In the Spirit of Thanksgiving: The Opening of My Practice

So on the eve of Thanksgiving Day 2008, I decided to write something personal.  Not knowing for sure if this is something that someone will want to read, as it is not directly "law related," which is the general focus of  my blog, but it does give insight into who I am.  Briefly, I will discuss what is contained on my resume in the "About Me" section of my website, but here, I can reflect a bit more on why I took the path I took and how those pathways affected me.

I started working at the Travis County Attorney’s Office as a "baby prosecutor," which is slang for someone directly out of law school.  While there, I learned a lot and met a number of really professional, helpful people.   I did not stay there too long though as I had a lot going on in my personal life and being 25/26 years old, I thought I "had to make more money", so I took an opportunity at a civil defense law firm in Austin.  

While working in private practice, I really missed criminal law, as I had developed friendships with multiple criminal defense attorneys, some officers, and other prosecutors while at the County Attorney’s Office.  I missed the personal interaction that showed up through the resolution of those cases.  In general, it has been my experience that the criminal bar to the legal profession is far more friendly and accepting than the civil side… yet, I cannot answer why that is to this day.

I tried to get the firm to allow me to develop a criminal defense practice within the firm, truly believing that it was something missing.  However, the partners in charge did not want to take the firm in that direction.  I truly believed this was something I had to do, so I began to ponder how to make it happen.

I viewed myself as a young attorney with a lot of potential but also as someone with a lot of uncertainty (in how to develop a criminal defense practice) … due to all the expenses and issues surrounding owning your own business (I’ll leave it at that for now).

So, I elected to get into law enforcement and found myself working at the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.  Having made some friends in officers and gone on ride-outs, I knew it would be fascinating and thought that I would make a great officer.  Granted, I knew at the outset that I would be less strict about "small issues" (the wonderful exercise of discretion) than some, but I thought that would be my way of contributing balance to the profession, which is too often overrun by literalists and officers are are just too strict (sometimes to the point of being hypocritical).

When I was asked during the oral boards / interview process where I would be in five years, I truly believed that I may be in the same department, doing what, I did not know.  I never entered into this fully intending to leave or as a spy as some departments had suggested… nor, had I entered into it knowing that I was going to open my own office, remember, I had my insecurities and worries about that. 

But, as the years ticked by and I saw how law enforcement really functioned, not just at my department but at conferences and in blogs and even foreign exchange programs (yes, I was fortunate enough to travel to Germany for three weeks), I began to realize that I did not fit in this profession either.  And, I finally developed the courage and the opportunity arose that made taking that logical step into my own practice a must.

So, in June, 2008, I opened The Law Office of Dax Garvin.  I have never been happier or more content with this decision and thus want to share my gratitude.  And, on the eve of Thanksgiving, I could not think of a more appropriate time to do this.  I feel that I have more to be thankful for this year than in years past, as I am not sure I would have taken this step without walking down the unconventional pathways that I did.  It was my time in each of the three prior offices that shaped who I am today and made it possible for me to open my own office. 

So to every single person out there who I have met that contributed in some way to me taking this step, I must say, "Thank you." No matter how small or how large of a contribution you had in my decision or in what way you contributed, be it moral support, mentoring, the lending of forms, or the sharing of space, or just being a friend, I am truly thankful for your assitance and having known you.

And in sum, I believe it is this attitude of sharing that shapes who we are as a society and the pathways life takes us down all do lead to a focal point at some time in our lives.  You may not know when it will happen or what it will be, but when you get there, you’ll know you have arrived.

So again, I want to say "thanks" to everyone who had a hand in getting me to where I am, and I look forward to being able to repay that favor by being a similar influece on others pathways.  So, I hope that this blog is a step in that direction.