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HOWWE TELL THE STORY THAT NEEDS TO BE TOLD
A Love of Learning
Friends and peers often ask if I’m working on anything interesting, and recently, I realized that my answer is almost always an enthusiastic yes. As an attorney, I am constantly studying something new. Lately, I’ve been diving into forensic age progression and its application to the law. For example, we might want to show what a deceased father would look like at his daughter’s college graduation or wedding or what someone who’s now a quadriplegic would have looked like had they not been injured. Through this visual representation, we can begin to show what our clients have been through, and most importantly, what’s been taken from them. I’ve been reading about this technology as if I were going to be an artist for the FBI. I even ordered the manual that they use to teach classes. My job gives me the constant ability to learn something new, and I love that. For another case, I started studying trail building and mountain biking. Another situation has us learning all about escalators — I feel like I could probably fix one myself at this point. We know daycares inside and out because we’ve studied them so that when a case comes in, we can ask the important questions right away. It helps us work faster and know what went wrong quickly, so we can start working to make it right. What I’m learning now will last me a lifetime. It doesn’t just help one case, either. It has the potential to help clients in the future who are in similar situations. The more we know, the more we can bring to the case. It isn’t just textbooks or manuals that we get to learn about — it’s our clients. We get to know our clients really well because this is their life. If we’re going to accurately tell their story, we need to know who they are. I’ve had the opportunity to know so many interesting and special people. I get to know their inner circle: their family and friends who come around them when a catastrophic event has altered their life. Getting to know different people and all the obstacles they’ve overcome, as well as watching them pursue their dreams after
they’ve recovered, is the coolest part of what we get to do. Helping people move forward is the best part.
When clients come to us, we recognize that they are putting their lives in our hands. It’s powerful to have the opportunity to learn about people and then take that knowledge to tell the story that needs to be told. When you look at people who have found success in their industry — from Denzel Washington to Bill Gates — they’re the people who never stop learning. Even Denzel Washington still goes to acting classes and has acting teachers. I’ve heard that Bill Gates spends one week a year in a cabin in the mountains, somewhere really secluded, and he studies, reads, and game plans for his whole year. For people like Washington and Gates, success is a byproduct of constantly wanting to be your best. It’s a quality I notice in the people I look up to: They are constantly bettering themselves through learning. Last month, our previous intern, Nicole, started back up with us after graduating from law school. I’d been working for a few weeks to develop a training program for her, complete with reading assignments and some documentaries to watch. Putting it all together made me realize that not everyone gets excited about this kind of thing. This is for the people who have a love of learning, and they’re the ones who thrive.
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