On a sunny weekend in October, the Jordan Price attorneys and their partners returned to Bald Head Island for the first time since the pandemic for their annual Firm retreat. We kicked off the weekend on Friday night with cocktails and hors d-oeuvres on the porch of the Inn we would call home for a few days. We joined the locals for Howl at The Moon, had dinner at the Inn, then capped the night off with karaoke at Jules.
A bowl of silenced and powered-down cell phones was the centerpiece of the next morning’s attorney meeting–in both décor and topic. While significant others slept in or attended yoga, the attorneys gathered at the dining room table to drink coffee and discuss the present and future of Jordan Price, to celebrate our collective and individual successes, and Warren Savage visited us virtually to speak on the importance of unplugging from our devices—a presentation that got all of us thinking. And so, for the rest of the day, we unplugged.
We played a Firm-favorite game of trivia (shout-out to Henry Jones’s winning team), then were free for the afternoon to do whatever we pleased. It was no surprise that of all the activities there were to choose from that afternoon, nearly all of us chose to spend more time with one another. Groups broke off and went to lunch, the spa, shopping. Some groups rode bikes or went on island tours.
The 15 attorneys in attendance at this year’s retreat were representative of many areas of practice including real property, HOA, and construction litigation; business and commercial real estate transactions; lobbying and licensing law, and more. But when we reconvened for dinner on Saturday evening, we shared stories of our adventures from the day and our lives generally and something became abundantly clear: two things can be and are true of each of us. We can be passionate, dedicated, hard-working attorneys, all while being something entirely different.
That weekend on the golf-cart-access-only island, we slowed down, unplugged, and bonded over the other part of our lives. The parts where we are new parents and grand-parents, fishermen, tennis pros, recent empty nesters, cyclists, wedding-planning, travelers, not-so-terrible singers, and sports fanatics. We soaked up the wisdom of those who have experienced a little more life than others and encouraged those who are trying something new.
Our ferry rides back to the mainland on Sunday felt a little like returning home after a summer at camp—a little sad to be leaving, but refreshed and excited for what comes next. We returned to the office the next day equipped with the knowledge of how much better we thrive as individuals when we lay down our devices once in a while to focus on being present, and how strong we are as a team when we allow ourselves to occasionally retreat from the day-to-day and get to know the other parts of our teammates. So, while there are no golf-cart-clad streets in Raleigh to force us to slow down, our ability to choose to unplug is ever-present. And what a privilege it is to be able to unplug with this team.
By: Abby Breedlove