Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Tattoo

Grace received a couple of dinosaur tattoos in a goodie bag from a recent birthday party. For some reason her mother convinced her that it would be a good idea for Daddy to wear the tattoo so he could show his clients. I told her that I would wear it and suggested my upper arm. She said "no Daddy, your clients not see it there. I want to put it on your hand." She won the argument and this was the result:

I had quite a few comments about it, as I had three client meetings and a Rotary lunch the next day. If anything, my new accessory was quite the conversation ice breaker! Grace was so excited when I told her about my day that it was totally worth it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Office

I recently moved into a new office in Homewood. I had to run into the office one evening to handle a few matters and I decided to take Kate with me. I did not get much done, as Kate became quite the little explorer.

I decided we had enough when she went to my printer and started trying to send a fax!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Like Father, Like Daughter?

I do not know if I should be proud or horrified, but Grace spent her morning walking around the house on her princess cell phone "talking to clients." She told my wife that she was busy and had to work. She also had a little note pad (just like her Dad) so that she could track all of her appointments. She had a lot of client meetings, but she also left some time for a "lunch meeting." I only hope that I was somewhere on her busy schedule!

Monday, August 24, 2009


I have my regular Rotary meeting today. Grace is insistent that I take some dessert with me to eat after my "lunch meeting." She has tried to entice me with M&Ms, muffins and chocolate chip cookies. I tried to explain to her that dessert is provided, but that led to another great idea: "Daddy, you can have two desserts!"

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Great Saturday

This Saturday the Birmingham Bar Association coordinated a volunteer event at Children's Village, which is a home place for children who do not have a home. The lawyers brought bounce houses, snow cone machines, games, food and desserts and everyone had a great time.

I brought Grace with me so that she could help. Unfortunately she might get the wrong impression about volunteering, as she had a tremendous amount of fun, as you can see below:

When we were finished Grace asked me if we could come back. We left the volunteer outing after a great lunch and then met my wife at Panera Bread (where I had one of those casual Saturday client meetings). It was a great day--- I was proud of my little volunteer and was happy to share such a nice experience with her. By the way, she was most disappointed that she was unable to stay for my client meeting!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Alabama State Bar Annual Meeting- Part 2

The Annual Meeting's signature evening event was a carnival night. It was another great family event. The food and music were great (there was even a knee high buffet table with kid friendly foods). Some of the activities included temporary tattoos, carnival games, ice cream, and an obstacle course.

The night ended with a great fireworks show, which both girls (and Mom and Dad) really enjoyed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Alabama State Bar Annual Meeting

The Alabama State Bar held its annual meeting in July at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama. Approximately 400 lawyers and their families attended this event. The Alabama Bar deserves a lot of credit for making the annual meeting a true family affair. Our girls were welcome at all events (and fortunately they know how to behave at parties and receptions). There was also a lot of down time for fun activities:

Kate relaxing near the pool.

Grace enjoyed the very nice pool.

Grace made some new friends on the beach

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Unique Client Meeting

I had an opportunity to meet with two of my clients at their very nice home. I scheduled the meeting for a morning that I had the girls (with the clients’ consent of course) and brought them with me. My clients were almost too hospitable to the girls. While we were “talking business,” Grace enjoyed a homemade muffin and a tall glass of milk. My clients also turned on the television for her and she was able to watch one of her favorite shows. The only downside is that Grace now asks to go to all client meetings. I am thinking she assumes that Daddy conducts all of his meetings with muffins, milk and cartoon shows! How nice it would be if it that was always the case.

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Little Networkers

The Vestavia Chamber of Commerce routinely hosts ribbon cuttings, which honor and welcome new businesses to our area. These events are typically after work and are always quite fun.

I brought both girls with me to an open house at Altadena Dental. They had a great time and were very well behaved. Grace really enjoyed the chicken tenders and fruit. She even had two cookies for dessert. I had an opportunity to see some old friends and meet several new ones. My girls are never going to have any trouble meeting new people and mingling at a social event!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Friday Night Adventure

One Friday night I agreed to go with a client to an entertainment venue to discuss the terms of a contract for an upcoming event. My wife had previously made plans, so my two little legal assistants came with me.

