Why Did I Become A Lawyer?
By Peyton Lea
The reason I became a lawyer is one of the oldest reasons in the world….my dad was a lawyer. He passed away when I was quite young but he left a great legacy and I felt compelled, albeit a lot of nudging from my family, to follow in his footsteps.
Since I was so young, when my dad was practicing law, I didn’t see the daily stressors that so many lawyers face so I took my first step into lion’s den….law school. I remember in my first week of school, a professor told us to look to our right, and look to our left and one of those folks would not be there by the end of the first year. It was true. Nonetheless, I graduated from law school with an untarnished ambition remaining to “make a difference” in the world.
After 33 years of practice in family and criminal law I retired. During those years, many days I woke up wondering was the “fight” worth it? Lawyers are known for loving a good fight, but what I loved was the client who walked free after being wrongfully arrested, or more importantly the families that worked through their bitter divorce and custody cases and sent me announcements that child they had fought over was graduating from college. Notes that informed that both parents were attending united and proud and aware that their child had turned out great, they had learned to put their differences aside and share in the parenting even when they couldn’t get along.
I still hear from many of my clients, and looking back, I am grateful for those clients who turned their lives around, worked through their domestic conflicts, and are now “making a difference”.