Category Archives: Law Life

Law Life

Do You Have Integrity?

For me, the highlight of attending the State Bar Annual Meeting, which was held recently in Savannah, is listening to the judges talk about the lawyers. The State Bar Annual Meeting is one of the few places where judges turn into people too, and they have very strong opinions about lawyers.

My takeaway this year was that judges place lawyers in two boxes: With Integrity or Without  Integrity. In determining which box to put a lawyer in, judges evaluate such things as whether you tell the truth about the holding in a case even if it goes against you, whether you lie about needing a continuance because of illness and whether you treat your colleagues with professionalism.

Being labeled as a lawyer without integrity makes it twice as hard to win for your client. To be a truly great lawyer, you must always strive to have integrity.

Do You Like Your Co-Workers?

Forever Young by O.V. Brantley

Being back at work has reminded me how important it is to like your co-workers. Liking your co-workers makes all the difference between a job that is tolerable and a job that is wonderful.

When you work with positive people who you like, even the most stressful day can be fun. When you work with whiny, negative people, they seem to be able to turn a wonderful day sour.

Are you a likeable co-worker? If not, turn yourself into one. Smile, be positive and go the second mile for the team.

Best Lawyers

I am grateful that I am listed as one of Georgia’s best municipal lawyers  in the 2012 edition of  Georgia’s Best Lawyers .

Thank you to everyone who said something good about me!

GAWL Sponsors Happy Hours

The Georgia Association of Women Attorneys is sponsoring several happy hours to encourage women lawyers to renew their memberships or to join for the first time. Get to Know GAWL Happy Hours  started January 18th around metro Atlanta. Other dates include January 19, 23, 24, 25, and 31. Tonight’s happy hour is at Wine Styles on Cascade Road.

All events are from 5:30 to about 7:30.  The cost is $10 which includes one drink and appetizers.  Non-members who join GAWL at the event and members who bring a non-member will be eligible to win one of the exciting door prizes.  Visit the website for more information and to register.

Make 2012 Your Best Year Ever!

Although we should always keep a close eye on our life plan, the beginning of a new year is a normal time to reassess and to plan. If you are happy with your career, say a prayer of gratitude and keep doing what you are doing.

If you are not happy (hating to go to work everyday, waiting for the 5 p.m. bell to ring, etc.), resolve to make a change. Being happy with one’s work is a key ingredient to a happy life.

Try to visualize what a wonderful life looks like to you. Then make an action plan to make it happen (small steps and big steps).

Make this your best year ever!

A Special Note to Law Moms

My daughter India is 20 years old today and a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a happy, well adjusted young woman. That is the end of the story.

When I was appointed Fulton County Attorney, she was in the second grade. When she tells her life story, she  says without fail, “I was always the last one to be picked up from after school” seemingly trying to convey that she was scarred for life.

It is true. She often was the last one picked up from after school, and sometimes she was picked up by strangers. (Not really, but I had a lot of people on the authorized pick up list). We were fortunate that the after school teacher was very understanding, and she never penalized me for being on “working Mom” time when I was late.

I can’t lie. There were many days I worried that India would be scarred for life as I struggled with career and motherhood. I am sure you worry too.

Well, stop worrying! Kids are stronger than you think. Your kids will be fine, and deep down, they will be proud of your accomplishments!

Happy Birthday, India!

Did You Remember To Say Thank You?

Before we close the books on 2011, I must ask, “Did you remember to say thank you?’  Even the most gifted of  us cannot claim success based solely on our own efforts. There is always someone who helps.

Hopefully, during the holidays, you sent a note, a basket or an email to those who helped make you successful in 2011. While I am sure those who helped you did not expect any special thanks, taking the time to say thank you shows the type of grace and humility that others enjoy working with.

If the holidays got too hectic, and you did not get around to your thank you’s, it is not too late. Resolve today to send a note to clients, staff, mentors, family members and anyone else who helped you move forward in 2011. A simple thank you is powerful.

Always one to follow my advice, “thank you for reading my blog!”

Do you Have a Support Group?

Lawyering is hard work. It takes it toll on us physically and emotionally. It helps to have a supportive group of friends you can lean on in the tough times. If you are lucky enough to have such a group, now is the perfect time to plan a “de-stress dinner.”

Farm to table is all the rage in the restaurant industry. Now that it is harvest season, the delectable, just picked selections are even more numerous.  Why not schedule dinner with your support group today? Anybody got any great restaurant suggestions?

Today We Celebrate A Drum Major For Justice

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Today we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His memorial is being dedicated today.

As a child in the segregated south, I experienced first hand the injustices Dr. King spent his life trying to correct. As an adult, I share in the fruits of his labor as a graduate of great schools and as a member of the middle class who has friends and co-workers of every hue. I have a daughter who only knows about segregation because it is in her history book.

Being able to witness first hand the arc of history from Brown v. Board of Education to President Barack Obama in the White House is truly amazing. On a smaller scale, being able to witness the accomplishments of the people I write about on this web site who are direct beneficiaries of Dr. King’s work,  is a daily joy.

Today is a good, good day. Celebrate!

An Evening with NOBLE

APD Chief George Turner

There is nothing like being in the room with law enforcement officers to remind you what service is all about. Friday, the Georgia Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) held its annual awards banquet. I was the guest of Attorney Rory Starkey.

Having been a police lawyer for many years, it was somewhat like a reunion for me. Former Mayors Andrew Young and Shirley Franklin, both of whom I served while in the Atlanta Law Department (Mayor Young while Mayor and Mayor Franklin while CEO), inspired the crowd with their words about public service. Atlanta Police Department Chief George Turner was on hand to welcome his colleagues from around the state.

As lawyers and citizens, we tend to focus on the small number of encounters with law enforcement officers that go wrong. We forget to be grateful for public servants who are willing to stand between us and chaos for very little money. I know first hand how hard law enforcement can be.  I was honored to be in that room.

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