At one point, Kate was sitting in my lap. I was holding a contract and listening to a discussion. I did not realize that Kate (who was being strangely quiet) was chewing on the document. I quickly ripped the paper from her hands and realize a little bit of the corner was missing. It is really professional to be asking about an indemnity clause, while picking out pieces of paper from your six month old’s mouth.

Grace quickly realized that we were probably going to go out to dinner and started immediately lobbying for “Old McDonald’s.” I’ll admit that it is not my first choice and I tried to take us by a client’s restaurant. However, that restaurant was extremely crowded (great for them!) and the wait would not have worked well with our bed time, so I ended up using the aforementioned fast food option.

I ordered a Happy Meal for Grace and when asked to choose between white and chocolate milk, I chose chocolate (I was feeling generous because she was so good at our meeting). I guess I did not realize that my wife has tried to prevent Grace from realizing that chocolate milk was even an option at restaurants. No less than five times for the remainder of the evening Grace would randomly say, “chocolate milk, mommy is not going to believe this.” Needless to say, before even saying hi, Grace informed her mother that she had chocolate milk for dinner.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Race Report

The Sweetwater 50K race was a lot of fun. The race directors deserve credit for crafting an incredibly difficult course (it is almost as if they took some pleasure out of it!). I finished the race in about 6.5 hours, which was pretty good considering the water crossing and numerous hill climbs. I had a great time and look forward to the next event. Editor's note- Grace was sick the weekend of the race, so the family was unable to make the trip with me, hence, no photographic evidence of my trek.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Asking for Trouble

Grace has now completed her “Mother’s Day Out” program, which means that she becomes an additional child to juggle during the busy work week. Last Monday my wife went into her office and I had the girls. I made the mistake (?) of scheduling two signing meetings with clients. In addition, I had another client planning to drop by to sign his estate planning documents.

I did of course disclose to the clients that there was a chance for the meeting to be most disruptive. No one seemed to mind and everyone was excited about seeing the girls. I am happy to say that things went better than I expected. Kate was her usual happy self and she either smiled at everyone or slept in her car seat.

Grace was also good and was most polite. While her Daddy explained the documents, she sat in the corner and played with golf balls and a golf towel (I know, strange toys, but she claimed a golf tournament goodie bag of mine as her own). At one point I did feel a little tap on my arm and Grace was standing there next to the conference room table with the towel on her head. She was just beaming and she received the laughs she was looking for from all of us.

I really do appreciate the patience of my office staff and clients that allow me to make the girls a part of my practice.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Race Day

Enjoyed a fun trail half-marathon today. The Twisted Ankle Race takes place every May in Summerville, Georgia. It is an understatement to call the course "hilly." My brother-in-law and I had a great time and as you can see below, we had a fairly decent time (considering we took a wrong turn at one point and had to double back). Even more importantly, we had great support from family and friends!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Another Monday Meeting

My wife typically heads into the office for a few hours every Monday morning. I usually forget this fact and schedule at least one client meeting on Mondays. My three year old usually attends her "Mother's Day Out" classes, which means I am typically left with Kate. We recently had another one of our Monday meetings, where I was discussing an estate administration with a client. I had Kate in her car seat in a chair next to me. For some reason, she decided to crane her neck and stare down my client. She appeared mesmerized by what he was saying.

As he was talking to me, I could see him glance over at Kate and try his mightiest to keep from smiling. He eventually gave in and just started to laugh. I apologized for my little distraction, but the client thought it was great. Kate, you add much needed levity to some serious conversations. I wonder if I can get away with bringing you into the courtroom?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Shopping for Office Supplies

I outsource a lot of my copying and office needs to Staples (where I am a proud Rewards Member). I took my 3 year old with me today. She was very upset that Staples did not have "anything for her." Nonetheless, she was able to find something she wanted. She was proud that she brought some money with her (3 pennies) and I did not have the heart to tell her that she did not have enough (I was more than happy to make up the difference).

