Improving the Image of the Legal Profession

Improving the Image of the Legal Profession, One child at a Time...Your Own

My wife, Ann, and I met and married while we were attending law school together at the University of Alabama.She is teaching school and I am practicing law and the Lord has blessed us with two children.

Several years ago, we took a financial planning course in which it was recommended that each child spend at least one entire day at work with his parents learning about each parent's job.The course addressed the fact that many children are completely ignorant about what occurs in the daily work life of their parents.In one example from the course, a young boy was told that his father went to work "to make money."This child thought that his father must be a prodigious and talented artist if he was able to do the artwork on all of the dollar bills in circulation.

I am glad we are insisting that each of our children works at our law office for a period of time.Our daughter has worked as a receptionist and runner, and our son will be working as a runner during one of the holidays.Working with my daughter changed our relationship and in her own words, "It made me appreciate you more, Dad."

In our practice, our firm represents some of the poorest people and some of the wealthiest people in Alabama.Our clients include virtually every age group, gender, nationality and race, as well as people from every strata of society.Somehow my daughter went away from her law office work experience knowing one fundamental truth: that "lawyers help people."

Our son has made it clear to me that he has no interest in being a lawyer.However, I want both children to believe, like their mother and father, that the practice of law is a high calling.I also want them to have the common experience with me of serving the people who come into our law office seeking help.

I have also enjoyed hiring other local students to work with our law firm.Some students like Georgia Kobos Thomas, Laurence McDuff and Rob Jackson have gone on to law school themselves, while other students have pursued different vocations.However, the lawyers in our firm know that these young people completed their work experience with our firm having learned that "lawyers help people."

Every one of us in the legal profession will reap the benefits if we take the opportunity to "train up a child in the way her should go" with respect to understanding the services performed by lawyers, so that even when he is old he will not depart from it."

_Sam Crosby is a member of the firm of Stone Crosby, P.C., with offices in Daphne, Foley and Bay Minette.