I still remember how it felt to hold that letter in my hand. There was a slight tremble as I slid my finger underneath the flap to reveal the truth that waited for us inside. Slowly, I pulled the letter out before allowing my eyes to bounce across every word contained therein. A small smile took hold of my face. After three months, victory is ours. I stuff the papers back into the envelope, take out my phone, and dial. A nervous voice responds after the third ring.
“Congratulations John Doe, ESQUIRE!” My boisterous greeting is met with shock and surprise.
“You’re a lawyer! It’s official! I received the papers in the mail today. Congratulations!” I respond.
While we are miles apart, I can finally begin to feel the connection. I can feel the reality setting in for my client. In that impossible moment, his victory becomes mine, and together, we are champions –gods amongst men. I know what my client is going through right now – how amazing this moment is for him. Three months ago I had the same experience except I was on the other end of that phone call.
It was a Tuesday. I was expecting he results of The Board’s decision to be available to my attorney and I by Wednesday; Thursday at the latest – but not Tuesday. My phone rang and upon seeing the hauntingly familiar 850 area code, I felt my heart sink.
The friendly and warm voice of my attorney’s paralegal greeted me on the other side. I could tell she was at a loss of words – perhaps she was as surprised as I was at the news she was about to deliver. This conversation was different, but had many of the same effects of emotion.
“Mr. Lazzara?” she asked with a hesitant eagerness instantly drawing me in.
“Yes.” I responded as I began to feel the sweat form on the palms of my hands.
“It’s Mary from Jane Doe’s office. We received the results today from your hearing. The Board has admitted you – you are a lawyer! I am holding the papers in my hand right now and will be mailing them to you directly. Congratulations! You did it!” she finally said.
Tears filled my eyes as the world around me came crumbling down. It was one of those rare moments when life mirrors a science fiction movie. You know the scene when we reach the apex of the plot and in an instant the camera zooms in on the main character in the midst of some cataclysmic scene where skyscrapers collapse and the sky falls? I was living that moment. The wait was over and the first words I would utter after learning that I had finally reached my destination was a deep felt and tear soaked “Thank you.”
Now I find myself on the other end of that phone call, sharing in the ecstasy of this moment. Indeed it is experiences like these I first wrote about that drive the life of the young lawyer. It is the quiet victories; the ethereal moments of surrender when the outcome aligns with the hope resulting in that one magical moment when we can say we did it – we won. Together, we won.