My Great-Grandfather, L. K. Pounders, Retired Federal Judge, and Attorney and Counselor at Law

In the law office of my Great Grandfather, retired Judge Laurie Knox “LK” Pounders, prominently hung a framed article entitled “My Guide.” When I began practicing law my father, the Rev. Frank H. Pounders, passed this guide to me. Although these are not my Great-Grandfather’s words, he lived by them nonetheless. And I have tried to live by them in my practice of law and life. So I share these words with you. The text can be found below, but if you click the image to the right a full-sized PDF copy of “My Guide” is available to you for download. — Tracy Pounders

“MY GUIDE: TO RESPECT MY COUNTRY, my profession and myself. To be honest and fair with my fellowmen as I expect them to be honest and square with me. To be a loyal citizen of the United States of America; to speak of it with praise, and act as a trustworthy custodian of its good name. To base my expectations of reward on a solid foundation of service rendered. To be willing to pay the price of success in honest effort. To look upon my work as an opportunity to be seized with joy and made the most of, not as a painful drudgery to be reluctantly endured. To remember that success lies within myself, in my own brain, my own ambition, my own courage and determination. To expect difficulties and force my way through them. To turn hard experience into capital for future struggles. To believe in my proposition heart and soul. To carry an air of optimism in the presence of those I meet. To dispel ill-temper with cheerfulness; kill doubts with strong convictions, and reduce active friction with an agreeable personality. To make a study of my business. To know my profession in every detail; to mix brains with my effort and use system and method in my work. To find time to do every needful thing by never letting time find me doing nothing. To hoard days as a miser hoards dollars. To make every hour bring me dividends in increased knowledge or healthful recreation. Finally, to take a good grip on the joys of life, to play the game like a man. To fight against nothing so hard as my own weaknesses, and endeavor to grow in strength as a gentleman, a Christian, so I may be courteous to men, faithful to friends, true to God, a fragrance in the path I tread.

“Explanatory Note: Among the papers of Thomas Van Alstyne, a Cornell graduate killed in the course of his duty as an electrical engineer, was found this “GUIDE” which he had drawn up. It is particularly striking, as it was drawn up for his own personal use. It was never expected that it would find its way into print.”

NOTE: Judge LK Pounders (1878-1969), Cumberland Law School (Year?). When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, he served as the first County Judge for Latimer County, Oklahoma.  From 1917 until the early 1920s, he served the US government first as a Special Assistant to the US Attorney for Oklahoma (Eastern District), then as an Assistant US Attorney.  But he spent most of his legal career in private practice as a trial lawyer in Bristow, Creek County, Oklahoma.   He continued to practice law until a few days before he passed at the age of 91.