16 Mar 2012
- Written by Carlee McCullough
As owner of the Wharton Law Firm, Ruby R. Wharton is a recognized force within the Memphis-area legal community.
Carlee McCullough: Now that the second generation has come into the business, has your approach to the business been altered in any way?
Ruby Wharton: Yes, and I cannot say that I have been always willing to make the changes that my sons have advocated. But honestly, most of the changes, particularly, technology have been great suggestions and they are now convincing me that I should consider and/or engage in marketing and advertising.
CM: If you had to go back in time and start the Wharton Law Firm over, is there anything you would do differently?
Ruby R. Wharton
CM: What advice would you give to the new generation of attorneys?
RW: I could summarize it by mentioning four things: (1) always be honest in everything you do; (2) work hard and be willing to sacrifice; (3) be respectful toward others; and (4) be patient and willing to wait on that good case or that million dollar verdict.
CM: What are your thoughts about the new generation of attorneys?
MRW: I believe by and large that they are very bright and energetic. However, a good number of them seem to lack basic courtesies and seem to be focused more on making money than serving their community. This is troubling to me.
CM: What is one of the main differences you see with attorneys practicing law today compared to when you started?
RW: This is not necessarily a statement directed only to young people, however, I find that a good number of attorneys today do not seem to have problems with being dishonest toward each other. Their word does not appear to be their bond.
CM: After years of practicing law, what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an attorney?
RW: I am not sure I could say I have learned one big lesson. Putting it another way I would say that I am still learning, not so much about the law, but about dealing with people, and in that connection I am still teaching myself to be patient, to listen thoroughly to my clients.
CM: What advice would you give to those interested in the area of law?
RW: The major advice I would give is to think very hard and ask yourself whether you want to devote a large amount of your life working in a field that is extremely demanding and challenging. Further, I would ask the persons to consider whether they are willing to sacrifice early on in their career to learn as much as possible about the law but also about how to work in making the law serve its purpose with regard to justice.
CM: What advice would you give to lawyers interested in private practice?
RW: I would go back to my answer about work: be willing to work long hours, be willing to wait on the big case, but understand that every little case is your potential big case. Work it hard, work it right and serve the client well.
CM: Any closing words of wisdom to those going into a family business?
Just know not to monopolize the conversation with subjects concerning work. Thank you for the opportunity and maybe you should get the thoughts of my children.
(For more information visit: www.TheWhartonLawFirm .com.)