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March 25, 2013

Court is in Recess- Bennett Joins Dad at Work and My Life as a Dad/Lawyer

by John Phillips

Court is in Recess- Bennett Joins Dad at Work and My Life as a Dad/Lawyer

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I work hard and around the clock.  There was a time when “work life” would end at a particular hour of the day and I’d try to be at every event I could.  Once I failed at being “just another lawyer” at “just another mill,” churning out billable hours or injury settlements like McDonald’s does hamburgers, and started my own firm, my clock became less divided into work-life and home-life.  It just became my life.  And my family’s life.  And I love it more than ever.

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I lost my mother in November 2011.  For those that know me, know that I was an admitted Momma’s boy.  I saw her a few days before she died, and for the first time in my life, she recognized that I had an amazing woman who could take care of me.  We shared ultrasound photos.  My son, Bennett (Latin for “little Blessed One”) was born less than three months thereafter.  He bears her maiden name.  He has inspired me to inspire others.  His smile makes me yearn to make this world a place free of as much danger, despair and fear as possible.  His mother is my best friend and understands I am wired differently- especially now.

I brought Bennett to work with me today, as I just wanted a little more time with him.  And I was with Bennett today when I got the news that Jordan Davis’ killer would be denied bond and would remain in jail until trial- and likely for the rest of his life.  I was at “recess” on the playground with my son when I got the bittersweet ability to give Jordan’s parents the news that justice, indeed, was working.  And that the fight for their son had another battle won.  And it overwhelmed me.  Because I no longer turn my “lawyer” hat on or my “dad” hat off.  They are one and the same and I think it makes me more passionate and compassionate about the people we help.

We all need to take “recesses” to be with our children, love our children and spend extra time with our children.  I do not take for granted my ability to do that.  At a Church event over the weekend, Tim Tebow said, “If you don’t love what you do, if you’re not passionate & willing to sacrifice, then why are you doing it?”  That is great for him and great for me; we are able to do what we are passionate about.photo

Some don’t have that choice.  They have to worry about putting food on the table.  They love their children and make sacrifices out of hope more than passion, out of need more than desire.  They scrape and sacrifice more than Tim or I will.  My family had those days and they were tough.  My mom would have liked to have been a lawyer or something else, but she was passionate about us.  It’s not that easy and Tim will learn that just as I learned it.

I appreciate his passion, and the sentiment, but one is lucky if he/she gets to really love what they do.  I sure am.  I count my Blessings daily and hope I get to inspire others and make it my mission to help people get through rough times in their lives.  I was able to take a gamble and go out on my own despite the over-saturated marketplace of lawyers doing what I do and spending millions of dollars to claim they “fight” a little harder.  They couldn’t.  They wouldn’t have time to do commercials, haha.  I am still scared to death when the phone doesn’t ring sometimes.photo[2]

It’s not a gimmick.  It’s me.  And I wear it on my sleeve proudly.  So, thank you for letting me share my “recess” from today and how I made my little one apart of working for others. You never know when life is going to knock you down, so try and keep those around you able to look back and say like I say about my mother, she knew until her dying day that I loved her.  Life is precious.  Treat it that way.

And thank you for enduring me thus far.  I promise to give my all.

Love, John

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