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Don't Discount the Little Victories
By Katherine Pattillo Wilsey 
July 15, 2020

Pattillo Law, LLC

Making sure you get the representation you deserve.

Feeling like a hamster spinning in its wheel, but you are going nowhere? Forced to wake up and do it all over again day after day? I hear you. I am where you are. I am certain many of us have experienced these feelings. Ultimately we have two options: Allow these feelings to negatively consume energy in our lives, or, decide to take the time to be introspective and find the good and positive aspects of not only where you are, but where you have been.  I suggest choosing the latter.  Finding a different perspective may be what you need to do to get through the day so you can be ready to face tomorrow.   A different perspective may also prepare you for any changes that may need to be made in addition to helping you become alert to opportunities that may come across your path.

Finding a different perspective is something I have had to do myself.  Since it will soon be seven years since I took the bar exam and ten years since entering law school, I decided to take some time and evaluate my journey in the legal field.  Remember, I said I have been where you are.  I have to take my own advice. 

In reflecting upon my career I decided to start with the positive aspects.  I choose to share this not as a brag, but to encourage others who may be a tired little hamster that is running as fast as they can in that stupid little wheel.  You are not alone.  Here are my first steps to finding a new perspective:

  • As part of my pro bono work, two mothers now have custody of their children.                     
  • I have helped clients facing eviction avoid homelessness. 
  • I have multiple prior clients that are not convicted felons because I investigated their cases. Subsequently, I discovered the clients were overcharged and should have been charged with misdemeanors or were innocent of the alleged crime.
  • Combined prison time that clients did not have to serve: 146 years.             
  • Not only is that 146 years of clients' lives that were given back to them, but according to the latest data it costs Alabama taxpayers $14,780 per year to house an inmate. This means taxpayers potentially saved up to $2,157,880.00.
  • I helped co-author an appeal that resulted in a published opinion by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.             
  • Additionally, one of my appeals resulted in a published opinion by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.             
  • One of my VA Disability appeals resulted in the client *finally* receiving a 100% disability rating.  That is a life changing victory.      
  • I have argued oral arguments before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Criminal Appeals.            
  • For the past six years I have been a member of the Veterans Treatment Court team.  Most importantly, at least five veterans are still alive today as a result of the work the Veterans Treatment Court team has invested in our clients.

Do not stay focused on the present when you search for your new perspective because there is more to today than what is happening today. We are actually *not* hamsters spinning in that stupid little wheel.  We are on our own journey. Introspectively knowing our journey and where we have been amounts to giving you the opportunity to be proactive rather than reactive.  In a sense, you are creating a place within yourself where you can be ready to face tomorrow and take the next steps that come our way.

For me, when I pause and am restrospective, my perspective changes. I cannot help but be humbled and grateful to have had the opportunity to serve so many clients in very different ways.  The daily minutia and immediate happenings can be frustrating and are inherently designed to make us feel a multitude of negative feelings.  It can be easy for that to overwhelm the little victories we have.  We have to remember to not discount little victories in our personal journeys because each little victory adds up and can help shine a light on a new perspective.