From John R. Holliman,, JD — Some people say genetics are not as big an influence as we once thought. Considering my family tree, I’m not so sure there isn’t a legal gene in my family.
- Back in 1910, 110 years ago, this spring, James Monroe Holliman, my great-grandfather, age 32, graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law. He was the oldest student in law school so his classmates called him “Old Man Jim Holliman”. He practiced for 28 years until his death in 1938. I love having a sign from the office of my great-grandfather, James Monroe Holliman, in the Frank Nelson building in Birmingham. It is a quote from Abraham Lincoln that reads:
“A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade”.
- 84 years ago, my grandfather’s brother, Cecil Rhodes Holliman , another son of James Monroe Holliman, graduated from National Law School in Washington D.C. He practiced for 50 years until his death in 1986.
- 51 years ago, my father, Jim Holliman, graduated from Cumberland School of Law and is still in active practice.
- 31 years ago, I graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law.
- 15 years ago, my wife, Melanie Bradford Holliman, graduated from Cumberland School of Law.
- Since my kids are not launched into careers yet, time will tell if this trend continues with the next generation.
The meaning of Lincoln’s quote? As a lawyer, we have no product to sell you. We are not selling you a document; you are buying the time and advice for us to learn about your needs and solve them with education and experience.
Generations of my family have made a living as lawyers, but I am most proud that the value in real world solutions and real savings that we have provided our clients vastly exceeds the legal fees we have been paid.
Another notable quote from Abraham Lincoln: “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”