Harlan Simon / Louis Goodman – Transcript

Louis Goodman / Harlan Simon – Transcript
Louis Goodman 00:04
Welcome to Love Thy Lawyer, where we talk with attorneys about their lives and careers. I’m Louis Goodman. Today we welcome Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Harlan Simon to the podcast. Harlan’s worked as both a civil and criminal practitioner, and he’s worked as a Deputy Public Defender and as a Deputy District Attorney. He’s tried over 75 cases to jury verdict. But perhaps most impressive is that he is a master glass maker and an instructor of the craft.

Harlan Simon, welcome to Love Thy Lawyer.

Harlan Simon 00:45
Welcome Louis. Thank you for having me on.

Louis Goodman 00:48
Well, it’s a pleasure to talk to you. I met you some years ago and I was recently so pleasantly surprised to walk into court and see you sitting in the seat closer to the jury box as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County. So it’s always fun seeing you.

Harlan Simon 01:08
It’s been, thank you, Louis. It’s, it’s been quite an odyssey for me. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that this is real.

Louis Goodman 01:17
Well, speaking of reality, where are you working right now? What’s your assignment in the District Attorney’s Office right now?

Harlan Simon 01:27
So I’m in the Wiley Manuel building where we recently saw each other. My office is on the second floor in the DA’s Office there, and it’s located near Jack London Square.

Louis Goodman 01:40
What sort of cases are you handling right now for the District Attorney?

Harlan Simon 01:45
I’m in the disposition court, which was created in the aftermath of COVID to reduce case backlogs. And when cases come to Department 113 in front of Judge Gloria Rhynes, they are already sort of shaped and fitted for resolution. And then I preside over their resolutions as the people’s representative.

Louis Goodman 02:09
How long have you been in this assignment?

Harlan Simon 02:11
It’s been maybe two or three months prior to that, I was with my immediate supervisor, Jason Quinn, and I was in department 108, which is the master calendar misdemeanor court where cases come for arraignment and pretrial hearing.

Louis Goodman 02:27
Where are you from originally, Harlan?

Harlan Simon 02:29
Louis, I am from Los Angeles, actually the San Fernando Valley, just to the north of the city, still within Los Angeles County, a place called Sherman Oak.

Louis Goodman 02:39
Is that where you went to high school?

Harlan Simon 02:41
It is. Well, high school was in North Hollywood, just adjacent. I went to U.S. Grant High School in North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley.

Louis Goodman 02:51
Now, when you graduated from U.S. Grant, you went to college, where’d you go to college?

Harlan Simon 02:55
I went to UC San Diego.

Louis Goodman 02:58
And how was that experience for you?

Harlan Simon 03:00
Amazing. I loved it. It was like a burst of fresh blight where people were admired, respected, celebrated for what they knew and how they thought. Yeah, I loved UC San Diego. It was great. It was a whole new world of academic journey, language, math, chemistry, physics, the humanities, sociology on a beautiful campus in La Jolla overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It’s one of the top science schools in the nation.

Louis Goodman 03:36
And correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s a school that has different colleges within the university. Is that correct?

Harlan Simon 03:44
Right. Just like Santa Cruz, like a lot of the youth fees, they’ve subdivided their overall campus up to smaller sort of satellite colleges.

Louis Goodman 03:55
At some point, you graduated from college, and then you went to law school. Did you take some time off between college and law school, or did you go directly through?

Harlan Simon 04:04
I took a year off from graduating, not at UC San Diego, but graduating to a transfer school. After two years at UC San Diego, I did education abroad in France. Under UC’s auspices in Grenoble and returned to Colorado College, which is a liberal arts school. It’s private compared to UC, obviously, which is public. And I graduated from there. And upon graduation, I went and worked at a ski area in Ulta, Utah. I waited on tables and I cleaned rooms.

Louis Goodman 04:38
Did you go skiing?

Harlan Simon 04:39
Yeah, in my off days I did. And it was right as Walkman were coming into vogue. And I had some peak experiences going through the magnificent Utah powder, freshly fallen, listening to Pink Floyd.

