It Is Better To Have "Lived Usefully" Than To Have "Died Rich."

Posted On August 09, 2017 Daniel Koewler

It's one of Ben Franklin's more memorable quotes: "I would rather have it said, 'he lived usefully,' than, 'he died rich.'" It's a sentiment that has been around, in one form or another, since humans started writing things down, and it usually boils down to the old simple cliche "you can't take it with you." So what does this have to do with DWI defense?

Very little, actually. Or a whole lot, depending on your point of view.

Today's blog post is a simple suggestion to our readers on how to support a specific charity that does a great deal of good in the legal community. If you've already lost interest, go ahead and stop reading now. If you're still interested, let me tell you about a little organization called "Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers" (LCL) and a little program called "Amazon Smile."

LCL is a groundbreaking organization, dedicated to providing assistance to Minnesota lawyers, judges, law students, and their immediate family members. It's a 501(c)3 organization that is staffed by hundreds of volunteers, all of whom spend their time helping to address the biggest issues that affect our profession (and, therefore, the entire criminal justice system). These issues are familiar to anyone who has been practicing law more than a couple of years: alcoholism and drug addiction; severe depression and anxiety; mental illness; overbearing stress; and the other associated conditions that can turn a happy, busy life into a solitary, living hell. Legal professionals are struck down by these illnesses far more frequently than the general population,and also (perversely) do more than most to try and hide their struggle, meaning that LCL is more than just a noble gesture . . . in my opinion, it's actually a necessary component of the legal system.

A necessary component that relies heavily on volunteers and donations to keep doing its job. And that brings me to my second point, a program called "Amazon Smile." Basically, if you ever shop on, you can just change the URL to "" and, without changing your Amazon experience in any way (or incurring any additional fees) Amazon will donate 0.5% of your order's purchase price to the charity of your choice. This donation does not apply to every item you purchase, but there is also literally no downside (or at least, none that I've discovered).

So, if you are one of the 64% of Americans who use Amazon Prime, or are one of the everyone else who at least use Amazon occasionally, why not continue to shop via Amazon and donate a little extra money to charity? I mean, no offense to Ben Franklin, but at that point you can basically be living usefully AND doing your best to die rich.

Amazon Smile allows you to chose from something like a million different charities -- but, if you support what LCL stands for, and would like to help them continue to do so, take a couple of minutes out of your day to set up your Amazon account to donate to LCL via the Amazon Smile program. 

Someday, a colleague may thank you. In fact, someday, you may very well find yourself in need of the services provided by LCL and thank yourself for your foresight.