Confidence Carries

By Evan Johnson

The car doors open—sun is shining. We walk up the sidewalk at the corner of B.B. King and Adams, and the early fall weather provides the perfect atmospheric quality for an air of confidence. Into the courthouse, through security, and up the stairs to the second floor, I am starting to feel as if I am going to win—and I am not even in the game. I am merely an observer. The confidence exuding from Nick Rice, as he gears up for Day Two of trial, radiates almost to the point of physical visibility as we walk down the ornate hallway to the court room.

Leaving a career as an elementary school teacher and enrolling in law school, my goal is to make the most of this life-altering transition. As most people do, I had thoughts before I starting my first law school class concerning whether I had made the right decision. However, the first time I observed lawyers making arguments in Division IV at Circuit Court, I knew I was in the right place. Observing court that day, I saw a myriad of lawyers argue before the judge with a wide variety of competence. Those that exhibited competence that morning did so with one clear attribute—confidence. I knew then that building confidence throughout law school was going to be vital if I planned to be a good, competent lawyer.

Working at Rice Caperton Rice PLLC and learning from Memphis Divorce and Family Law Attorneys, Larry Rice, Nick Rice, and the rest of the Rice Law Team, has provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to witness high levels of confidence in action. My goal has been to soak in as much as I can while I have this privilege.

A logical question that arises is, “What is confidence and where does it come from?” As to the first question, Merriam-Webster defines “confidence,” as a noun, in many ways. The important definition here is, “a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances.” As to the second question, confidence seems to be constructed from a myriad of things—preparation, experience, talent. All of these characteristics play an important role in the “feeling or consciousness of one’s powers” necessary to getting the best result for a client.

The confidence flowing from Nick on that second day of trial could not have epitomized those characteristics more accurately. His preparation was evident when he cross-examined a witness with exquisite aplomb, even when the witness tried to dance around questions and seemed to change their answers. Nick had prepared so hard beforehand that he knew the facts and law better than anyone in the room, allowing him to expose the inconsistencies. With great poise, Nick’s experience came to light when, after a long direct examination, Nick noticed the judge’s weariness and decided to end the questioning. Experience told Nick that since he had made his point, there was no reason to belabor it and risk frustrating the judge. Finally, Nick’s talent was on display when presenting closing arguments, he managed to rouse a drowsy judge, even triggering the judge to ask for a specific cite to a relevant case Nick had previously mentioned.

I am grateful to have observed Nick’s confidence on that day at trial. But that confidence does not end with Nick. The entire Rice Law Team is constantly displaying this type of confidence in everything they do as they work tirelessly for the best results possible for their clients. My time at Rice Caperton Rice has allowed me to learn how to build that type of confidence by preparing harder than the other side, gaining as much experience as possible through observation and practice, and relying on any natural talent that I possess.

This blog is written by the law clerks and interns of Rice Law. They document their experience working with Memphis divorce lawyer Larry Rice and Memphis divorce lawyer Nick Rice, as well as other members of Rice Law. Rice Law represents clients in divorce and family law matters in Tennessee and Mississippi. We hope these blog posts will be interesting and show their evolution as they move towards being divorce and family lawyers. The statements in these posts should not be used as legal advice about divorce or family law.
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