What It Means to Be a Good Lawyer LESSONS IN LAW AND LIFE
T he first time I met a lawyer, I was 8 years old. My uncle took me to meet his lawyer because he needed a translator to discuss his immigration situation. I remember how stressful that meeting was for my uncle. The lawyer wouldn’t give him any information and wanted $2,500 in cash that day. My uncle left that office feeling more worried than when he’d walked in. Later on, he told my mom he wasn’t sure if he should have given that lawyer anything. Fortunately, it all worked out okay, but the way my uncle looked talking to that lawyer stuck with me. He felt powerless and scared, and this guy who was supposed to help him just made him feel worse. I didn’t decide to become a better lawyer at that moment; I went to law school because I couldn’t afford to start my own business. But I never forgot how a lawyer could make someone feel if they didn’t do a good job. weeks. They worked hard to support our family, but it was barely enough. Whenever their overtime was taken away, it put the family in crisis. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in that situation, and I learned from a young age that if I wanted to support myself, being self-employed was the best path. I come from a very poor background and grew up watching my parents work 50- or 60-hour
When some bigger chains started to move into the area, offering customers much lower prices than we could afford, I asked my boss if he was worried. He told me no because, as he put it, “If you take care of customers well, and you give good customer service every time, then you never have to worry.” He couldn’t beat the low prices, but he always had a better standing in the community because he helped everybody. After college, I went to the John Marshall School of Law and, as soon as I graduated, opened my own practice. Right away, I realized that being a lawyer was going to be so much better than working in any other field. It’s gratifying to be there when people need help. In 19 years of running my practice, our motto has always been to provide good, honest customer service. If our clients have questions, we’re honest with them; we don’t leave them hanging. We make sure everyone gets paid, both our clients and the doctors who treat them. Our honesty has built a great deal of trust with my clients. It feels good to know that when someone comes in, they trust that we’re going to take care of them. I have a responsibility to help people when they feel powerless. I intend to live up to that responsibility and change their lives for the better every day. –Ramiro Rodriguez, Jr.
parents couldn’t give me anything, and the banks refused to loan me anything. I could only get student loans, so I decided I might as well go to college. It was at Texas A&M where I met a lawyer who I was able to talk to about my situation. “You could become a lawyer and run your own practice,” he suggested. “I know a lot of successful lawyers who came from nothing and didn’t get the highest grades in high school. You just need to work hard and be a good lawyer.” If being a good lawyer meant being better than that guy my uncle hired, I could do it in my sleep. For years, I’d known about the importance of good customer service. In high school, I worked for a local auto parts store.
As you might know, starting a business costs money, which proved to be a challenge. My
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BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE ULTRA SUCCESSFUL
What does every successful person have in common? They read. Avid reading is a key characteristic of the ultra successful because, through great ideas, you can learn how to achieve your full potential. If you want to be more successful in business and in life, you should definitely add these great books to your reading list. ‘Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales From the World of Wall Street’ by John Brooks Who read it? Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Famously loaned to Bill Gates by Warren Buffett himself, “Business Adventures” was written and originally published shortly after the stock market crash of 1962. In this book, John Brooks recorded the successes and failures of 12 major companies of the era, including Ford, Xerox, and General Electric. ‘Letters to a Young Poet’ by Rainer Maria Rilke Who read it? J en Rubio, co-founder and president of Away From 1903–1908, renowned German poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote letters to a young, aspiring poet. These candid thoughts from one of the greatest artistic minds offer insights on life, love, and how to fully experience the world we live in. Each letter is a valuable reminder that we should never underestimate our own artistic spirit. ‘It’s Not About the Coffee: Leadership Principles From a Life at Starbucks’ by Howard Behar Who read it? Katrina Lake, founder and CEO of Stitch Fix Starbucks is known for its quick coffee and seasonally controversial cups, but that’s not what turned the company into a world- conquering success. In “It’s Not About the Coffee,” Howard Behar highlights the importance of company culture and the role business leaders play in helping their team members reach their full potential.
BUSINESS CARD ETIQUETTE IN 3 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
The business card is a nearly ubiquitous way to give your name, position, company, and contact information to potential clients and business partners all over the world. And while the exchange of business cards in the United States does not come with a lot of pomp and circumstance, that is not the case in many other countries. If you find yourself in one of the following places, remember these tips about exchanging business cards. Japan Known in Japan as meishi, the exchange of business cards comes with a lot of ceremony. Present your card with both hands, as this gesture is seen as respectful. Japanese culture places a lot of value on hierarchy and status, so make sure your title is listed prominently. When receiving a card, take a minute to look it over and comment on it. Immediately putting it away is disrespectful, and once you’re done looking at it, put it in a cardholder, folder, or binder. China In China, as in many other countries, having your credentials and contact info in English on one side and in the local language on the other is good practice. Gold lettering is considered auspicious, and if your business is relatively old, make sure the year it was founded is on your card. The practice of giving and receiving cards is very similar to that of Japan. Finish the exchange with a bow as a way to thank your acquaintance for meeting with you. India Business cards are exchanged even in nonbusiness interactions in India. Much like hierarchy and status are valued in Japan, academic achievements are valued in India, so list your university, degrees, and honors along with your other information. When exchanging cards, always give and receive them with your right hand. This is also common practice in many Middle Eastern countries. Exchanging business cards the wrong way probably won’t be detrimental to your business deal, but learning the proper etiquette in the country you’re visiting can go a long way in starting a professional relationship on the right foot.
