Occasionally, someone will ask, ”why is there a mountaintop in your logo,” or “where did the trademark ‘Conquer Tomorrow’ come from?” The spirit behind our brand comes from a desire to help our clients conquer their legal challenges. In helping our clients reach their goals, we take some inspiration from the mountains.
Looking to the mountains for inspiration
The mountains provide a kind of wisdom that comes through reflecting upon the unarguable laws of nature. For years, I have been fortunate enough to escape to the mountains for a little perspective and reflection. When you climb in the mountains, you spend a lot of time thinking. You think of how to navigate and overcome obstacles. Mountain climbing is sometimes called a ‘thinking person’s sport’ because it involves such intense concentration.
So many lessons of the mountains are transferable to a litigation setting. A successful summit requires plenty of advanced training, just as a case requires significant preparation. Our clients and firm share a common goal, to be successful in litigation, which when you look at it, is similar to obstacles you overcome when you summit a mountain. as in the mountains, in litigation, nothing ever goes exactly the way you hope. Obstacles will appear, some you expect, and some you do not. Yet, you have to keep climbing if you want to reach the top. The same is true in litigation, you just have to keep pressing forward.
Called to climb
My first trip to the summit was in East Africa to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. ‘Kili’ is called the ‘Roof of Africa’ because it is the highest mountain on the continent and the highest freestanding mountain in the world. It was a great introduction to the sport. I enjoyed being around the local guides and learned a great deal from them about professionalism. Mountain guides refer to visiting climbers as “clients” and treat them with the utmost care. In addition to other lessons from mountain climbing, I learned just as much by watching how professional mountain guides care for their climbers. I try to emulate that same level of care when it comes to working with my clients.
Mountain climbing takes people to places around the world and brings them together with many cultures. Years ago, I had the privilege of traveling to Nepal to climb in the Khumbu region, home to Mount Everest. Like so many, I went to Nepal to see its many mountains, but I returned home mostly remembering all the wonderful people I met along the way. I spent a lot of time with my Sherpa guides where I was invited into their homes and met their families. When an opportunity to join a charity climb to raise funds to support Nepali schools presented itself, I wanted our law firm to be a part of this effort.
Becoming part of our mission
In August of this year, I participated in a charity climb to the top of Mount Baker in Washington state. Our law firm was a sponsor of the Alpine Ascents Foundation’s Third Annual Nepali Charity Climb. The climb to the top of Mount Baker in the Northern Cascades was led by an all-Sherpa guide team headed by Lakpa Rita Sherpa. He is an acclaimed veteran of Mount Everest. He summited 15 times, along with two other accomplished Sherpa climbers, Dawa Yangzum Sherpa and Jangbu Sherpa, each having summitted Mount Everest several times.
The charity climb raised tens of thousands of dollars to fund the education of Nepalese school children, where the law does not require attendance in public education. The entire group reached the summit after a 12-hour climbing day under challenging weather conditions. The opportunity to climb with an elite team of Sherpa guides was a remarkable experience. More importantly, reflecting on the educational needs of a country that has given us so much was even more remarkable.
At J.J. Conway Law, we continue to incorporate the wisdom we gain from mountain climbing into the work we do for our clients. Whether it be unexpected challenges or taking time to reflect, the lessons we learn are applicable.