“We encounter each other in words……”

“We encounter each other in words……” is an excerpt from the inauguration poem, “Praise Song For The Day,” by Elizabeth Alexander.   Words are of special importance to lawyers, who, I think, under the pressure of the moment, may forget that the words they use, in addition to serving the client’s interest, will also create ” an encounter with” others, the readers, whether it be a client, opposing counsel, a judge, a regulator or someone else.    Determined to be right, forceful and persusuasive and to avoid criticism (and to get the letter, contract, draft or brief out the door), we can forget that we are involved in the process of one person communicating with another.  Whatever professional persona we adopt and attribute to others, we and they are still people.