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Unwavering Gratitude My Father’s Massive Influence on My Life
I went through law school as quickly as I possibly could, taking the maximum amount of credits I possibly could each summer. I guess I was just already programmed in that routine — I just didn’t see any sense in taking summers off when everybody else, including the actual lawyers, all worked through the season. As a result, I finished in two and a half years, which allowed me to start practicing about six months earlier than I would have been able to otherwise. I wouldn’t realize it until later, but this extra half a year would go on to have a massive impact on my life — it gave me an extra six months to practice alongside my dad before he passed.
he was an extremely experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney, and was eager to pass on his wisdom. I can’t even imagine how it would have been if I had ended up at one of those big commercial firms, without somebody to take me under their wing. It could have taken double the amount of time it took for me to get where I am today. Truly, I just feel like I owe everything to my dad — any success I’ve had I attribute directly to the values and knowledge he’s instilled in me, both in and outside of the profession. But it was far from all business all the time with my dad. One of his best traits was his sense of humor. He was one of those guys that passes out nicknames to everyone around him. Like if I was in my office, fuming about something that’d gone wrong in a case, he’d come in with a sarcastic “Well hey there, Mr. Jollyman!” He just had a knack for making even the driest work fun. Certainly some of the best times I’ve had practicing law were with him in the office with me, cracking jokes. Almost everybody that came in contact with my dad immediately liked him. A couple years after my dad died, I was working with a particular defense attorney for the first time. He had known my dad, and litigated against him a lot. He sat down in front of me and went on and on about how much he liked my dad, how he was “a gentleman to work with,” and how funny he was. With Father’s Day right around the corner, my dad’s been consistently on my mind. I simply cannot overstate the importance of his influence on my life. He supported me aggressively, every step of the way. I just hope he’d be proud of the firm as it is today, and the work I’ve continued in his absence. Like I said, I owe it all to him.
I worked at the D.A.’s office before coming over to my dad’s firm, and I’m glad I switched when I had the opportunity, because the lessons I gleaned from my dad working here with him were absolutely invaluable. I think that I acquired three or even four years of experience crammed into the year and a half we spent practicing together. At first, I basically spent my time shadowing him, which was fantastic, because
- William F. “Trey” Underwood, III
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Guerilla Credit-Building Secrets
Does your credit score give you ulcers? If so, you’re not alone. According to Forbes.com, nearly one-third of Americans have credit scores lower than 601, which is the line between “okay” and “bad” credit. You’re also not without options, and we’re not talking about the same tired credit-building advice you always hear. These tips are on the down-low, but they’ll take your credit sky-high. Want a better score? Have you tried asking? No, it’s not a joke. Let’s say you missed a payment on your car, but you caught up the next month, and it’s all taken care of — except for the ding on your credit score. Ouch. But you can still get that ding repaired. All you have to do is ask, in a goodwill letter to the company or bank that loaned you the money for the car. It helps if you’re polite and haven’t missed past payments, but you can try this with pretty much all creditors. After all, it can’t hurt to ask! And did you know that checking on the score actually hurts it? No, really — the more times your score is checked, the lower your score will be. This is especially true when others run credit checks on you. That means that a good way to have great credit is to avoid situations where your credit will be checked. For example, if you move homes but still are covered by the same utility companies, you should try to hang on to your old accounts instead of opening new ones, which requires a credit check. From water and gas to cable and internet, it’s worth it to hang on to your old accounts.
Here’s another sneaky way to boost credit. Turn in your library books on time! That’s right, even the library is against you when it comes to credit scores. Late books mean fines, and those fines will lower your credit if they get taken to collections. You don’t want that, so take your books back before they’re overdue. Last but not least, as tempting as it is to close out old lines of credit — especially after struggling to pay them off — it’s better for your score if you leave them open. You don’t have to use them, but you’ll see a dip in your credit score if you totally shut them down. As good as it feels to be rid of old debts, you don’t want to do all that work and still have bad credit!
“I just wanted to take the time to tell you thank you for your diligence for my case. Your thoughtfulness, patience, and integrity is to be commended. You have my full gratitude, and although I hope that I will never need your services again, if I do, I know that I will be in good hands. So thank you for everything and know that you have a recommendation in me. Take care and best wishes to you, your firm, and your family.”
“I am a very satisfied client of Mr. Underwood. He worked extremely hard on my case, and the outcome was very good. He is always more than glad to help and always does his best for his clients. I would recommend him to anyone.”
“I highly recommend William Underwood to handle any case. He was straightforward with what to expect, and his staff was always there when I needed information concerning the case. I was very pleased with the results from my case.”