Louis Goodman 04:53
At what point did you decide that you wanted to be a lawyer and that you wanted to apply to law school?

Harlan Simon 05:00
I think it was as I was going through my history and political theory major at Colorado College. I guess it’s a natural to be thinking about law school at that point with, with those subject matter. And I guess I wasn’t completely convinced, but I had an uncle, Uncle Arnold told me when he heard the news that I was thinking about going to a yeshiva in Israel to study, because I didn’t know very much about my background, my heritage, and I’ve been a person who believes it’s important to not reject things out of ignorance.

And I wanted to learn more. So he heard I wanted to go to yeshiva and he said, Harlan, being ever so practical. Don’t go to a yeshiva, go to an American yeshiva, go to law school. That’s the way.

Louis Goodman 05:49
That’s funny.

Harlan Simon 05:51
Well, there’s a huge relationship and, you know, in terms of the origin and development of law and a difference in the legal systems, but a lot of similarity too. So it was a natural thing for me to do and that’s what I did.

Louis Goodman 06:05
So which legal yeshiva did you go to?

Harlan Simon 06:07
Well, I went to NYU, almost literally. Had a wonderful student body. And many people were from yeshivas who were now studying American law. Many of my friends and roommates were a yarmulke-wearing Orthodox Jews. And for a time I was as well.

Louis Goodman 06:26
That must have been quite a transition going from the West coast, a little time in Colorado and some time in Utah to all of a sudden being in the heart of Greenwich Village in the heart of Manhattan.

Harlan Simon 06:39
It was a shock. I had a big green nylon backpack on when I first showed up in Washington Square at my dorm room. My hair was down to my shoulders. I had a beard. I looked like a mountain man. I knocked on the door. It opened, and there was my roommate. I think he was smoking a cigarette. The fluorescent light bathed him in an eerie glow, and he was eating Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies. And my very first instinct, I love Entenmann’s. I didn’t really know the brand, but. My first instinct was, Oh, I’m in the wrong place. Mountain man meets smoke and city and fluorescent light in a tiny little New York dorm room.

Louis Goodman 07:24
You didn’t, you didn’t have this sort of like, I love New York feeling right away, right at that moment?

Harlan Simon 07:29
No, it was a shock and especially the cigarette smoking. So that was one of the first things that we got an understanding about.

Louis Goodman 07:38
How did things work out at NYU and what was your experience there like over the next few years?

Harlan Simon 07:44
Louis, it was unremittingly good. I just loved new experiences and I adapted quickly to New York City. I learned how to focus because there’s so much diversion, so much distraction.

The big Apple is just one of the great cities on earth. As is San Francisco, as is Paris, as is Berlin, as is Bangkok, but I just enjoyed immensely and the location of NYU down in the village, probably the best location to go to school or graduate school anywhere in Manhattan. I chose Manhattan as a place for law school because A, it was sort of a financial capital of, of the country. And I thought too, you know, with all the crime shows and the mob and everything that it also was kind of a big, big center of criminal activity and what better place to go to law school than there.

Louis Goodman 08:41
When you graduated from law school, what was your first legal job?

Harlan Simon 08:46
Upon graduation, I went to the Public Defender’s Office in Los Angeles. And the theory was no matter what I wanted to do, it would be best to get trial experience under my belt. And the other thing is I’d had a corporate experience working as a clerk during the summer in law school for a large corporate firm, and it did not ring my bells. So I thought that the fast action of a state court and in a kind of math-like trial setting would be a really good thing for me to do. And that’s what I did.

Louis Goodman 09:24
So how was your experience in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office?

Harlan Simon 09:29
I don’t want to use too many superlatives, but it was amazing. You know, I hope your listeners can appreciate it was exhilarating from the very beginning dealing with issues of life and liberty, punishment, poverty, deprivation, degradation. And being a Public Defender, I saw it all, from downtown L. A. to where I was posted in my last two years as a Public Defender down in Compton, which is further south of South Central.

