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I Wish I’d Known – Martin Wickliff Jr.


By Martin Wickliff Jr.

Martin Wickliff Jr. is a member of the Labor & Employment Group in Cozen O’Connor’s Houston office. One hundred percent of his time is devoted to the representation of management in all phases of labor and employment law, including advice and counsel, as well as trials and appeals involving all types of discrimination matters (single- and multiple-plaintiff cases as well as class actions), noncompete and nondisclosure/nonsolicitation disputes, trade secrets, unfair competition, Sarbanes-Oxley and other whistle-blower actions, defamation claims, and wage and hour litigation (collective actions and multiple plaintiff lawsuits).

The world is very complex and, at the same time, very simple; and a broad view of the applicability of the law in our society is something I wish I had been cognizant of when I was in law school.

As a practitioner over the last 39 years, I have been involved in the intricacies of becoming knowledgeable and proficient in the practice of law; learning and effectively applying the law was of utmost importance during most of these years. But the rule of law controls so much of what we do in society, and our busy schedules can cause us to lose sight of its importance. When we think about all the laws, rules and regulations to which we, as a society, are subject every day, we realize how much law controls our everyday way of life.

A law school education offers so many opportunities to us, and we really do not realize its importance until we have been at it for a while. We have the options of practicing law, having a career in government or business, or teaching law school. These different aspects of a legal career present enormous opportunities to positively affect our society, as well as to selfishly fulfill our career dreams of being a lawyer. Without the rule of law in our business and society, chaos will govern how we live—and there would be no peace and harmony in our lives.

Law is a very honorable profession, and I wish I had been aware of its breadth and effect on us, as human beings, and our society as a whole. The privilege of being a lawyer and its influence should never be taken lightly; and we should do all that we can to learn it well and apply it wisely in our everyday lives, whether we have a law degree or just want to be an honorable person who wants order and sanity in our society.

Student Lawyer Student Lawyer magazine provides guidance on educational, career, and related issues for ABA Law Student Division members and other subscribers. It is published four times a year by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. Student Lawyer is available online to members of the ABA Law Student Division and to print subscribers.

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