Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy 30th to Ogletree Deakins

Although I have only been here for 1/10 of the firm's history, I still am quite proud of where I show up every day to practice law. I hope our managing shareholder, Gray Geddie, won't mind me sharing with the world a portion of his email to the firm today:

Thirty years ago today, sixteen lawyers and our support staff began what has become our firm today. ... We opened with two offices---ten of the sixteen were in Greenville and six were in Atlanta. Of the original sixteen, nine are still with the firm. Those "long of tooth" survivors are Homer Deakins, Lewis Smoak, Jimmie Stewart, Bob King, Fred Suggs, Baker Wyche, John Burgin, Eric Schweitzer and me. We have survived and prospered because of our own efforts, but also because of the efforts of every person who has ever worked here. For that we and all of the shareholders thank you.

Sometime during the day, either literally or figuratively, hoist a glass of something you enjoy and toast yourself and those that you work with. We have a wonderful firm and that is because of those who come to work here every day. .... Lastly, please remember that as good as the past has been, the best is yet to come! Gray

That venture of 16 attorneys in two offices is today more than 350 lawyers in 28 offices spread from Los Angeles to the Virgin Islands (with 4 here in Texas, including Austin where I hang my hat).

My thanks to the founders who have let the rest of us 'latecomers' tag along for the ride.

And of course since as I was told early on by one of my former law partners — you can be the greatest legal scholar in the world, but without a client, you can't really call yourself a lawyer — all of our thanks to the thousands of employers, past, present and those still to come, who have allowed us at Ogletree Deakins the opportunity to work with them.

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