Most of Walter's clients didn't have an education or wear shoes for that matter. But, his entire practice was not pro bono. There were some legitimate paying clients that he represented. In fact, Walter brought in more than his fair share of the local business. Many people made the mistake of assuming he was some dumb washed up football player who had some how made it through law school. That was not the case, he was not slow by any means, in fact he was exceptionally bright. He just didn't get caught up in the game that all his partners did.
The managing partner of the firm, Terry, (actually he was just the partner who paid the bills) was this over weight weaselly guy who despised Walter. Unlike the other partners in the firm who all came from old southern families, I never did figure out where he came from or what turnip truck he fell off of. While the other partners were all very dapper, pleasant gentleman lawyers, this man always had on a cheap wrinkled suit that didn't fit, a bad hair cut, and paranoia coming out of wazoo. And, Walter made a sport out of driving him nuts.
I can remember one morning I was working at my desk when I was summoned to Terry's office. I arrived to see him madder than a wet hen. "What is all this about?", he said as he threw a piece of paper across his desk at me. I picked up the paper and had to suppress my laughter. I was holding a bill from the local department store for $500. The only details were "clothes for Gleaton family" and it was addressed to our firm. "I'm not familiar with this, but I'll go check with Walter and see what he knows about it." "You do that." And, with that I was dismissed.
I walked into Walter's office holding the invoice. "Would you please tell me what this is about? And, how I'm supposed to deal with Terry?" He just gave me that huge grin of his and leaned back in his big desk chair. "Well, the way I see it, Terry told me he was tired of seeing the clientele I had, especially those who didn't wear shoes. And, you know the Gleaton's young son was in that automobile accident involving that big truck last week?" "Yeah." "Well, the Gleatons don't like wearing shoes, but I convinced them if they went down to Harold's and picked out some fancy 'Church Going' shoes to wear we'd pay for them."
"And, this is the bill for those shoes." "That, my dear, is the bill for the shoes. The Gleatons have asked us to represent them in their "unfortunate" situation with the trucking company. So you can go tell Terry if he wants his part of the attorney fees from this settlement, he'll pay the damn bill." "I'll do just that," I said with a smile and walked out of his office. There, waiting to see Walter were the Gleatons, all 13 of them, 4 generations in worn out clothes and brand new 'Church Going' shoes.
Yep, they all drive cars.