March 01, 2019 From the Chair

If You Could Change Your Career, Would You?

A message from the Experience chair

Michael J. Van Zandt

Imagine you have the ability to look back over your life and give yourself the most important advice that could change you for the rest of your life. Imagine you can look back over your life and find that one defining decision that had the most significant impact on your future self.

This issue of Experience explores the medium of the glass globe that looks back instead of forward and reveals why things are and why these lawyers have arrived at this particular place in their lives. With all the wisdom they’ve amassed over their years of practice, four lawyers give us insight into what kind of advice they’d give their younger selves.

Following the sage advice that to earn respect, we must first respect ourselves. Giving advice to our younger selves and having the opportunity to act on it is time travel with a unique advantage. Think about this yourself as you wind your way through life, and think of all the things or decisions you would change or not.

The Norsemen have an old saying: “Fate is inevitable.” Our decisions and actions in the past have consequences, good or bad, in the future. We define our fate by seeking the road where we respect ourselves, respect others, and earn respect from our peers.

Adding to our issue is an article concerning avoiding disputes over estate planning by John C. Martin, and a nonagenarian explains why he continues to work, and another article sifts through the pros and cons of reverse mortgages. Our editor, Gabriella Filisko, gives advice on safari dos and don’ts, and our technical team, Jeff Allen and Ashley Hallene, weigh in on how to use Alexa and Siri.

Hope to see you in New York in May for the Senior Lawyers Division Spring Meeting.


Michael J. Van Zandt

Michael J. Van Zandt is a partner and co-chair of the Environmental & Natural Resources group at Hanson Bridgett in San Francisco. In addition to chairing the Experience editorial board, Van Zandt is vice chair of the Senior Lawyers Division; a member of the SLD Council; a representative for the ABA SLD to the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Special Committee; a Litigation Counsel of America senior fellow; and an American Bar Foundation life fellow.