March 01, 2018 GPSolo

One African-American Lawyer’s Story: Environment, Fate, Providence, Persistence, and Luck

By Jeffrey C. Robinson


Some people know from an early age what their destiny is in life and what they hope to become. Usually, but not always, these people have role models—a parent who is a lawyer, a cousin who is a doctor, an uncle who is an engineer, a friend who is an architect—and the idea of pursuing such a profession is not far-fetched or foreign to them. On the other hand, there are those who don’t have the benefit of association with people in a profession, who don’t have any clue as to what it takes to enter certain professions, who have practically no guidance from anyone in that profession, and yet who somehow still manage to pursue professions that as a child were inconceivable. This is the story of one such lawyer, an African American born in rural Alabama in the 1950s who overcame and became a successful lawyer in a solo practice. Was it the environment, fate, providence, persistence, luck, or a combination of all these that proved instrumental in the attorney’s journey to become a sole practitioner?

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