By Jeremy M. Evans
Growth is an instrumental part of life. “Improvise, adapt, and overcome,” as actor Clint Eastwood said in the movie Heartbreak Ridge. Without growth, we cannot weather the storms of change.
Growth comes to us in many forms, but mainly through life experiences that challenge us. More often than not, it is people, faith, and past experiences that allow us to succeed through the trying times. Building a law practice and clientele is one of the hardest things a person can do, serving in both roles as business manager and attorney to your clients. Therefore, having the support of others is essential to success if not survival.
One way to meet more people, grow our skill sets, and have additional resources is through joining organizations. The act of joining organizations, however, must be done with a singular purpose: we must enter with a servant-leadership model in mind. Join to serve. Do not join for a title. Do not join to add to your resume. Titles come with time and effort anyway.
Organizations may include bar associations, volunteer committees, board, and service-minded organizations. Think broadly beyond the legal profession as well since it is good to learn from non-lawyers and your clients are mostly non-lawyers. The truth about success in life is that when you are giving and selfless, good things come your way because you are focused on doing good for others.
Joining organizations may include writing articles, planning events, and participating in community benefit activities. If law school emphasizes one thing, it is the importance of communication and working with others. As attorneys, utilizing those skill sets is important for both our personal growth (e.g., practice makes perfect), but it also serves others, including those in and outside the practice of law.
One place to start is the California Lawyers Association (CLA), a statewide organization with over 100,000 members. The CLA has a Board of Representatives, 16 sections, and the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA). Within these bodies, there are executive committees for the sections and the CYLA, plus many committees and subcommittees that revolve around meeting planning, organization-wide initiatives, and community involvement. As a new organization—CLA was formed in January 2018—the time to join is now as we embark on a terrific journey filled with great opportunities and challenges.
As we serve, growth is a natural product of that service. Regardless of your year in practice, service is never too young or too old, or too late. If you are still not convinced, remember the mantra from Jonathan Perelman that “Content is king, but distribution is queen and she wears the pants.” You can do and make great things, but you may need an organization to help you distribute those great things, including your service to the community and the legal profession.
Bio: Jeremy M. Evans is the Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele. Evans is an award-winning attorney and community leader based in Los Angeles. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com or via the company website: www.CSLlegal.com. He is an Officer and the Vice President-elect of the California Lawyers Association Board of Representatives.