Two weeks ago I, the young lawyer, took a major step in this, my journey. Two weeks ago, I accepted and embraced the opportunity to become the Managing Attorney for Aronfeld Trial Lawyers. Since this time, my life has been a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions, fears and excited anticipation. But at the end of the day, it all subsides and bears witness to the plain and simple fact that this is the moment and opportunity I, as the young lawyer, have spent a lifetime waiting and working for. And in this moment, in this small space between past, present and future I am overwhelmed with one feeling and one feeling only – gratitude.
The call came at 12:00 PM on a Saturday. My mentor, calmly relayed to me that the managing attorney at the time had resigned and that he needed me to come back to Miami and help him assess the situation. My mentor needed me, the young lawyer. Overwhelmingly honored, I immediately sprang into action and spent the remainder of my weekend preparing for the trip back to that fabled land that doesn’t sleep – Miami.
Upon seeing that skyline again, I smiled because I was acting with purpose. Indeed, there is no greater feeling in the world than action driven by purpose. I spent the next three days with Spencer Aronfeld and the amazing team of Aronfeld Trial Lawyers assessing the situation, putting out fires, and working to develop a plan of action moving forward. The plan was simple. I would be responsible for assisting Spencer with the Firm’s production, and work with my mentor to manage our inventory of personal injury and medical malpractice cases. And, I would do so remotely from the Tampa office which was now fully operational and awaiting my return.
Our enemy would best be summed up in the proverbial quote: the “best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray.” Indeed, every day from that day forward would be a fight to keep the delicate balance in our favor. One fail swoop, and this Tower of Babel that we had spent the last three years constructing, could come crashing to the ground. Losing was not an option. We must press on.
And press on we did. As I left the Miami office and began the long trek back to Tampa, my new home, the realities of the situation drove my mind to run marathons with seemingly no end in sight. There is a reason why I am a “young lawyer;” I have only been practicing law for six months now. And even then, the practice was carefully restricted and crafted by my mentor to ensure I was not overwhelmed, that I continued to develop, and most importantly for our clients, “nothing slipped through the cracks.” But now, in the midst of averting crisis, I would be thrust in the practice of law involving in excess of seventy cases and clients. I would be responsible for preparing each and every one of those cases for my mentor who was not just my mentor now, but my teammate, my wing-mate in this war of words.
I, the young lawyer, overnight was not only given the opportunity to meet and exceed the challenge I had spent a lifetime working for, but more importantly, the chance to represent successfully the clients of Aronfeld Trial Lawyers. To learn the practice of law at a pace so rapid that it could be compared to drinking from a fire hose.
In the past two weeks, there have been times when I have asked myself, the young lawyer, what am I going to do? But every time I have faced that question, that lingering fear, I remind myself of the risk of not succeeding – that failure in this case is not an option. My driving motivation is the threat of letting down our clients and my mentor. That is not a threat I am about to let become a reality. Instead, I will keep it where it shall forever lie – in the cathedral of fears buried deep within the recesses of the young lawyer’s mind.
I arrive back to Tampa at 1:00 AM. Exhausted, overwhelmed, but excited. I am excited because no matter what may happen today there will always be tomorrow. And tomorrow will always be a new day.