When I was admitted to practice law in 2001, my boss was Paul Wein, someone who I thought was arrogant, self-serving and conceited. I worked on my first assignment day in and day out. I handed this masterpiece to Mr. Wein for his review thinking to myself, he has never seen such great work, he must feel smarter than Einstein for hiring me. Yes, I was that arrogant. Within two minutes, Mr. Wein comes in my office and throws the brief on my desk, red mark after red mark. As the tears started forming in my eyes and the steam began coming out of my ears, Mr. Wein said something I will never forget, “Courts do not care what you think, Courts care what other Courts think”, and walked out of my office.
I learned a valuable lesson that day, humility. I accepted the fact that I was wrong, that I didn’t know squat and that maybe Mr. Wein knew a thing or two about practicing law.
As the years went on I discovered that Mr. Wein had taught me more than I could ever ask anyone to teach me about practicing law. Fight for your clients, be zealous in your representation and never, ever tell a Judge what you think, tell a Judge what other Judges think!
So was I correct in thinking Mr. Wein was arrogant? Of course not. I mistook arrogance for the pride he takes in zealously representing his clients.
Was I correct when I thought Mr. Wein was self-serving? Of course not. Mr. Wein is loyal. He sacrificed his entire career and went out on his own with me when his old firm split.
Finally, is Mr. Wein conceited? For anyone who has ever seen how deeply he cares for his clients, and for the parents of kids he seeks desperately to help get into St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, he is not conceited, but passionate and humble.
So, why am I proud to call Paul Wein my law partner? It is simple really, he is passionate, loyal and humble…and one of the best lawyers I have ever met.