The ABA Journal recently ran a story about an Alabama attorney who moonlights coaching beauty queens and others needing interview preparation. In an December 1, 2014 article titled, Want to be the next Miss America? Then you might want to hire this lawyer, Lauren Etter wrote about Bill Alverson of Alverson & Alverson in Andalusia, Alabama and his unusual consulting practice.
Attorneys could learn quite a bit from the theories behind Mr. Alverson’s consulting practice, including the following gem:
When you prepare a client for court, you’re supposed to anticipate what the other side will do. In any legal situation we have that logical analysis. You have to always be relatable not only to your client but to a judge. The key thing for pageants, and also for being a successful attorney, is you have to develop trust. They’ve got to know that you can do the job.
You have to take those burdens off of them.
But it’s the last question and answer that we believe all lawyers should take to heart. Ms. Etter asked Mr. Alverson what he learned in law school that he has found most useful. This was his response:
Pride cometh before a fall. An arrogant person is subject to defeat by the exercise of his or her own self-made superiority.
So our tip to attorneys is to heed the lessons of this beauty queen consultant. Develop your client’s trust, and don’t fall victim to your own arrogance. Wise words indeed.