Friday, October 06, 2006

Losing a Beloved Partner

Last weekend a much beloved partner (ret.) of my firm died under suspicious circumstances. The family has yet to find out the whole story from the police. What an incredible tragedy! This man practically built the reputation our currently firm rides upon while being a mentor, friend and all around great human being. As much as we can we've talked with his family and helped them manage the details of what needs doing in such a time. Thankfully his family is as wonderful as he -- they're dealing with it in reason and good judgement.

In this brief week I had reason to dig into his past visiting stories, lots of photos, testimonials, and video tapes of his retirement party. I have been with the firm such a short time but did get a chance to know him a bit. He was instrumental in helping me reveal bits and pieces of this 100 year old firm, and I made sure he was in attendance at firm-honoring events these last several months. He had incredible charisma and such a joyful outlook it was inspiring.

As large as he was in life he always preferred less attention than more... and his family wishes the same so his name will not appear here. But my advise for other law firms will;
  • Hero's should always be a part of a firm culture. Don't let people forget the efforts and individuals that contributed to "us" being here today.
  • Retired alumni are tremendous cheerleaders.
  • Honor your firm hero's. It builds pride and esprit de corps.
  • Let families of recently deceased alumni set the pace and tone of any public recognition. Their rights are far more important than anyone else's.
  • Document the days and life's of people in your firm. In trying to look back it is often too late to gather the memories that really mattered.
I am sorry this post is a bit somber... but that's the way of life isn't it? Happy could not work if we did not have markers to show us what to be happy about. My last thought; Live large and collect memories -- it matters!