Louis Goodman 10:02
Now, you’re working at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. I’m wondering if you could just kind of briefly bring us through the career process from Los Angeles PD to Alameda County DA.

Harlan Simon 10:14
After so many trials in the PD’s office, I needed a break. I basically kind of burned out. And so I traveled, I took time off, I traveled to Asia. Up until then, I had been Eurocentric in my travels. Italy, France, Berlin. But I didn’t know a whole lot about Asia. And I guess I also admitted that during law school, I worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. My view of the adversary process made me kind of wonder at the time, at the end of that clerkship, whether I might not be more satisfied or happy with work that was not adversarial. So I signed in for, it wasn’t too late, but I signed up for an MBA degree as a joint degree with the law degree at NYU.

They offer a joint program and you get one year off. So instead of three years plus two years. It’s three plus one. So I graduated with an MBA and I decided, you know, it was easier and better to start doing law than to go into business. It would be easier to go from law to business. But meanwhile, I finished the law practice with the Public Defender.

I traveled to Asia. I got onto this vein of thought because Asia was obviously, it was a growing part of the world economically. And in business school, I studied it. And I kind of fashioned myself as a liberally educated person. And I thought that no well rounded liberal education would be complete without understanding business and also without understanding the rise of Asia.

I went to Japan. I went to, I call it Burma, but Myanmar. I went to Thailand. I was in Hong Kong, Singapore. Indonesia and within Indonesia, it’s an archipelago of many, many islands. And the big one is Java. I traveled by rail overland in Java to Bali and spent a fair amount of time also in Bali.

Louis Goodman 12:30
So you come back from Asia, and then where did your career take you?

Harlan Simon 12:35
When I got back from Asia, I had a phone message waiting for me. My dad had given it to me that there was a District Attorney that I knew from Compton and he had gotten in trouble and he wanted to know if I would represent him. So I connected with him and I took on the case and that began my private practice post Public Defender.

He was somebody who I had had as an opponent, multiple trials and, you know, daily dealings almost on other cases. And he had chosen me, I guess, because he knew what I was capable of. In the case of this person, it worked out. It was touch and go for a while, but I used a disfavored defense, that is jury nullification.

The charge was possession of a gun in a courthouse and he was acquitted, Lou, and to this day, he’s working as a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County, so I’m very proud of that. He’s a good guy. He was doing gang prosecution at the time. It was hard to get carry permits in Los Angeles. It may still be. I don’t know. But he was concerned for his life and felt it necessary to be armed. He was prosecuting gang murder cases and the District Attorney’s Office, the administrative staff, they all had connections to the community. And so even though the building was secure, it had metal detectors. It was somewhat porous because weapons could be snuck in through staff.

For example, in the case that my client had been trying, the witness list mysteriously disappeared from the DA computers. A detective had been slow in bringing evidence to court, and my client found out that the detective was related to one of the gang members. So that was the backdrop for his foolish leaving of a coat with a gun in the courthouse cafeteria. And that’s how it got discovered. And then the case was turned over to the attorney general because the DA typically won’t prosecute their own.

Louis Goodman 14:50
How did you happen to get involved in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office?

Harlan Simon 14:55
I had been commuting to Marin. That was my first post COVID foray into the law. My shows, my craft shows that I’d been doing for a number of years with my glasswork and my artisanal jewelry design, that had kind of dropped off a cliff. And I was sort of hunkering down in, you know, my house sheltering in place and after a while and after the vaccine became available I started to realize something that had been in me for many, many years, which was to go back to criminal law and to go back to the rough and tumble of it.

You know, amazingly happy doing it. I loved it. And there are many reasons why, the same reasons you probably like it, the people orientation, the issues, the intellectual challenge, but I began prospecting for work for law work. And I was fortunate, very fortunate to be hired by the, the county of Marin as a contract District Attorney. And that’s where I did my very first trial as a prosecutor and where I kind of reacquainted myself with the whole process of criminal law.

