A Tribute to Craig Pollard, Great Lawyer, Even Better Dad
A question that law students and attorneys are often asked is "so, what made you want to become a lawyer?" The answers to this question are limitless, and certainly a variety of factors influences one's decision to pursue a legal career, but one that I have heard from many of my friends and colleagues is that a family member or other respected person in their life is an attorney. This was not the case for me. Having said that, you may assume that this is because I was not closely acquainted with any lawyers during the time that I was figuring out my career path. Also not the case. My father, who is one of my biggest heroes and role models, is a lawyer, and a good one, at that. You may be wondering, then, how it is that my father's being an attorney did not influence me to become an attorney. Recently, the Legal News in my home county did their weekly "Monday Profile
" on my dad. Anyone who knows me will quickly see where I get my wit when you catch his off-beat answers sprinkled in with the serious ones. (Where would he like to be when he is 90? - Anywhere above ground.) This profile highlights my father's many successes in his legal career, from graduating from law school, to getting his first job at the Public Defender's Office, to becoming a partner at a law firm in his hometown, and to this day, still practicing full time and loving every minute of it. My dad also has some great advice about becoming a lawyer, advising those who are considering going to law school to think carefully about that decision before investing the time, money, and emotion in a demanding, but rewarding, educational experience. But more than showing that my father has worked hard to become a great attorney, this profile shows what a great man he is. He has a wide variety of interests, including marine biology, in which he obtained both his undergraduate and master's degrees, and traveling, enjoying both camping in the great outdoors and sightseeing at historic locations. My dad enjoys things we can all relate to, like golfing, listening to music, and hanging out at his favorite local bar & grill. He is also down-to-earth. If he could have ANY car in the world, if money was no object, what would this man drive? A Ford Escape. The same car he drives now. But a new one. Most importantly though, and the thing that sticks out most about this profile of my dad, is that he is a wonderful husband, father, and family man. When asked about all of his happiest memories, proudest moments, and biggest achievements, each and every one centers around his family. What was his proudest moment as a lawyer? When he was sworn in, and his whole family was there for it. Who is one of the three people, living or dead, he would want to have dinner with? His father, who passed away just this past December. What is his greatest achievement? Helping my mother raise my sister and me. My father never once pushed me to become an attorney. He stood back and let me make my own choices, supporting me at every turn. We never had discussions about whether or not I should take the LSAT, apply to this law school or that one, or focus on a particular practice area. If I had asked, would he have helped me? Of course. But he had the confidence in me, the person he raised, to figure things out and make decisions that were right for me. And that right decision turned out to be going to law school and becoming a lawyer. So, to explain what I mean when I say that my father's being an attorney had nothing to do with my decision to become an attorney, I mean just that. But it had everything to do with him being my father, and the man that he is.