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July 18, 2011

Washington, DC: It Never Lost Its Glow For Me. Not Once.

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Law is the ultimate backstage pass. It's the new priesthood.

Make fun of D.C. all you want; but if you've never spent 3 to 4 years here, and ideally working and living downtown, you did miss something. Never a mere technician, a good Washington, D.C. lawyer is a thinker, doer, creator, planner, problem-solver, consiligere and true trusted adviser. And no lover of routine. His or her firm is not just a shop--but a laboratory for new ideas. Not for law cattle practicing cookie-cutter law.

The range of things lawyers do here is amazing. The variety alone can suck you in forever; each morning, it fires the imagination.

And I'm happily prejudiced. I was born here. I trained, worked and still live part-time here. I made lifetime friends and enemies here. But you won't meet better lawyers. Or people.

"Aggressive", generally, is a very good thing in this city.

"Professionalism" means putting clients first--not wimpy cocktail party civility that is "all about the lawyers" and the many local bar associations that straddle the area. Swearing--and even insults--here are often okay. Not unprofessional. It's not about the lawyers.

Screwing up is never okay. Very unprofessional. Folks won't tend to hide that for you. You're own your own, Jack. Try not to screw up. So sorry; we won't coddle your malpractice here. Go back home for that charade.

Lawyers are everywhere here; it's not enough just to be one. No one cares you're lawyer. They ask themselves--and the bolder ones will even ask you directly--this question: how good a lawyer are you really? Pecking order is complex, nuanced and important.

Talented and feisty folks choose to move to Washington; they are not "stuck" here, or here by default. The city brims over with energy and personality. A rich library of people with moxie and talent.

from past posts beginning June 2006

Posted by JD Hull at July 18, 2011 11:59 PM

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