cbaReportFeb13 - page 6

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February 2013 CBA REPORT
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understanding. Many other professions
and disciplines (some of whom may be
your clients by the way) depend on more
nonverbal modes:
e.g.
, physicians, sci-
entists, musicians, engineers, architects,
mathematicians, builders, stonemasons
and many others (including painters).
Inspiration is not always in words, or
best expressed by words. If words were
inspiration’s only medium, why would a
cardiologist listen to a pulse, a radiologist
interpret images, a car designer sculpt
models in clay, a musician use notes or a
painter use pigment?
Careerism.
As young lawyers move
through the pathways of their careers
in law firms, companies, governmental
agencies and other legal employers, how
much emphasis is placed or mentoring
done on the value of inspiration?
Some Sources
The above “isms” aren’t a complete
list of hurdles on the road to inspiration
as a lawyer; you can, I’m sure, add to or
modify it based on your own experience.
But let’s turn from hurdles to sources.
Where might we look? Continuing with
lessons learned from painting, let me
suggest an analogy.
Painters have been painting a lot
longer than lawyers have been lawyering.
Painting’s immense history spans some
30,000 years — from ancient Paleolithic
cave drawings of hunting scenes to the
millions of paintings you can access to-
day from your computer with a keystroke
Google search. It’s a 30,000 year history
of how human beings have been inspired,
how painters from every continent across
the millennia have sought and answered
the “why” question in an incredible
variety of ways. The magnitude and irre-
pressibility of inspiration across so many
people, generations, times and cultures
is itself a source of inspiration. Let’s pick
out just one of these groups of painters
and look at what inspired them.
Impressionism, beginning in 19th
century France and expanding to
America and other countries, is a story
about a major shift in how some painters
answered the why question. Impres-
sionist painters looked for inspiration
outdoors
, in the open air, helped by the
invention of tube oil paint that could be
carried outside with a portable palette
and easel. For centuries prior to impres-
sionism, painting was a largely indoor
activity. Once outdoors, inspiration
came from a remarkable source:
natural
light
. Light itself was the subject — the
many aspects, moods, colors and quali-
ties of light — whether it be cast upon
a haystack at sunset or a cathedral at
sunrise. The impressionist found inspira-
tion in something external to and much
larger than the painter; and the discovery
changed the course of art history.
So, too, have lawyers in the long his-
tory of law found sources of inspiration
in something external to and larger than
the lawyer. Consider the legal history of
the United States Constitution and the
revolutionary idea of government of, by
and for the people. Or Nelson Mandela, a
young lawyer with the audacity to begin
his “long walk to freedom” by starting a
law practice in Johannesburg. Or Morris
Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty
Law Center and 2012 recipient of the
American Bar Association’s highest hon-
or. As a lawyer, you will have your own
list of lawyers who, like the impression-
ists, saw the light external to themselves
and were thus inspired.
Todd Bailey, Bea Larsen, Jerry Lawson, Bob Kaiser, Mike Kaufman, Lori Ross
We ARE Mediation
(513) 721-4466
cfrdmediation.com
call to discuss your referral
Todd Bailey
Jerry Lawson
Mike Kaufman
Bea Larsen
Bob Kaiser
Lori Ross
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