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The Power of Passion
Lessons From Gloria Allred
o not let adversity break you. Think of it as a learning experience that will make you stronger.”
“It’s not about making a living anymore; it’s about making a difference.”
This past summer, I attended a conference hosted by PILMMA, an organization that helps personal injury lawyers run their firms better. At this
was able to help extend the statute of limitations for sexual assault survivors to come forward with their cases in California.
conference, one of the keynote speakers was none other than Gloria Allred. Allred has been an attorney since the 1970s, and she’s become an internationally
This kind of passion is something I deeply relate to. There are a lot of attorneys who get into law just to make money. I admit that there was a point in time when my motivation for winning cases was not what it is today. But there comes a point when you realize that being a lawyer isn’t just a way to make money; it’s truly your calling in life. This is why I was put on Earth — to be there for people who are in trouble. It’s not about making a living anymore; it’s about making a difference. I’ve always gravitated toward personal injury law. For me, it’s a matter of fairness. There are people who have been treated unfairly. They’ve had something bad happen to them, and they’re trying to make the best of it. I’m able to make a difference by helping them get the money they need to work through the situation, put together a team of good people who will treat them right, and be there to talk about their struggles. When someone is in a bad accident or they’re the victim of another person’s negligence, their life is changed forever. Part of the process is learning how to cope with the disconnect of the life you imagined you would have and the life you are in today. That can be a difficult season for a lot of people. When my son was diagnosed with severe autism, I experienced the same struggle. I know what it’s like to reimagine your life, and I am glad I can offer that level of empathy to my clients when they need someone to lean on.
acclaimed attorney for her work in civil rights suits, with many cases
involving women’s rights or employment discrimination. Regardless of whether or not you agree with Allred politically, it’s hard not to appreciate the passion she has for what she does. Her legal
career has spanned decades, and Allred has remained committed to her cause, even when there’s nothing for her to gain in it. In one of her more recent cases, Allred represented 28 women who accused the actor Bill Cosby of sexual assault or harassment. What made this case extremely difficult was that there was legally nothing that could be done for these women in civil litigation. Their case had gone beyond the statute of limitations in California. Allred took their case, knowing there was nothing she could gain from it, because she felt that the public needed to know about the situation. Her reputation gave these women a forum to speak out, and as a result, Allred
It was really cool to hear Gloria Allred speak. She has led an impressive career and is an example of what we’re capable of when we have a real passion for our work. -Marc Shapiro
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