A SEASON TO BE GRATEFUL

By James Forrest

jamesforrestIn the book of Ecclesiastes, there’s a quite well-known passage that’s inspired many through the years: “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” For me, this is truly a season to be grateful.

When we launched the Forrest Firm nearly six years ago, the notion of “we” itself was much smaller. Fueled by my years of practice, as well as the words and wisdom of my mentors, I decided that I wanted to launch something different—a different answer for those asking questions of the legal profession.

As we moved on, year after year, with a small staff, a commitment to limited overhead, and an all-new, client-centric approach to the operation of a legal firm, our vision began to grow into something bigger. From an earlier, simple focus that served us quite well—sophisticated counsel and customized solutions for entrepreneurs and executives in North Carolina, we expanded our vision for how we wanted to not only engage with clients, but also the people within our profession and the greater community.

You will have seen this expanded vision in the culmination of our work, earlier this year, to become a certified B corporation. As we delved into that process, the experience sparked that greater articulation of a vision, of a firm not only centered on clients, but one that fulfilled a pair of higher purposes: creating a sustainable working environment for attorneys, where they could focus on clients, their families, and the communities where they live and serve, and also performing our work together for the larger benefit of those same communities.

This larger, now three-fold commitment to clients, attorneys and staff, and the community at large has asked a lot of everyone involved at the Forrest Firm. It’s asked us to grow, and with growth comes pain and learning, and hopefully, a new measure of success. Now, as we bring the year to a close, a year that has marked the fifth anniversary of the Forrest Firm in many ways, I find myself thankful to a lot of great people.

The Forrest Firm now stands as a full-service legal firm serving more than 800 clients representing a broad spectrum of North Carolina business from the mountains to the sea. We operate from four locations: our original home in Durham, as well as Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and our newest office in Wilmington.  And working from those offices and from anywhere that serves the interests of our attorneys and their clients in a balanced way, are seventeen people who bring diverse legal perspectives and great passion for working with clients to bear for the Forrest Firm each day.

I’m also reminded constantly of the family and friends who encouraged me to follow my dreams, and now, I’m even more grateful to see that circle of entrusted people in our lives greatly expanded through the years. These people are the ones who not only serve as the foundation of our success, but also provide the bedrock of support needed to sustain us as we strive to meet the challenges of growth before us.

Among the increased number of family and friends of the firm, I am pleased to count a number of wonderful community partners in economic development, tremendous non-profit leaders that our communities are blessed with, and some pretty inspiring faith-based organizations that keep us grounded as we grow.

Please accept our humble wishes for a happy holiday season for you and your families. On this occasion of Thanksgiving, we are thankful for you all at the Forrest Firm.