In just three weeks, the second annual Purposeful Planning Rendezvous will begin. I am pleased to be presenting again this year, and am looking forward with excitement to spending time with a group of committed and forward-looking professionals. If you have read my prior posts about the event (here and here), you may recall that this is a group furthering ways to broaden the concept of trusts and estates beyond the monetary and tangible. Their notions of legacy encompass much more, including significant and essential values, expansive wisdom, and sagacious foresight.
In reading this uplifting article about octogenarian lawyers who are happy with, and in, their practices (Chicago Lawyer Magazine), I felt certain that one of them would fit right in next month at the Rendezvous. I have been told by very senior lawyers that the broad definition of legacy being explored and furthered by the Purposeful Planning Institute, although not the norm these days, was common decades ago. Meet Harry Rosenberg:
[He] has spent six decades writing wills, setting up family trusts and handling estates. It's an area of law that almost demands a personal connection with clients.
And that's what motivates Rosenberg, 83, a partner at Reed Smith, who said he aims to give his clients comfort and peace of mind.
"I like the idea that I'm 75 percent a lawyer and 25 percent a psychologist, priest, rabbi or minister," he said. "I would be very, very uncomfortable working on SEC regulations, commercial code or big corporate work. It's just never attracted me. I've always been attracted to dealing with people and their families."
... He still gives his clients the sort of personal touch a person would expect from a solo practitioner. He insists on meeting with clients inside his personal office rather than a more impersonal conference room.
"I think this office tells something about me the conference (room) never would," Rosenberg said,
sitting at his desk in front of an autographed-festooned Chicago White Sox quilt. "First of all, you can see I'm a Sox fan and I have masses of family pictures. They learn something about me by observing the office. I've never had a will or trust signing in a conference room. … This is my home. I want people to come to my home."
Click to read about other satisfied lawyers. I doubt if this work-life balance stuff in vogue these days would make much sense to them. Client service seems to be a major ingredient in their contentment.
If you want to attend next month, I think there are a couple of places still left. Check with Julie Dorosz. Here's the listing of presentations to be included in the two days, most very participatory. Keynotes are described here. For me last year, the programs were very good—and the networking outside the presentations was equally as valuable. Will any of you be joining us here in the Mile High City?