John and I were at the Irish Law Awards final in the Four Seasons in Dublin on
Friday presented by Prime Time’s Miriam O’Callaghan.
We were shortlisted for the awards for Legal Website of the Year and the Best Small Firm in Munster.
And I am delighted to confirm that we won the Best Legal Website.
I honestly did not think that we would win this. I’m not being coy, but the judging panel consisted mainly of lawyers; many very esteemed lawyers indeed.
But our website was not designed for lawyers and I honestly didn’t think lawyers would “get it”, as it were. Our site is designed to provide information to, and to engender very particular responses from, visitors. There isn’t a gavel or a courthouse in sight. I was convinced that other lawyers looking at it would not be impressed.
I cannot tell you how happy I am to have been about as wrong about that as I have ever been about anything; what a fine body of discerning men and women of outstanding taste that judging panel surely is!
I really enjoyed the event, quite apart from the result. I got to meet with some exceptional like-minded lawyers who are all striving for excellence in their chosen fields.
I sat beside Colm Kelly from Killorglin whose firm, Crowley Healy Ahern, I was delighted to see beat us in the Best Small Firm in Munster category.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Cian O’Carroll from Cashel who won the Law Firm Innovation Award. (A category in which we were shortlisted and unsuccessful last year. It just goes to show that sometimes you’ve got to lose one to win one; and all success is based on failure combined with persistence.)
Our hosts for the day were John Brooks and Dave McCarthy of Documatics who kindly offered John and myself a place at their table of really excellent company.
Winning in this category means an awful lot to us. The website category is not provincial nor is it restricted by size of firm.
But perhaps more importantly to us, the website is core to what we do. One of my favourite passages is from a speech given by the great Andrew Carnegie in 1885. This extract seems particularly apt to me on this point:
“And here is the prime condition of success, the great secret – concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun on one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it.”
In the twenty-first century in this respect the principles are no different from the nineteenth. The website is the line on which we have resolved to fight it out and it nice to have this recognised.
The award received an enthusiastic welcome when I got home.
But by far the best part of it all was this message below that I saw on my phone when I stopped at the Apple Green filling station on Saturday morning on the way down.