I graduated from law school wanting to help people. I started practicing in a rough neighborhood, representing people who otherwise couldn’t afford a decent attorney. I ate at the local cafe and engaged people socially and tried to become part of the community. It wasn’t working.
I’d been raised in New Haven. I was young and thought I was worldly, a guy who could relate to everybody. I wasn’t. I couldn’t. I thought I was failing, even though I was making a difference.
I spoke with my father about it. He said, Socialize with your own kind. Advocate for mankind. Don’t apologize for either.
I thought it was an elitist comment, and maybe it was. But I heard it. I stopped trying to fit in where I didn’t and just represent my clients. With that boundary and reality set up, my relations with everyone improved. I wasn’t trying. I was doing my job.
So those are the Old Money words I remember. Socialize with your own kind. Advocate for mankind.