And the thing that was kind of crazy and different is that between then and when I had last left criminal law, 20 plus years had elapsed. So much was different in criminal law. For example, body-worn cameras, they were not a thing back when I was a public defender or when I was doing private practice in Los Angeles, cell phone downloads, that was not a thing. Surveillance, ubiquitous surveillance cameras like ring or anything. That was hardly a. Basically what existed, you know, there were forensic tools, fingerprints, and DNA somewhat, but for the most part, it would be like tape recorded statements and that was the extent of it.

Then on a case management side, that too was completely different where everything in Marin, they had gone from a paper system to a digital system with a program called Darwin, just like in Oakland or Alameda County, we have a program called RD3, these are platforms that carry a lot of information and for Marin, that electronic platform served as the sole record keeping and workflow management for the misdemeanor cases, and that’s the area that I worked in initially.

Louis Goodman 17:24
And then you came from Marin County over to Alameda County and the Prosecutor’s Office?

Harlan Simon 17:29
Correct. The opportunity presented and, and I gave up the 50 minute Richmond Bridge drive to now a little bit more than 13 minutes.

Louis Goodman 17:40
Well, that’s a big improvement.

Harlan Simon 17:41
Oh, it is. The thing that’s sad about it is I don’t get to listen to nearly as many podcasts.

Louis Goodman 17:49
Do you notice any difference in terms of the way the system works in Marin County versus the way it works in Alameda County?

Harlan Simon 17:57
That’s a really good question. I don’t notice that much of a difference. I think the Marin office was relatively progressive and enlightened. The DAs I worked with were to a person humane and reasonable.

I think settlements are, were and are a little stricter, but I think that the whole system got shocked by COVID. For example, incarceration, the de-incarceration movement got a huge boost with COVID because people, sentences for locking people up went away for, for the minor crimes as they should. And that kind of attitude still continued once COVID began letting up. And that was the case certainly in Marin and I see it everywhere in Alameda County in the courthouse that I practice in.

I also, when I was in Southern California practicing, the bench was wonderful. I had favorite judges, of course, many of them were Republican appointees, Wilson and Duke Majan. And we’ve now had Democratic governors for a long time and the composition or complexion of the bench has changed.

I’ve been so impressed with the quality of judges, both those that I experienced in Marin and the judges I’m encountering now in Alameda County. I’m just, I’m awed by how good they are.

Louis Goodman 19:24
You have had a number of different experiences in your adult life, and yet you keep coming back to practicing law on some level. I’m wondering what it is about the law that keeps you in this practice?

Harlan Simon 19:39
I love the life of mind. I went finally to Colorado College, which celebrated liberal arts education, enlightenment values, thought, rational thought, but not at the expense of spirituality either. And the law to me represents this vast architecture, very cumbersome, clunky, sometimes terribly overdone in terms of statutory construction, but it’s an attempt to reduce conflict in society. And I love that challenge. I love the idea of taking a fact pattern, a real life situation and seeing how it either fits or doesn’t fit into a criminal violation where somebody’s been harmed.

Louis Goodman 20:25
If a young person were just coming out of college thinking about law as a career choice, would you recommend going into the law?

Harlan Simon 20:32
It depends on the person. I would recommend kicking the tires, shadowing somebody, maybe finding three different practitioners who have three different kinds of practices, because law is really, really varied in all its subspecialties. That would be my advice to a young person who is interested in pursuing a career in law. Make sure it’s a good fit.

Louis Goodman 20:56
What do you think is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Harlan Simon 20:59
Well, there’s the traditional ones. Persist. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. When you’re beaten, you know, pick yourself up and try again. And then I think overall is integrity, have integrity and be authentic. It’s, it’s better, I think it leads to a better outcome for the client and for the people. And it allows for better working relations between adversaries.

Louis Goodman 21:26
Do you think the legal system is fair?

Harlan Simon 21:28
No, I don’t, Louis.

Louis Goodman 21:30
Why not?

