Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thanks to Francie -- Part of the Thanks Giving Series

Francie was my mentor, unofficially at least in my eyes, at the first law firm I worked for. I knew instantly I would like her when I walked into her office and saw the Albert Einstein poster looking back at me, saying "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds," and the framed magazine cover emblazoned with "I don't think ladies should be lawyers." (Special Report on Gender Bias and Women in the Law, Cover story for the ABA Journal, The Lawyer’s Magazine, December 1, 1986) (Yes, someone actually said this, out loud, as recently as that, and he was, get this, a Judge speaking to a female attorney about to present her case in his court.)

Although Francie would probably never think it of herself, I saw her as humble, honest, down-to-earth and just so friendly, qualities you don't always associate with "attorney" or "law firm partner." She had the supreme quality of being able to joke about almost any challenge and always carried on without hesitation when dealt an unfair blow.

She is, hands down, one of my best examples of "Don't let the bastards get you down." And although I know in her humility she would likely say this is overblown, she is also one of my best examples of nobility, perseverance and compassion.

Thanks Francie for setting a great example and being a good friend. If it is true that what goes around comes around (and I believe it is), you've got lots of good things coming your way.

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