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A Focus on Serving Your Community
By:  W. Cade Lovelace

When managing a law practice, or any business for that matter, December is the month when you look back at the year and determine your success. For lawyers, that often means whether you helped your clients reach their goals, whether you spent enough time at the office, and whether you successfully brought new clients to your practice and earned their trust. 

But really, you should broaden your review to include your place in and your impact on your community. Consider whether you can become more involved in charitable positions. Look at whether you can become more involved in nonprofit or volunteer work. 

When I look back, I can repeat the same excuses as any busy lawyer with a family. Most of our professional time is spent resolving our clients’ problems. If we have any extra time we find other ways to improve at our profession. The remaining personal time is spent with our families. Often this means we leave out time spent on work that can be done to better serve our communities.

Serving our communities is a central tenant of both of our governing organizations. TYLA’s mission includes advancing “the role of the legal profession in serving the public.” The State Bar of Texas’s mission includes enabling “its members to better serve their clients and the public.” These organizations recognize that finding a place, a cause, or an organization to better your community is important to our profession. 

December is a great time to participate in a public service event. Many Texas organizations organize charitable activities, including donating gifts for underprivileged children or providing warm clothing and food for those in need. But there are many other ways to give back throughout the year, either professionally or personally. Look for an activity either through your local bar association, your local young lawyer association, or another service organization. If one does not exist, create it!

The year is ending, the holidays are near and it is time to examine the year’s results. Your work throughout the year has produced positive results for your clients and your business. Do not limit “success” to this framework. Make sure that your “success” includes serving the public in a cause that is important to you. If it does not, there is still time and you can start 2016 with this definition of success!

W. Cade Lovelace is a founding partner of Lovelace Killen, PLLC, in Fort Worth and Burleson, Texas, and is the president of his neighborhood association. He can be reached at

Views and opinions expressed in eNews are those of their authors and not necessarily those of the Texas Young Lawyers Association or the State Bar of Texas.

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