Harlan Simon 21:30
Well, I think that life is not fair. I think that overall, you know, where we’re born, who our parents are, what our genes are, all of these are, you know, sort of random.

And, you know, we could be born into some very impoverished place that’s being bombed and it was not our fault. And that would be our lot. And so life is not fair. And then the legal system, well, it’s part of life. And so it too is going to reflect unfairnesses. Obviously money plays a part, health plays a part, the major unfairness I see in the day to day around me is just how much mental health, how many mental health issues there are. We’re not addressing that in a very wise way.

Louis Goodman 22:20
I’m going to shift gears here a little bit. What’s your family life been like and how has practicing law and your family life fit in with each other?

Harlan Simon 22:30
You know, for me, it’s kind of a weird situation because when my kids were growing up, I was home. I worked on weekends at craft shows, so I was able to take them to school, make them sandwiches, play with them after school, and kind of be almost like a house husband or a stay at home dad.

And then I would work in my shop at night or when they were at school in between. That was just kind of a good pattern in terms of, there wasn’t a conflict and my wife was the one who was working the regular job. And now the roles are reversed. I’m the one who has the day to day. But my kids are grown up.

They left the house and now they’re back again for however long they want. But you know, I’m not quite done raising them. They still come to me for advice and hopefully the older they get. I realize that dad’s not as mixed up as they thought he was, but it’s been ideal and it can. So this is really great thing. So no, I never had a full time litigation job as when I had a family.

Louis Goodman 23:35
I’d like to talk a little bit about your glassmaking and jewelry design and the craft work that you do. Can you tell us a little bit about that? I think that really is a very, very interesting part of your life that is different than most lawyers.

Harlan Simon 23:52
When I finished being a Public Defender and then went into private practice and then did immigration law in Ohio for a short stint and then returned to San Francisco, to do plaintiff side psychotherapy malpractice, which is what I did in a boutique law firm, after about four years of that, of civil law with interrogatories and depositions and very, very difficult adversaries. People, when it’s money at stake, people fight even harder and it’s quite civilized in many ways, quite uncivil. So I took a workshop at stained glass garden in Berkeley in glass fusing. I had been a shop person in junior high and high school. I had been a split grader where my birth month, those people were going to get held back or go forward and everybody would start in September, at a certain point, California decided that would be economically, that would be a better, better deal and cheaper. And so. There was consolidation of grades and the Vietnam War was happening. My parents were opposed to the Vietnam War. And they knew as long as Harlan’s in school, he’s not going to get drafted.

And even though I was like 13 at the time, they said, you’re going back, not forward. And to make that more palatable, the school offered what they called enrichment classes. So I got to take nothing but shop classes. And I took metal shop. I took Graphic Arts, I took Electronics, I took Plastic Shop, and all of that sort of, I guess, made an impact in me, in my soul, and I loved it, I was good with my hands, and then later on, when I was finished with civil law or finishing, I took a weekend workshop at stained glass garden.

And I found while I was doing the work in that beautiful space by fourth street that my problems, my trial issues, my difficult clients, adversary, all of that sort of disappeared. It was a mental vacation and it was a wake up call to me to reconnect with who I was. And that would be a person who enjoyed making things.

I took that hint and I pursued it. I took workshops one after the other and I got better and better at doing glass, glass making, flame work. And then I started to sell my work at craft shows in the city, Union Street, Polk Street, the Castro, the Marin Farmer’s Market. And it just naturally grew and the money was good at times on in parody with my wife’s income as an attorney, which hard to believe. And I was an entrepreneur. I controlled pretty much everything about the process, the products, the design, the raw materials, the shows I would book with gave me a lot of freedom. And I met a lot of people, the people who attended these craft shows. As well as the other vendors, the exhibitors, a remarkable group, both of them, and that’s how the transition happened.

Louis Goodman 27:06
You also teach glassmaking and craft. Can you talk a little bit about your teaching of those skills?

