On April 13, 2021, Michigan Lawyers Weekly inducted some of the state’s most notable and accomplished attorneys into its Hall of Fame. Sommers Schwartz’s Norm Tucker – a member of inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2019 and a 2011 Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law –  delivered the keynote address.

Here is an excerpt from Norm’s speech:

Congratulations to this year’s Hall of Fame recipients. To each and every one, it’s more than well deserved. And thanks to Michigan Lawyers Weekly for continuing this ceremony during one of the most difficult times in most of our careers. Zooming this gathering cannot compare with the large lunches with great food and being able to connect with people, but it is essential that these awards and ceremonies continue. Recognition of your contributions and from the right organizations is fundamental to the continuing improvement of our profession and its members. 

One might ask, why is this recognition so important and from the right organization? Simple answer: it’s human nature. In this digital age, we are inundated with awards from organizations we do not know, nor do they know us. The suspicion is that these awards are driven primarily by financial motives. It’s different when it comes from the State Bar, or one of the Bar’s sections, or our primary source of legal news, Michigan Lawyers Weekly. It’s basic human nature that recognition from those who know us, and who we know, inspires us to be better. 

A brief analogy may help put today in perspective. As children, good behavior is rewarded with treats. When in school, study and get good grades, and we’re rewarded with more things we can do. As adults, work hard, and recognition comes in raises and promotions. Recognition from those we know inspires us to do more and to be better. When the praise or reward comes from strangers, the effect is far less. To use the child analogy, if a stranger gives a child a piece of candy saying you are a good kid, we temporarily enjoy the treat but then soon forget the compliment. They do not know us, much like getting an award by e-mail. There is no comparison between recognition coming from our peers versus from strangers. 

Today’s recognitions are from your peer family of Michigan lawyers. So, to all of you, great work, congratulations, and to Michigan Lawyers Weekly, thanks for your efforts and hard work. It’s a win-win for everyone. 

You can watch the full Hall of Fame program here.