As 2016 was nearing its end, and 2017 was on the horizon, I thought about what I wanted the New Year to look like, and took a few moments to put my goals to paper. Of note, I wanted be more present and in the moment, and I wanted to be more fearless in my goals. My thought was that if these were more central in my practice, it would be a win for me and those around me, and it would be a win whether at home, at play or at work.

Just recently, I figured I’d take a swipe at both at once, and am excited to announce that I’ve enrolled in our town’s firefighter training program! To clarify, I’ll be a volunteer firefighter, but I can tell you this makes no difference to either me or my 3-year-old. I’ve long wanted to serve a need and to give back to my community in this way. And I’ll be real, it’ll be pretty cool to ride in the shiny, red, truck. Regardless the reason why, putting action to my intention feels wonderful.

When you break it down though, facing a burning blaze is pretty much the same as with any other challenge. Take for example document review, when you take out the fire, the smoke, the risk of bodily injury and the loss of property … it’s pretty much the same. Yes, I know it seems funny, but at the core of both they are more similar than you may think.

When tackling a fire, unwavering presence and focus, and relying on your crew can be the difference between life and death. Document review projects are logistical riddles with huge stakes and when done poorly a project can quickly turn into a “pile of embers”. When done right, the countless moving parts fall into place for you and your team; changing client and case parameters are seamlessly incorporated, attorney teams are artfully assembled, and attorney needs and concerns are compassionately addressed.

As important, staying present is invaluable to fostering relationship, to being able to really hear your team and clients and, most simply, to building trust. No matter whether in front of a fierce blaze or in the course of a document review project, this can lead to all sorts of wonderful things, most notably, to being able to inspire and elevate your team to provide the best possible service.

The year is only half over, so we all still have a chance to continue, redouble or start working on our commitment to our resolutions. Hopefully we’ll all have some good news to share at year’s end!