Harlan Simon 27:14
As I began to show more and more and I got better and better, I took over from a teacher of mine at Studio One, which is Oakland’s public art studio. And I taught flamework glass there. I also got recruited to teach at the Mendocino Arts Center. And then my teacher, April Zilber, who had been at Studio One and who was my first glass bead making teacher, she had been teaching at Oakland Feather River Camp. Now, a lot of listeners may not know, but each of the Bay Area cities, back in the twenties, when modernity was upon us with electrification, the automobile and the horrors of World War I were still very present in the rear window. City fathers, and I guess today it would be mothers, but people decided that residents needed an outlet in the, in the rural mountains. And so each city set up their own outposts and Oakland did I think in 1922. in Plumas County, and it was called Feather River Oakland Camp. That camp had an art camp component, and my teacher, April Zilber, taught there, and she had told me about it, and at some point I attended as a family camper, and an art camp was happening at the same time, these two groups were together.

I saw what it was about, and then the organizer of Feather River Art Camp, Karen Legault, invited me to teach the following summer at, for her camp. And I’ve been doing that for about 15 years now. It’s usually the first week in June. People can find it by Googling or looking up featherriverartcamp.org. And there’s different classes like paper making and clay, basket making, paper make, did I say paper making? I don’t want to repeat myself. Just a bunch of different kinds of classes. And my offering is flamework glass beads. And there’s painting too, oil painting and watercolor. And that’s how I got into teaching. And that’s the one workshop that I have kept. And I do that still every year.

Louis Goodman 29:22
Are there any parallels between working as an artisan and working as a lawyer?

Harlan Simon 29:27
Louis, that is such a good question. Thank you. There are. And I don’t want to sound crazy, but I see art and poetry and law and obviously in craft and making a jewel box or a ring or a bracelet, something that shimmers, something that is durable, something that beautifies and embellishes. It’s a lot like a trial and also in the process of selling my work, it’s also advocacy. It’s creating a sense of credibility, a connection between yourself and your audience. So that they’ll be given to buying the thing that you’re selling because they like you, they like the work and they’ve identified.

And I think that’s very similar at a deep level to jury work. And I’ve often thought that with the shows that I’ve done, it was quite a bit like jury work, maybe not as important for sure. And I think that’s what also contributed to me wanting to return to the law. That as much as I enjoyed embellishing people’s lives and having their faces light up with something beautiful and seeing people give something to one another as a sign of love, you know, that’s a beautiful thing, but it’s also beautiful, I think, from a public safety point of view to hold firm on cases where, you know, violence has been done or injury has been created. Just like as a public defender, it was a beautiful thing to see people exonerated in cases where there wasn’t sufficient proof. So I see a huge parallel between the art of the material and the art of trial.

Louis Goodman 31:17
Is there somebody, living or dead, who you’d like to meet?

Harlan Simon 31:21
I think so. I’m fascinated by Jesus. I would love to meet Jesus.

Louis Goodman 31:25
Let’s say you had a magic wand and there was one thing that you could change in the legal world or the world in general. What would that be?

Harlan Simon 31:35
I would try to overcome hubris. I think hubris, ego, are at the root of human suffering, the suffering that we inflict on each other’s because I’m right, you’re right. No, I’m right. And now with weapons, it’s just gotten scarily out of hand. And we live every day on the precipice of nuclear annihilation.

Louis Goodman 32:01
Let’s say you came into some real money, let’s say 3 or 4 billion dollars. What if anything, would you do differently in your life?

Harlan Simon 32:10
Well, I love what I’m doing. I’m not sure I would stop, believe it or not. And I’m fairly new to prosecuting, so I have a lot to learn and I find the challenge very stimulating. But if I had a lot of money, 3 to 4 billion dollars, I would hire somebody to draw, to run, to run, put out. A vocational arts program, probably at something like Feather River Camp, which is a nonprofit summer camp for families and for kids, especially with children, I would try to teach vocational arts, manual arts, be it just like I had in the public schools so that people knew how to cut, how to saw, how to polish things, how to pound nails, how to do cabinetry or make little houses. I would roll that out as a model, say with Feather River. And then I would try to scale it further with other partnerships, with other places that already had programs to serve, especially youth and families. That’s one part.

