James E. Brill 2015-06-30 11:47:20
What will you do with your license? Congratulations. You have passed the bar exam, what we call the final of your formal education. Your oath turns you into an attorney and counselor at law. From this point forward, it is up to you! Were you selected to clerk for a judge? Did you get on with the district attorney’s office? Will you go into business? Will you be on the partnership track at a major law firm? Or, are you like many graduates ... deciding on a career with a smaller firm or even starting your own practice? Although these choices seem different, they all provide an opportunity for wonderful and rewarding careers. Your license entitles you to serve the public. In a small private practice, that means helping your community, one client at a time. In a large firm, it often means assisting businesses that provide goods and services to the public. In government practice, it means helping to regulate society or to enforce the rules that regulate society. Your license can provide a shield to those whose freedom and rights are at risk, or it can provide a sword to fight those who have injured your clients. It affords you the opportunity to help families find housing, adopt children, plan for death and disability, and settle the affairs of a loved one who has died. Of course, not all relationships are permanent, and there will be numerous chances to help people go their separate ways. The choices seem endless, but to me they all boil down to helping other people. Your license has made you a member of the legal profession, and that gives you the opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with some of the finest people you will ever know. In Texas, we are all members of the State Bar of Texas, which offers outstanding training through continuing legal education programs. At times, you will be called upon to provide that training. In almost every community, there is a chance to participate in the work of the organized bar. Certainly, there are many more at the state level and many of those same interests are nationwide in nature. The American Bar Association and other national organizations attract lawyers with whom you can work to serve your peers and the legal profession. The point here is to make the most of the opportunity to serve. Your license is one of your most valuable assets. Use it to your advantage as you embark on your career path, always maintaining the highest ethical standards, always pursuing excellence, and always focusing on the best interests of your clients. TBJ JAMES E. BRILL is a 1957 University of Texas School of Law graduate and a solo practitioner from Houston whose practice emphasizes probate, estate planning, and real estate. He has been the principal author of every edition of Texas Probate System and is a recipient of the Presidents’ Award from the State Bar of Texas.
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