I was a Marine Corps Artillery officer from 1983 through 1987. Marine Corps leadership training has helped me to be a better lawyer.
Part of the leadership training I received in the Marine Corps was how to communicate effectively. Clear communication is an essential trait of a lawyer, too.
Marines practice effective communication in the crucible of live fire exercises. When orders came down from higher command, a Marine leader must distill that information and clearly explain the details that are essential for that Marine’s unit. If the communication is not clear and effective, the whole command will know.
Similarly, a lawyer must distill the law and apply it to the facts of his client’s case. After that, the lawyer must explain the situation to his client in a way that the client can see the risks facing him or her. A miscommunication can have a bad effect.
The stress of live fire exercises also helped me, as Marine Corps officer, to stay cool under difficult and time sensitive situations. These days, when a judge is pressing me for a quick response, that Marine Corps training has helped me to stay cool under withering fire.
Another trait Marine Corps training develops is a laser focus on accomplishing the Mission. Civilian employers value that trait, and it has helped me to effectively practice law.
For example, Marines and lawyers often feel many stressors pulling in different directions. When that happens, we need to focus on the objective and then prioritize the intermediate tasks to accomplish that objective. That type of focus and ability to organize priorities helped me in the Marine Corps and helps me today as I practice law
Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs
4565 Ruffner Street, Suite 207
San Diego, CA 92111