those risks are much less when you are face to face with and among a group of lawyers. I do not restrict my contacts or friendships to lawyers, but there is a certain comfort that comes from conversing with colleagues.

Embrace those opportunities by attending a few more bar meetings than is your habit; come to the ISBA’s fall meeting; go to the Solo & Small Firm Conference; or join a group of lawyers for lunch now and then. In short, consider going where the lawyers are.

If you are in Terre Haute over the lunch hour and would rather join a group of lawyers than eat fast food by yourself, go to the Saratoga at 5th and Wabash and ask about the “lawyer’s table.” As far as I can tell, it has been there for generations. The attendees vary from day to day, but the camaraderie is relatively consistent. Among the regulars are criminal lawyers, real estate (or “dirt”) lawyers, civil litigators, business lawyers and senior judges. If the table fills up, we pull up another. The topics range from local and national sports, politics and current events to any number of areas of practice (though no CLE credit is available).

While I encourage you to attend an ISBA event or stop by the Saratoga if you are in Terre Haute, each of your communities is likely to have its own opportunities. I submit that your life will be a bit more full if you embrace those opportunities to be in the company of lawyers. Like our Terre Haute colleague Craig McKee, I enjoy the company of lawyers. The chances are all around us. I certainly understand the desire to let some of those opportunities pass, but don’t pass on all of them. May your life be filled with more joy for having shared in the company of those with an interest in justice, an interest in community and an interest in those things that would bore others to tears.