Dream of: 06 December 2002 "Pro Bono"

As I was walking across a parking lot, I noticed a shiny dime lying on the ground; I bent over to pick it up. Then I saw another dime, and another. Dozens of dimes were scattered about; I began picking them up with my right hand and cupping them in my left. Soon I had a whole handful of dimes – and more still lay on the ground. I was reluctant to stop my gathering when McSwain stepped up and began talking with me.

McSwain (about 60 years old) looked at me rather disdainfully. I began to feel sheepish about picking up the dimes – after all they were only dimes. McSwain began asking me questions about law – he wanted to know what was my specialty. I told him I was mostly interested in real property law. He looked incredulous. Only now did I recall McSwain had been my real property professor in law school. He would know so much more real property law than I; nevertheless I still was confident of my knowledge of real property law.

McSwain didn't seem impressed. To the contrary, he began pointing out that I hadn't been practicing law at all lately. He even accused me of being involved in some kind of dishonest scheme. I was chagrined to hear him berating me the way he was. Was there some truth to what he said? He was right, I hadn't been practicing law lately. Only now was I beginning to once again feel the need to practice law. And if I had been involved in anything unethical, I was sorry. Maybe I could atone by doing some pro bono work. Yes, maybe that was the answer: I could begin practicing law by doing free work for someone in need.

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