1.13.2006

Good point

Mentor Partner is my favorite partner. He's thoughtful, intelligent, an excellent attorney, and, obviously, my mentor. We practice law in a similar fashion, which is one of the reasons that he's my mentor. We're both very thorough and careful practitioners. And, we also share fairly liberal views on both social and political issues. I've learned a lot from him about the practice of law and life in general. Which brings me to my point...

The other day I was in his office, and expressed my annoyance with a pro-life protestor who was standing near the back entrance to the courthouse holding a sign with a graphic photograph of an aborted fetus on it. The man seemed to be particularly gleeful when young professional women such as myself passed by him and went out of his way to wave the sign in our faces. He seemed to feel that we were in particular need of this gruesome reminder since, presumably, all women who chose a career were unmarried harlots and viewed abortion as some sort of recreational pursuit.

After I finished my tirade, Mentor Partner peered at me for a moment over his reading glasses, as he is apt to do. He informed me that he could understand my consternation, since he was pro-choice as well, but that he always tried to see things from the perspective of his adversary in any situation. And, he then asked me the following question: if I truly felt that abortion constituted government-sanctioned murder, wouldn't I do everything in my power to stop it? And, was holding a gory sign that depicts the murder such an objectionable means to accomplish my goal?

Mentor Partner is so smart. For the first time, I was able to understand where the annoying-sign-holding-guy was coming from. I still don't agree with him, but he doesn't annoy me as much as he did.

I plan to apply this lesson in the future whenever I encounter assholes on the other side of a case--or down the hall in the corner office.

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