Anchorage, Alaska


Business Law. Estate Planning & Probate. Trusts & Estates. Tax Returns.


Integrity and Independent Judgement

A point of conversation is the silhouette of a boxer on my stationary and business cards. Who is this man?

The man is my father, Jim O'Hara, circa 1947 when he was a professional heavyweight boxer in St. Paul, Minnesota.

He and his story are an important part of my practice of law. He is a major reason I do what I do and how I do it. 

In fact, my boxing website is part of my practice of law - - where I scratch the surface of my father's wisdom as it relates to boxing, yes, but really as it applies to the vicissitudes of life. While working with clients, I share that wisdom as it may apply to the various situations clients face. 

"Integrity's all you got," Jim O'Hara advised. "Once it's gone, you got nothing."

With an eighth-grade education, he taught me that law is a profession and not a business per se. Sure you have to meet a budget to pay your bills, but his meaning went to independent judgment.

Consider John D. Rockefeller, Sr.'s experience with his lawyer. In 1879 Rockefeller and Standard Oil needed legal assistance. Rockefeller found Samuel C. T. Dodd:

When Rockefeller hired him in 1879, Dodd held out, not for money or titles but for assurances of his integrity. Taking a relatively small salary (it would never exceed $25,000 a year), he resisted Rockefeller's plea that he take Standard Oil stock, arguing that this might compromise his legal judgment, and he never became a Standard Director for that reason.  

Ron Chernow, Titan: The LIfe of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Chapter 13 (Vintage Books 2004), Kindle Edition. 

Steven T. O'Hara

O'Hara Tax Lawyer LLC