‘Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration’ by Ed Catmull With Amy Wallace Who read it? Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, is responsible for some of the most successful animated movies in the history of cinema. “Creativity, Inc.” explores the creative process behind such films and how this process can be replicated in any industry. Forbes has suggested that Catmull’s book “just might be the best business book ever written.”
RULES FOR SAFE TRICK-OR-TREATING
Halloween is a holiday about frights and fun, but when it comes to trick-or-treating, parents often have very real fears. You may have seen online posts claiming that more kids are struck by cars on Halloween than any other night of the year. While this is technically true, it leaves out the fact that there are more children outside on Halloween than any other night of the year. Halloween is not inherently more dangerous than other nights, but there are safety rules we should all remember. Follow the Rules of the Road Getting as much candy as possible is an important childhood mission, but kids shouldn’t let the excitement cause them to run out into the street. Stick to the sidewalks and cross only at corners, traffic signals, and crosswalks. Remind children to look both ways twice before stepping into the road and to never walk out between parked cars. Teach your kids to make eye contact with drivers before they cross in front of their cars. Dress Smart Great costumes are key to a great Halloween, but before you let your kids show off their amazing outfits, follow these tips:
• Decorate costumes and trick-or-treat bags with reflective tape and supply glow-stick necklaces and bracelets for accessories.
• Masks can block a child’s vision, so opt for face paint instead.
• Cinderella may want her glass slippers, but your trick-or-treater will have more fun wearing comfortable shoes. • Make sure the costumes fit well and don’t have long capes or skirts that might cause a child to trip. Drive Safe If you are going to be out on the road on Halloween night, use extra caution. Young, excited children can behave erratically, so stay alert at all times. Slow down in residential areas, eliminate all distractions, and double-check for kids waiting to cross at crosswalks, intersections, and curbs. By practicing basic safety, we can help all of our little goblins and ghouls enjoy a fun and safe Halloween.
HALLOWEEN SAFETY 101
This super easy and fun way to create homemade treats provides your kids with a healthier and more delicious alternative to packaged industrial candy. As a bonus, making it is an awesome Halloween activity for your family to enjoy.
1 package melting chocolate
Assorted dried fruit, including apricots and mangoes
1. In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. 2. Place a large, heatproof mixing bowl on top of saucepan so that no steam can escape. Place melting chocolate in mixing bowl and double boil until melted. 3. Dip half of each piece of fruit in chocolate
before transferring to a parchment-lined baking sheet to rest. 4. Let cool for 10 minutes until chocolate solidifies. 5. Place in school lunches, serve at parties, and indulge in a few for yourself. Inspired by Food Network
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How to Be a Good Lawyer International Business Card Etiquette A Reading List for Real Success More Treats, Less Tricks Chocolate-Dipped Fruit A Tour of Marietta
The South is full of ghosts. Countless bloody battles during the Civil War caused the spirits of soldiers from both sides to be trapped in limbo forever. At least, that’s what the stories say. But even the most hardened skeptic will have a hard time not believing the stories when visiting Marietta’s most haunted building, Kennesaw House. Built in 1845, Kennesaw House is one of the oldest buildings in Marietta because it was one of the few buildings not burned down during Sherman’s Atlanta campaign. At the time, the building was the Fletcher House hotel, owned by Dix Fletcher. The hotel was spared during Sherman’s campaign because Fletcher’s son-in-law was a Union spy. Used as a hospital and morgue during the Civil War, it’s no surprise that Kennesaw House is said to be home to 700 restless spirits. Now home to the Marietta Museum of History, Kennesaw House has many museum visitors who report seeing some of these ghosts. There have been several sightings of a Civil War surgeon who
seems to enjoy riding the elevator. Children on school field trips often report spotting a woman in an Antebellum dress they later identity as Mrs. Fletcher, the wife of Dix Fletcher, who appears in a portrait hanging in the museum. But the most notable supernatural experience happened in the basement. While riding the elevator, museum visitors found themselves unexpectedly taken to the basement. When the doors opened, they found a crowded hospital room. Men in Civil War uniforms shouted in pain as weary surgeons removed limbs and tended to bullet wounds. When they returned to the main floor, some visitors asked museum staff about the “Civil War reenactment” going on downstairs. Baffled, museum staff went to check the situation but found the basement to be totally empty. Are these stories proof of the supernatural or tall tales meant to frighten the gullible? Make a trip to Kennesaw House in the historic downtown Marietta Square and find out for yourself.
700 Ghosts of Kennesaw House
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