( Kristin with fellow TLCers on top of Spence Mountain)

As our time at the Ranch began to come to an end, I had more and more classmates approach me about being class representative. I was honored and flattered that I was being asked to fill this role. I was not expecting, however, that the entire class would unanimously vote me as class rep in one sweeping vote. What does it mean to me that I was elected as the class representative? Well, it reinforces everything I learned at the Ranch. I will do my best to explain.

I came to the Ranch with a whole lot of self-doubt and performance anxiety. I have only been practicing for 2 ½ years and was quite nervous about looking inexperienced and unsophisticated in front of a group of experienced and successful trial attorneys. The greatest gift I received at the Ranch was the knowledge that just being me, with all my strengths and all my faults, is the most important thing I can do for myself, my clients, my family, and my friends. This is the most important tool in our advocate tool box, and that’s a tool I will always have, regardless of my years in practice or number of trials under my belt.

While at the Ranch, I was simply me. I treated people with kindness and compassion, and received the same in return. I was honest and trusting, and shared freely and openly in my psychodrama group, as well as our working groups. I respected other people’s opinions and worked to help foster an atmosphere of support where all my classmates, and myself, could participate and experiment with the TLC methodology without fear of judgment or humiliation. I gave hugs and encouragement as much as possible.

As a result, I developed real, profound, and honest relationships with my classmates. I came to love, honor, and deeply respect my fellow warriors. We discussed our families, childhoods, careers, and reasons we were at the Ranch without fear of criticism. We shared many laughs and shed many tears. We discussed our deepest regrets and proudest moments as if we were childhood friends. There was nothing superficial about the relationships I formed at the Ranch. My experience was real and unforgettable.

When I was elected class representative, I felt all the love, honor, and respect I had for my classmates returned to me. I am grateful that my class trusted me with this position. I feel a great sense of responsibility to keep our class in contact and to continue the relationships we formed off the Ranch. I will not let my fellow warriors down.

Kristin Ross – TLC September 2012 Class Representative