Learning to Love the Law

By Morgan Dodd

There is a phrase that all future lawyers become acquainted with in law school, if not well before, which is “learning to love the law”. This means that you will not always love the statutes or the court decisions or the regulations, and certainly not the path to research them or learn about them. At least not at first. But if you work at it, you will.

One thing that stands out about this to me is how close it is to the saying that life is about the journey, not the destination. Or put another way, it is about the process. You have to appreciate the backstory. In our rush to be productive, to be fast, to be efficient, we must always make sure that we understand the interests of our client—of you and what you need.

I fondly remember an example of this from law school. I think we are all a little conditioned to love Constitutional law. And why not—it’s the sexy law. It traces back to colonial times and the founding of our country. It involves the most well known laws in our country, including the First Amendment. But I was surprised to find that Constitutional law itself was not always so exciting. Maybe I was just judging it compared to my expectations; but some of the cases seemed silly, or worse, inconsequential. To my great shock, tax law was quite the pleasant surprise. I will give you a second if you fell asleep just reading that sentence—I think I fell asleep writing it! No one thinks of tax law as that exciting, except the attorneys in our tax department. But the more that I dug into it, the more that I found that the most complex, the most arcane, the most in-the-weeds tax law usually had this great backstory. Some strange regulation that makes us scratch our heads is written to combat a multinational corporation from coming up with crazy schemes to route money through multiple countries to avoid taxation. Another statute from the tax code is made in an attempt to help define what even counts as income: what appears like a bland definition in a statute often reads like philosophy in a court case. And long after many of these cases and statutes from tax law have escaped me, the lessons have remained: you have to look deep into the story--into the people and their stories--in order to know what is best in terms of the law.

I have carried this lesson with me into the practice of law here with Andrews Davis. There is the law and what it says to us. But oftentimes, what is best for you is a result that does not involve the legal process at all, such as simply talking to the other party or even talking to another unrelated party. Maybe it does involve the legal process, but it includes something unusual, such as settlement or trial goals that for whatever reason are not the norm. Whatever your story is, it is unique. And that story—that background and those interests—is critical to us offering the best advice and service to you that we can. 

So if you are an Andrews Davis client or considering seeking our counsel, then we would like to know you. If you are already a client, then I hope we have a good relationship with you and we would like to get to know you better. And if you are not yet a client, then I hope you see that for us, you and your case are much more than words on paper. If you seek my counsel because you would like to know the title issues surrounding some mineral interests that you may own, then that is great and I would love to help; but I would also like to know if, for example, you are selling these interests to help wind up and dispose of your father’s estate. Or perhaps you would like help deciphering the different clauses on an oil and gas lease that you have been offered, but you would like me to know about how this land has been in your family for years—I would like to know that, too. 

Whoever you are and whatever your situation, we would like to help. Knowing you and your situation will allow us to help that much more. We look forward to getting to know you better.

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