Lawyers as Political Leaders

Lawyers as Political Leaders


Attorneys can contribute so much to
public life and to really making our government work including seeking
election to public office When I ran for office I ran for state
representative and I ran in a special election and can I tell you that it meant so much to people.
I guess I looked maybe young to them but I’d knock on the door and when I would say I’m an attorney they’re like ‘Oh, you’re an attorney?’ I always felt it was a real advantage for me to
have a law background getting into politics I worked in the federal court system for two years and then I was in private practice for a short period of time before I went into state
politics and I think what it does it gives you a confidence and a competence
to really be able to navigate the system Without a doubt my law degree has
been my biggest asset and that law degree once people found out that I was
an attorney and I was an assistant district attorney gave me a level of credibility that neither
one of my then-opponents could muster I think being a lawyer also made it a little easier
to know that you will disagree with someone and you can agree to disagree and still
be able to turn the page and continue to work It gives you an analytic skill and some tools that
make you look deeper and ask more questions and I think it’s important to do that though because
otherwise you’re going to end up with legislation that’s going to be
challenged by someone and ultimately that can cost a city, a county, a state,
the school district a lot of money Even today with my law degree and my
background I’m looked to as a resource on legal issues Good intentions in writing legislation are not enough you’ve got to look at the words because somebody’s going to interpret those words and do these
words really mean what you intend If you don’t have the ability to analyze
complex things you often settle for things that are just not going to work Attorneys in general are trained not only to talk
but also to be well-informed and to present a case and that’s what you have to do when you’re running
for office or supporting somebody for office Anybody who wants to
get involved in politics whether directly or in commissions or boards
it’s a great way to get involved in your community first of all and you get to
meet a lot of people and it really gives you a chance I think to be on the ground
and many times in the grassroots situation where you’re helping shape the
future of your community it’s really a natural fit for for people who like the law to get
involved in lawmaking or interpreting the laws If you have a passion for politics
there is no better way to scratch that itch than to actually get out get involved and do it

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