It’s been a very long time since I’ve attended a CLE presentation and found myself absolutely riveted by the speaker and the content of his or her presentation. That happened on May 5 at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and Appellate Practice Institute. The speaker was Egil “Bud” Krogh who served as White House counsel under President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973.
Sure his story is remarkable. He is one of the “White House Plumbers” who created and authorized one of the most infamous covert operations ever. His actions resulted in a criminal conviction, a six-month prison sentence, and later disbarment from the practice of law. This is where his story becomes important to me.
His time in prison and subsequent reflections on his years in the White House allows him to share a perspective about the importance of good and sound decision-making with a sense of integrity. Notwithstanding his actions in the early 1970’s, he is now able to lead by example and talk about how the pressure of our work, our relationships with co-workers, our need to address client demands, and our internal pressure to succeed can interfere with our need to maintain both personal and professional integrity.
He talks about the legal profession with a level of respect and, candidly, enthusiasm that is infectious and truly inspirational. He has lived through some tough life experiences that are certainly unique to him. Nonetheless, his message resonates with all of us. Thank you, Mr. Krogh, for sharing with us your recipe for how to make the right choices.