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Dad’s Whiskey Burger One fateful day on February 1, 1968, two African-American public sanitation employees were pulled into the refuse barrel of a city garbage truck and crushed. This resulted in a wide strike, during which 1,300 Memphis public employees protested the poor and dangerous working conditions they faced every day. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in support of the strike, in his famous “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech — the night before he was assassinated. Today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is often celebrated as no more than another holiday. But it’s important to note that many of those taking the day off work would oppose what he stood for that day in Memphis. Modern parallels can be drawn between the Memphis strike and the contemporary “Fight for $15” campaign — a divisive campaign across the right. Bloody crushing-related injuries may be much less common today, but the need for advocacy for public sanitation workers remains. The increase in workplace safety can be largely attributed to the passing of the Occupational Safety and Health Act — an often overlooked component of Dr. King’s legacy. Today, the OSHA is in danger of being repealed, via the current Secretary of Labor. Dr. King also served a large role in passing laws like Title VII, prohibiting discrimination against African-Americans, and had a hand in providing equal rights to the LGBTQ and disabled communities. Ingredients: • 4 (6–6 ½ ounce) hamburger patties • ¼ cup whiskey • 3 garlic cloves, chopped • 4 strips bacon • 8 thick slices American cheese • 2 large Vidalia onions, peeled, cut in half, and thinly sliced • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat • 1 teaspoon salt • 4 hamburger buns Directions: 1. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove and cool. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon fat. 2. In a large skillet, combine olive oil and bacon fat, then add onions. Cook over low heat. Add salt and turn onions often for 30–40 minutes until caramelized. 3. Place whiskey and chopped garlic in a shallow dish and add hamburger patties. Marinate for 15 minutes, then flip and marinate another 15 minutes. 4. Grill burgers over medium-high heat until cooked to desired doneness. 5. Add two slices of cheese to each burger in the last minute of grilling. 6. Put hamburgers on buns, then top with a large spoonful of caramelized onions. Top with bacon. Recipe inspired by Mantitlement.com. Social progress has certainly occurred in some forms in the past years, but in many ways, African-Americans are worse off than
when the Civil Rights Act was passed. Economic inequality has dramatically increased, partly due to the gutting of state workers’ compensation laws.
It’s important to consider Dr. King’s legacy of support for workers of all stripes. Workplace safety is more than a luxury — it’s a human right.
Have A Laugh
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inside Unwavering Gratitude PAGE 1 Guerilla Credit-Building Secrets PAGE 2 Testimonials PAGE 2 Dr. King’s Legacy of Support for Workers’ Rights PAGE 3 Dad’s Whiskey Burger PAGE 3 Book Review: ‘Black Hole Focus’ PAGE 4
Book Review: ‘Black Hole Focus’ How Intelligent People Create a Powerful Purpose for Their Lives
“Finding a purpose for living is the only way to escape from a life of mediocrity and meaninglessness. It leads to a brighter internal spark and a longer and more productive life.” Relying on destiny makes people complacent. When you assume there’s already a plan in place, you may put your life on autopilot, drift aimlessly, and fall into a habit of small, meaningless decisions. This could lead to a hollow fate, but one that you can avoid with effort. As internationally acclaimed Fortune 500 consultant Isaiah Hankel, Ph.D., explains, “The toughest decision a person will ever make is determining his or her ultimate purpose in life.” Hankel has worked with leading corporations around the world and regularly presents at premier academic institutions, including Harvard University and Oxford University. In his book “Black Hole Focus,” Hankel rejects the complacent notion of destiny entirely, instead giving individuals the tools they need to find and fulfill their own purpose. Why You Need a Purpose Hankel starts by presenting research that links having a clear purpose with slower rates of mental decline and greater longevity. This is due to the fact that having a purpose enables you to meet your three prime needs: growth, connection, and autonomy.
Leaving these needs unfulfilled could lead to a life that feels mediocre and meaningless.
How to Find Your Purpose The best way to identify your goals for the future is to “ruthlessly evaluate your current position.” This means taking responsibility for both the good and the bad, so you can determine where you want to be and what must change to get you there. How to Fulfill Your Purpose More than anything else, Hankel warns against the “life hack lie.” There are no shortcuts to success, and every purpose will demand years of effort. For this reason, Hankel guides you to develop a can-do mindset and avoid willpower depletion. From here, you can create a whatever-it-takes mentality, which makes you better able to overcome challenges without feeling discouraged as you pursue your purpose. Based on scientific concepts from the fields of psychology, physiology, and motivational theory, Hankel’s ‘Black Hole Focus’ offers valuable instruction to benefit anyone, from CEOs to stay- at-home parents. If you feel bound by circumstances, using “Black Hole Focus” to help you find your purpose may be the way out.
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