Susan S. Locke


I will not debate whether or not the practice of law creates dysfunction, requires dysfunction or perpetuates dysfunction. I am reminded of a colleague who, when looking at his law firm partners who practice in my field of estate planning asked, "Do you have to be eccentric to go into estate planning, or does it just make you that way after a while?" Probably the answer is a little of both, and it is as true for the practice of law in general as it is for estate planning. When the dust settles at some time in the future, we may discover that the very traits that in excess are dysfunction, such as rigid control, perfectionism, aggression, excessive compulsive behavior, outspokenness and a tendency to go against the grain, also make for effective lawyers who are exacting, vigorous advocates, tenacious, assertive and wiling to take on any and all challenges.