One of my friends recently suggested I be hornswoggled. I searched the internet up and down for a definition of just what harm might come to me if hornswoggled. I suppose I could have assumed some good might also come of being hornswoggled, but the very sound of the word held nothing good in my imagination. It reminded me of some sort of medieval torture. If it had to be experienced, you wanted it over quickly.

In marketing, you are branded. The term suggests something like hornswoggled. I know from watching “Rawhide” as a kid that branding involved placing a searing hot iron directly on the rump of a steer to emblazon an identifying, unique mark. Given the choice of hornswoggled, which I did not know, and branding, which I did know, well, conventional wisdom is that we select the devil we know over the devil we don’t.

For me as a lawyer, being branded has some deep mystical implications. I have a unique identity as a person (whether I live that out honestly or not) and I have therefore also a unique identity as a lawyer (again, whether I am true to that identity is a separate matter). Being branded simply means living in the faith that who I am as a man is critical to whom I am as a lawyer. No compartments. Being true to my own personality is the best thing I can do to become the best lawyer possible. Bottom line: Be who you were uniquely created to be, in whatever you are doing, because that will be the best version of all.

(c) FXP 2011