Thank you (Part I)


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Today is my last day at Dilworth Paxson LLP.

For just over 12 years, Dilworth Paxson has been my home.

(It’s ok Millenials. Just breathe.)

I gave notice to the firm a few weeks ago that I’d be resigning. During that meeting with our managing partner, it dawned on me that my years at Dilworth coincided with the time it took to pass through grade school.

And for a moment there, it took my breath away.

There are so many parallels.

During my time at the firm, I have had wonderful teachers and students. As a Philadelphia mid-sized firm, Dilworth has always had a reputation for punching above its weight class.

Yeah, I’ve seen my share of haymakers over the years. Even delivered a few of ’em myself.

Know this: if you find yourself on the opposite side of the “v” or business transaction from a Dilworth-represented client, it will be professional. But, don’t mistake civility for weakness. Never underestimate a Dilworth attorney.

You. Must. Be. On. Your. A-Game.

But, what I’ll remember most about Dilworth…

(dammit, not even 200 words yet and I’m crying as I type this)

..are the incredible friends I’ve made and what it truly means to be part of this Dilworth Family.

Let me give you an example:

As readers of the blog know, my mother passed away suddenly a few years ago. I was blessed with the overall outpouring of support for me and my family.

(The kind words from some readers of this blog, well, I can’t thank you enough.)

My co-workers too stood out.

They came by the dozens to my house in Philadelphia, just to hang out with me and my family. They stayed for hours. Flying home from a business trip, our Chairman taxied directly from the airport to my house to help comfort me and my family.

I’ll never forget that.

Let me put this into proper perspective.

All of us have interviewed for jobs at one time or another. And I’ll bet you that none of us were told during the interview, “This is truly a toxic workplace. But, you’ll persist.”

No. Everyone tells you how the work culture is so wonderful. And, sometimes, it turns out to be very good.

At Dilworth, it’s the best.

Office doors are always open. We socialize. We chat. We have a weekly happy hour. Sometimes, I’m amazed there are days that any work gets done.

But, it does. And it’s damn good too.

Because you can always count on a Dilworth colleague for support, whether as part of a case or deal or as a sounding board off of whom to bounce ideas. As much as anything, I will miss the collaboration.

That’s not to say that life at Dilworth has been perfect. And, from time to time, the press has taken their shots, maybe with a quote from an anonymous former employee.

Fuck all that. Let the haters hate.

Since 1933, Dilworth Paxson has been an integral part of the City of Philadelphia (founding partner Richardson Dilworth became Mayor), while making its mark on the national legal landscape (Dilworth was the first major Philadelphia law firm to offer employment to an African-American attorney. The Harvard-educated William T. Coleman Jr. when on to draft many of the plaintiff’s briefs in Brown v. Board of Education.)

Between then and now, the Who’s Who of Dilworth Paxson would blow your mind.

And, it’s not just the attorneys who make this place special. The staff is a cut above. A helping hand without having to ask for it. As integral to the roster as anyone else. We’re one big team.

One big family.

Fortunately, like breeds like. Sure, many people have come and gone from Dilworth Paxson before me over the years. But, when one person leaves, we have a knack for finding the right candidate to eventually fill their shoes both as a professional and a person. So, I have little doubt that the firm will find another character to accept the hand-off.

Although, I doubt that their blog game will be as tight as mine.

*** licks index fingers; wipes eyebrows ***

Now, I know at least one of you reader robots is like, “But, Eric! What about the blog?”

What about it?!? Chill out. I’ll be back on Monday.

But, now I’m leaving Dilworth.

I’m leaving home.

Yes, it’s just like grade school all over again. I’m excited and petrified all at the same time as I go out into the world. But, I’m ready to move on to another adventure. And this one’s a game changer.

(More on that on Monday. On this blog.)

But for now and forever, Dilworth will always have a place in my heart.

Thank you, Dilworth Paxson. I love you.

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”