Giving

Participants in the 2015 Washington Future Business Leaders of America State Business Leadership Conference anxiously await the posting of competition results.

The profession of the law holds a significant and important place in the American experience. Because the law governs so much of our daily lives (the temperature of our morning coffee, the speed of our commuter train, regulations on the manner by which we receive information all day long), attorneys may very well have a greater (not to be confused with "better") impact on the day-to-day life of our typical countryman than anyone else; even greater than celebrities, politicians (many of whom are attorneys), and celebrity politicians.

For better or for worse, we live in a highly regulated society, and the significant bulk of those regulations came about by the actions of attorneys (and the clients they represent). This impact my profession has on the world in which we live is not something that I've ever taken lightly, and it has probably been one of the biggest reasons I've spent my entire legal career trying to apply my professional skills, at least some of the time, for the greater good.

Today, I'm off to Spokane for the 2016 Washington Future Business Leaders of America State Business Leadership Conference. This annual event draws together high school (and a few middle school) students from all over the State of Washington to compete in dozens of business-related events, from Public Speaking to Emerging Business Issues to Business Ethics. As a member of the organization's board of directors for a little over a year, this will be my second SBLC, and another opportunity for me to give back to the community by actively engaging with these young leaders that are the future Bill Gateses and Elon Musks of our State. It is an honor and an inspiration to be a part of this great event and this amazing organization.

As a small business owner, time is the greatest asset I have to give. As drafter of hundreds of estate plans, I'm always amazed at the generosity of so many of my clients when it comes to leaving a financial legacy for community organizations. Regardless of how any of us choose to give, my personal experience with giving has enriched my life beyond measure, and hopefully left the world a tiny bit better for my efforts.

For anyone interested in giving (to WAFBLA or any of your favorite local charities), there is a great opportunity on the horizon: Seattle Foundation's Give Big on May 3, 2016. Give Big is an annual event where your dollar donations are matched, at least in part, by larger donors to really boost the dollar you're giving to your favorite charity.

I'll be giving financially to the two organizations on whose boards I sit: WAFBLA and Three Dollar Bill Cinema. I'm lucky to have time to give to these organizations, but I recognize that family and work commitments mean that not everyone has that kind of time to spare. Give Big provides you an opportunity to give to these and so many other great organizations by leveraging your donation to financially support the amazing work of these nonprofits.

I hope you'll join me in supporting one or more of your favorite local charities on May 3. And if you happen to be looking for an organization to support, please check out the great work that WAFBLA and Three Dollar Bill Cinema do.

If you've been looking for an opportunity to give, there's no time like now. And whatever your motive for giving (even if it's to ameliorate your guilt at being part of a profession that sometimes does as much harm as good), you'll feel good for doing it.