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share with us your other endeavors when next you see us. It helps us all. Diversity and inclusion. I return to these themes again and again because it is me. Long ago, when I was thinking about referring a grade crossing case to a white male lawyer because the venue was in central Mississippi - in a county that I was told was a Klan birthplace and in which I never saw any diversity when I went there for depositions and pretrial matters – David Cromwell Johnson, a legendry lawyer and my boss at the time, told me: “Don’t quit. Never forget who you are. And be willing to work harder than the lawyer sitting at the next table, and you will be fine.” This is good advice – not just for me, but for people of all ages, ethnicities, beliefs, sexes, and backgrounds. David is gone now, but I think he was as inclusive as one can get. It was far more than hiring me for my first job as a licensed lawyer. In truth, I thought my first job with him was terrible – I was hired to research and draft a book on defending criminal drug cases. But David took me to every hearing and trial and introduced me to every judge and prosecutor in the county and proudly told them about the work I was doing for him. He put my name on every motion. He invited me to lunch at John’s and to sit next to him at the famous big round table where all the lawyers sat. He assigned value to the terrible job I thought I had. He was a great lawyer and he sponsored me. We can all do that for someone who is not in the majority. This is the step beyond diversity – this is inclusion. I encourage every seasoned member of our bar to “sponsor” a lawyer that does not look like you – you don’t have to go far because there are lots of women, minorities, young lawyers and sole practitioners. It does require intentionality and just a little time. Please call them on the telephone and ask them to accompany you to the bar picnic, the courthouse, Coffee With The Judges, a deposition or other pretrial proceeding, a board meeting or Cocktails In The Courtyard. Communicate with each other, and support one another - it makes us all better lawyers and citizens. G Bring your game with an LL.M. in Tax or Business. The University of Alabama School of Law offers LL.M. programs in taxation and business transactions. Renowned professors and practitioners teach courses live from across the country. Earn your advanced degree and gain championship status. School of Law Online Programs OnlineLLM.ua.edu/bham A8153666-01 Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Summer 2017 9


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