The picture below shows my girls playing with her new purchase (a roll of tickets):

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Putting the Day in Perspective

It was quite a busy day: some traveling, some work, preparing dinner for the family, etc. Once I arrived home and began to prepare dinner, Grace asked me to play with her. I quickly told her that I was busy and that I would play with her later. Her response was "But Daddy, you my best friend." You could hear my heart melting. Nonetheless, we had to eat, so I finished dinner (but I sure did dote on her for the rest of the evening).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Your Documents

I occasionally review documents at home (when the kids are occupied). My five month old daughter has developed an obsession for paper and she began to lunge for my work and was able to even grab a page. My three year old came bounding into the room shouting, "Daddy, Daddy, she trying to get your documents!"

On a similar note, Grace occasionally brings me a page from one of her coloring books and tells me that she needs me to sign some documents. I guess that is what I get when I take her to Will signings.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

I had an opportunity to spend the Easter weekend participating in a variety of family activities, including, but not limited to: church, two Easter egg hunts and a meal at Cracker Barrel. I also had an opportunity to conduct a Will signing. Some of my clients (who reside in my parents' hometown) decided that the Easter holiday would be a great time to get together and sign updated estate planning documents. One couple and two of their children all signed documents (all at the same time). We had a great time and I felt like a member of their own holiday table (there was the exchange of lots of family stories and memories). I was also impressed that a family would use their holiday time together to address such an important aspect of their lives. It was truly a testament about how they felt about one another.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Risks of Meeting at Home

Last week I met with a new estate planning client in our home. I usually do not invite clients to our home, but this particular person could be considered a close friend (and she wanted to see both girls), so I gladly bent the rules.

Kate sat with us for a few minutes and was as sweet as she could be. She cooed and smiled and did everything that a cute 4 month old should do for a guest. Her sister on the other hand was another story. Grace was experiencing (for no apparent reason, other than the fact that she was three) what her mother and I fondly call a nuclear meltdown. Typically, these are of the relatively harmless "Three Mile Island" variety. On this particular day, she earned a full-blown "Chernobyl" rating. While I was meeting with my client, she was in her room screaming. When I tried to get her to come out, she proceeded to scream "I no like your client, I no like anyone." I of course closed her door and left her in her room.

I was most surprised when Grace showed up in the hallway. She had opened her door and came to find me (and my client) to once again scream that she did not like my clients. The only plus side to her coming out of her room is that my client did get to see her (albeit a tear stained, angry variety of Grace). Before things got worse, the cavalry arrived (Michelle came home) and whisked Grace back to her room for a good talking to and a much needed nap!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Scenes from the Home Office

My New Legal Assistant

I had a week full of meetings and was fortunate to be able to take my new legal assistant with me to two of them (my 3 month old Kate!).

I have actually developed a grade system for Kate's behavior at client meetings. I am happy to say that this week she scored a solid A (which is so much better that the F she earned last week). During one meeting with a family, I had Kate strategically positioned behind my desk. However, she is quite the socialite and made a fuss until I held her in my lap so she could see everyone. Apparently she spent the time smiling at my clients because during our discussion they would randomly crack a smile. Kate was a great addition to what could have been a very somber meeting.

The Lawyer Dad

Welcome to my new blog! Over two years ago I decided to open my own law practice for two reasons. First, I enjoyed the practice of law and I wanted to have an opportunity to work with families to address important legal issues. More importantly, I wanted to have the opportunity to set my own schedule so that I could spend more time with my family (especially the two little girls you see below).

My family has become an integral part of my law practice, as you will soon see if you continue to read this blog. The overall theme of this blog will be to explore whether it is possible to have both a fulfilling family life and a successful professional career. I believe it is not only possible, but a attainable goal for individuals in any professional field.