Page 22

Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin

Spare Office Sessions Robert “Squire” Gwin, Jr. Squire Gwin with attorney Robin Burrell, who presented him with the 2018 BBA L. Burton Barnes, III Public Service Award Robert “Squire” Gwin, Jr. was awarded the L. Burton Barnes, III Public Service Award at the meeting last December. Established in 1994, the award recognizes a member of the Birmingham Bar Association who has given freely of his or her time and energy in public service for the benefit and betterment of the general public. It honors the memory of L. Burton Barnes, III, a distinguished member of the BBA until his untimely death in 1994. Burton was a true champion of public service, serving his community freely and quietly. His commitment to public service establishes a lofty standard of public service and serves as an inspiration for other members of the Birmingham Bar Association. For decades now, Squire has shown the same dedication to public service through his incredible work in the field of addiction and rehabilitation. Squire began his legal career in 1970 as a criminal defense and divorce attorney. He is open and honest about his own journey through addiction, which began when he quit his law practice in 1982. He served as a rehabilitation counselor for nine years, using his personal struggle to inspire the lives of others. In 1993 Squire returned to the practice of law with a vision: to create a program to assist attorneys struggling with addiction. Squire is a founding member of the Alabama Lawyers Assistance Program (ALAP), and served as President of the committee from 1999- 2001. He continues to serve as an active member of the program. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alabama Lawyers Assistance Foundation, whose mission is to fund ALAP. When not working with ALAP, he spends his time in the practice of law with a focus on elder law, guardianships and conservatorships, and mental health law. Squire came to talk with me after a committee meeting at the Bar Center. My first question is always a simple one, but happened to hit on one of Squire’s passions. Coffee or tea? “Both,” answers Squire. I asked what kind of tea he preferred. “Twinings,” he says, “I’ve picked up the habit of afternoon tea.” Squire advises that pretty much any tea with the Twinings label is a solid choice for afternoon tea in the English style, which he calls “an exercise in civility…no politics or religion allowed.” He enjoys the ritual each afternoon, often with friends or his wife, Grace, who he describes as “worthy of her name, tall and beautiful.” I ask if he has visited England. Squire tells me that he was an English major in his undergraduate years and always had an affinity for English literature. “I visited on an English literary tour. The first week we stayed in London in the Daniel House, the second we visited Wales, Scotland, and northern England.” He recalls falling in love with the country, visiting Hampton Court and Windsor Castle and seeing As You Like It at the Globe. There is a flea market on Portobello Road in London that he particularly recommends, and of course visiting one of the country’s many fine tea houses is an absolute necessity. What was your first job after law school? “I worked at Sears/Roebuck as a complaint manager north of Seattle.” He says the job taught him much about human nature. As a survivor of seven years of retail myself, I do not pry further, though he does marvel at how far some will go to return a trivial and inexpensive item. 22 Birmingham Bar Association


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin
To see the actual publication please follow the link above