The other part that I would do is with this foundation, and I think there’s overlap, since I’m about 20 years old, have believed that this country is thoroughly in need of a national compulsory national service, 18 months at 18 years. And people have a choice to go into environmental core, urban core, foreign service core, and yes, military core. And everybody needs to do at least a mini module in local policing. So people will understand the problems of crime and problems of policing. But then they can focus on again, urban or environmental and nobody gets exempted from it. And I think that would foster the unity that we are lacking now, where there was a common experience between the diverse people that are in our nation. So that would be the second part of a foundation and that the urban core, for example, would then dovetail potentially with the manual arts component.

So that’s what I would do with 3 billion dollars.

Louis Goodman 34:21
If someone wanted to get in touch with you, perhaps about the art programs that you teach, the glass making skills that you teach, what would be the best way to find you for those types of things?

Harlan Simon 34:37
The best way to find me would be to Google my name and the word Facebook and Oakland. So Harlan, Harlan Glass and Facebook, and you’ll get to my Facebook Harlan Glass site and my one summer workshop, which is also accessible via the internet, googling featherriverartcamp.com and looking up flamework glass. Also, on the Facebook page, there’s an article that I’ve written probably buried fairly deep, but it’s called from Mesopotamia to Modernity, which outlines what I’ve developed as a working hypothesis about the nature of glass, its invention and what it has enabled humanity to do.

Louis Goodman 35:24
Harlan, is there anything that we haven’t talked about that you’d like to touch on? Did you’d like to present anything at all that you want to discuss?

Harlan Simon 35:33
Well, Louis, I want to thank you. I think you know this and if you don’t, I’ll state it here that, um, you are responsible in part for me being where I am. It was your podcast, Louis that gave me insight into the Alameda County law community and to the Bay Area and larger goings on here in Northern California. And it put me in touch with some of the most interesting and best practitioners and judges that we have. And that’s due to you. This is an amazing resource that you have created and continue to create month after month now in its fourth season.

It’s an invaluable store of historic information about the people involved in law practice. We may not always like lawyers, but they sure are interesting. And you’ve had so many interesting and actually very, very kind and good people on that it’s impressive. And what you’ve done ought to be a class in all law schools that would be where teachers would make their students listen to 20 podcasts for the quarter.

Because there’s a whole world of education in terms of how people find meaning in their work, how they found their jobs, what they do, what their hopes are. I just, I salute you for this service, being a historic, excuse me, being a amateur historian that I am. I just think this is invaluable, what you’ve done.

I also would like to say that you, you kind of seem like the Studs Terkel of the law world. Studs Terkel, of course, was an oral historian and he started out just talking and interviewing people. He also went to law school. He graduated University of Chicago in 1934. But decided to not do it. He passed the bar even in Illinois and he became a concierge at a hotel, I guess, because he loved the stories that people told.

So in some ways you’re, you’re very much like Studs Terkel and your oeuvre is increasing season to season. And hopefully as long as the grid stays up, it’ll be available.

Louis Goodman 37:44
Well, Harlan, thank you very much for your kind words. I appreciate it. And thank you so much for joining me today on the Love Thy Lawyer podcast. It really has been a pleasure to talk to you.

Harlan Simon 37:54
Well, I’m very appreciative of your invitation. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Louis Goodman 38:00
That’s it for today’s episode of Love Thy Lawyer. If you enjoyed listening, please share it with a friend and follow the podcast. If you have comments or suggestions, send me an email. Take a look at our website at lovethylawyer.com, where you can find all of our episodes, transcripts, photographs and information.

Thanks to my guests, and to Joel Katz for music, Bryan Matheson for technical support, Paul Robert for social media and Tracy Harvey. I’m Louis Goodman.

Harlan Simon 38:40
Let me start this answer again, Louis.

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