Military Service Shaped Confidence as Trial Lawyer

Change is constant, but the past is instructive


Over the last few weeks, I have been moving from a house where we have lived 23 years. The process is almost done. We close tomorrow. (Of course, there is still the issue of figuring out where to live long term...)


As I purged and sorted, I found all sorts of interesting items, including an old Army mess kid. I got a distinct recollection of cold wet days in the field when I was a young lieutenant in the 101st Airborne at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.


Frankly, I was not a great Army officer. It's a good thing I got out and went to law school. I think I am a good trial lawyer. Yet, the two are not disconnected. The Army gave me a confidence I doubt I ever could have acquired otherwise. I often think back on those times, the characters I knew and my experiences. In many ways, I was uniquely and unintentionally trained for what is now a major portion of my law practice, representing veterans and military families in FTCA malpractice cases. Funny how things turn out.


We are all shaped by our past. It informs us both consciously and unconsciously. Try as we might, we cannot rewrite our history, but we can learn from it. That requires intentionality and a degree of self-awareness that most of us need much more of. I certainly do.


Make the effort.


I keep trying - with mixed results. I am human, after all.