March is the month of madness, when luck runs amok and fortune favors the few.
So the question is: are you feeling lucky today, counselor?
It’s a question worth considering, even if a sneering Clint Eastwood isn’t pointing an enormous gun in your face.
But what is luck anyway?
Luck Be A Lawyer Tonight
We have all these little superstitions. None of us actually believes them, but something in our training and conditioning causes us to think twice when we break a mirror or walk under a ladder or see the number 13. Just as we tingle to find a rainbow or shiny penny or four-leaf clover.
All good fun, right?
But maybe there’s something deeper at work here, something more pungent.
Take, for instance, my college roommate’s dirty socks.
Today my old roommate Tyler is one of the finest lawyers – and people for that matter – I know. But back before law school, when we roomed together and he played on the college baseball team, I know for a fact he went nearly a month without changing his socks He was on a hitting streak and didn’t want to jinx it by changing anything.
Needless to say, I was grateful when he went 0 for 4 and he could finally shower and put on clean clothes.
Just a harmless little psycho superstition.
Except for Tyler it was more than that. It was a ritual. It was a grounding experience. It was something to do, something silly sure, but something to stake his own personal claim in this otherwise mad and random world.
You can lose and take it personally. You can blame it on bad luck. Or you can do what Tyler did and change your socks.
It’s Your Lucky Day!
In celebration of the arrival of Spring and the approach of baseball’s Opening Day, here are some harbingers of Good Lawyer Luck:
There’s no black ice on the roads.
A client calls to say: “I just got your bill and was delighted. I was fully expecting to be charged far more than that. I will have full payment delivered to your office immediately on the back of a golden stallion.”
You take in a case on the first day of the month that will pay your bills for the entire quarter.
You look around and realize nobody wants to make a reality television show about you.
You get a dividend check from Lawyers Mutual.
You run into a friend at the movie McFarland USA.
You got all your CLE hours on time.
You enjoy a cup of fresh coffee in the morning.
You enjoy your morning coffee with the kitchen window slightly cracked so you can hear the birds singing and children laughing at the bus stop.
Your doctor gives you a clean bill of health.
Preparing your taxes, you are delighted to discover you had almost no medical expenses in 2014.
Your staff bursts in and lifts you upon their shoulders with a mighty hurrah and parades you around the office shouting praises for your awesomeness.
You wrap up a deposition with plenty of time for a quick jog and leisurely dinner before tonight’s Elite Eight matchup.
Your child gives you a kiss.
Your partner gives you a hug.
Your neighbor gives you a wave.
Your co-worker gives you a cookie.
Your boss gives you a day off.
Your adversary gives you a handshake.
And still nobody wants to make a reality television show about you.
And on truly lucky days, when you’re walking down the glass hall from the conference room and the sun is just right you can see down to the reflecting pool with the ducks and the honeysuckle and the muffled sounds of the world outside.
Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina and is author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World. He runs Your Law Life LLC, which helps lawyers and firms improve their well-being and create saner, more successful law lives. He is available for talks, presentations and confidential consultations.