Clerking at Rice Law, wriitten by Jessica Farmer

“With Friends Like These…”

One of the most perplexing and yet, wonderful things about the legal field is the ability of lawyers to fight all day in Court but still respect each other at the end of the day…most of the time. What happens when two opposing counsels genuinely don’t get along? Well, I’ve had opportunities to see that unfold. I’ve seen attorneys raise their voices, make gestures in Court, and even cry.

The ugly truth of the matter is that although most attorneys respect one another for a job well done, some just do not get along. The important thing though, is that the attorneys (at least the ones that I am privileged enough to work for) make the issues in the case and their clients their top priorities. It takes restraint and diligence, but at the end of the day, professionalism and civility prevail.

I think this is an important lesson for people, both inside and outside of the legal profession. It is impossible to surround yourself every minute of every day solely with people you like. However, personal feelings do not have to impede your ability to have a good working relationship.

When attorneys have a job to do, a little respect and civility between them can go a long way. In fact, seeing someone you generally do not like going out of his or her way to be professional and respectful, may make some of that hostility disappear. I believe that this is a lesson I will continue to carry with me after law school and into my many years of practicing law.