Rarely do I see a bio of a woman lawyer like this. Yes, there are the Ruth Bader Ginsburgs and the Sandra Day O’Connors and others of their visibility and accomplishments, but none quite like this. None that is as down to earth and yet as lofty at the same time.
To read about a woman who practiced law into her 90’s and became a criminal defense lawyer because she ” thought that facing the unknown and having to think on her feet was heaven” is nothing short of inspiring.
I hope you will take the time to read about Eleanor Jackson Piel. It is true that she lived in a different time and that accomplishing what she did might not be as easy today. My guess is that electronic filing would get a little challenging for a ninety-some year old lawyer today. But the true grit and determination of this woman are timeless.
But, as the article asks, why should someone like Eleanor Jackson Piel have to die for her accomplishments to be heralded far and wide? Why shouldn’t those threads of greatness be celebrated while she is alive and can appreciate the value others see in her accomplishments?
Although there is nothing we can do about the slow recognition in the case of Ms. Piel, we can do something about the senior lawyers with great accomplishments under their belts who we interface with every day. We can let them know how appreciated they are and how grateful we are to breathe their same air and learn from them. We can acknowledge their value to the young lawyers who, too often, wander the halls clueless and afraid to ask for help until that salient moment when a lawyer like Eleanor Jackson Piel approaches to say, “Can I help you?”
I hope you have such a salient moment, and I hope you handle it well by taking advice and returning praise and thanks.