The Texas Bar Foundation will soon honor two attorneys who’ve known each other since the start of their 50-year careers.
Park Cities residents George Chapman and Alan Feld have each worked for only one firm. Chapman had his eyes set on practicing law since “the seventh grade. I never thought of any other occupation; I always planned to go the University of Texas for undergrad and for a law degree.”
He did just that. After graduating in 1962, he went to work for Thompson & Knight.
Feld started his law education at Columbia University, transferring to SMU before his second year, and “has been in Dallas ever since.” He works for Akin Gump.
The Outstanding 50- Year Lawyer award “recognizes attorneys whose practice has spanned 50 years or more, and who adhere to the highest principals and traditions of the legal profession and service of the public,” said Morgan Smith, development director at the Texas Bar Foundation. Six lawyers from around the state will be honored June 21.
“I’m not sure if the award is just based on living long enough to accept,” Feld joked. “I don’t know why I got it, but I won’t turn it down.”
Both lawyers agree that times have changed since they began their careers in the early ’60s. Besides the advances in technology, they said, lawyers have become more antagonistic in the courtroom.
“In the last 20 years, the attitude has changed to ‘anybody on the other side is the enemy,’ ” Chapman said. “It’s unfortunate that it has contributed to lots of unprofessional actions, lack of courtesies, and lack of professionalism.”
Feld and Chapman are both thankful to accept the award, citing their families and firms as great support systems.
“I’ve been lucky,” Feld said. “I am trying to do as much as I can to pay it back.”