He called the family together and I knew that something important was about to happen. Mama, my two sisters and I sat quietly on the couch as he stood facing us. Then, in a quiet voice, referring only occasionally to the notes he had scribbled on a tablet, he began rehearsing the opening statement that he was to give in court the next day. I was six years old. He was in his early 30s, a WW 2 veteran and just beginning his law practice. It was a scene that would be repeated in our home many times over the next 50 years.
Daddy was not a big man in terms of physical stature. (His nickname was Peewee.) But he had a big personality and his passion for excellence and his dedication to his clients shone through the opening statements that he practiced on us. He was almost always at work by the time the rest of us got up in the morning and it was usually dark by the time he got home at night. He worked every Saturday.
Daddy is retired now. I myself have been practicing law for 39 years and in that time I have learned a lot. But the most important things I have learned about practicing law I learned from Daddy. Hard work. Attention to detail. Compassion for our clients. How to be a good listener. How to be prepared for whatever happens in the courtroom. These and many other lessons he taught me. Whatever success I have had, whatever accomplishments I have made, I owe in large part to him.
Like Daddy, we represent people in personal injury lawsuits. Because of his example, the trial lawyers at Jinks, Crow and Dickson understand that every client, every case, deserves our best. Daddy taught us that by bringing excellence to our profession, we level the playing field for the ordinary people we represent. It is a standard that we strive to achieve every day.
At age 91 Daddy is still teaching us. The practice of law has changed enormously since he began his practice in the early 1950s. It has changed tremendously since I began mine. But the values he has taught us and continues to teach are timeless. These are the values that we hope to bring to our law practice today and in the years to come. Daddy WAS a big man. Daddy was a lawyer.
By Lynn Jinks