Relishing Our Relationships
I am so honored to be assuming the role of MRWBA President. The MRWBA is a phenomenal group of attorneys, and an association with sophisticated and timely programs. I chose our theme for the 2013-14 MRWBA year as “Relishing our Relationships.” I picked this theme not just because I am an English major, but I also think it has good alliteration – plus I really like relish on my hotdogs. The theme has so much possibility.
It is important that we relish our relationships within the MRWBA, with other bar and business groups, with our work colleagues and mentors, and with our families, clients and friends. To “relish” means: to appreciate or enjoy something; or to have great appreciation and zest for something that brings pleasure.
A “relationship” often stands for:
The way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected, or, a particular type of connection existing between people or groups related to or having dealings with each other.
Relish your work relationships: partners, associates, interns and externs, paralegals, secretaries, the receptionist, etc. In these relationships I try to ascribe to the Southwest Airlines and COSTCO philosophy “Happy employees make happy clients.”
Of course – it is important to relish family relationships – such as our parents, our spouses, our children and step-children. It is hard as mom and dad lawyers to juggle having children with the demands and stresses of practicing law. It is not always easy to balance demands of legal practice with all of our relationships – but it has been done by many before us and can be done. A good piece of advice I got was “in all of your relationships try to live in the moment” – kind of along the lines of the advice of Eckhard Tolle in the “Power of Now.” During relationship time, try to stay off the legal clock.
It is important in our mentor-mentee relationships and client to sometimes have a good sense of humor. While it is not always easy, especially with some clients who only have dollar signs in their eyes, it important to relish the influence we have as attorneys with our clients. The things we do on a daily basis without much thought sometimes have crucial lifetime consequences for our clients.
Finally, relish your relationship with yourself. It has taken me a long time to accept this – and I am still working on it. I have learned it is okay to not be perfect. Sometime as lawyers, we just take ourselves too seriously. It is a good thing to learn to laugh at ourselves, especially when we do stupid things.
The MRWBA had an amazing 2012-2013 year with an extremely active Board, a relationship oriented President and incredible programs. This year, the women’s bar will continue to relish our relationships.
Colleen M. Quinn
April 24, 2014
Presented by Minnesota Lawyers Mutual - "Understanding Implicit Bias and How it Impacts the Practice of Law and a Lawyer's Ethical Responsibility"
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April 30, 2014
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