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After I resigned my military commission as a naval officer because I lost motivation from the Vietnam War, I wondered what I could do for my future to make my life worthwhile. My best high school friend was in town as a civil rights lawyer and asked if I wanted to watch him argue a case for Cesar Chavez’s fledgling union against wine growers’ attorneys.

His arguments demolished the private property claims of the ten slick business attorneys for the wine industry who tried to paint the farm workers as law-breaking scum. I was convinced I could never do anything so challenging. He convinced me that with determination and a subject that inspired me, I could do anything I set my mind on. Since I was motivated by the concept of justice, watching him win against his formidable opponents provided the spark I needed. Before long I too was a civil rights lawyer pursuing justice for the powerless. My life had been transformed into meaningful work every day.
Motivation-SuccessI had a similar challenge when beginning to write my memoir, which took great determination, study, and practice at word art from authors and professors of creative writing. It appeared such a daunting task with a life of so many unconnected lively experiences, how could I create a book that would accomplish my purpose of sharing my inspiration? With their encouragement I developed my craft and in six years a book.
How does what you do connect you to your greatness or your potential? Gaining confidence from a friend who knows your potential is a great asset. My father, on the other hand, discouraged me from the practice of law and said I could never pass the bar exam. Having had the opportunity to argue civil rights cases for the poor and powerless was an opportunity to achieve greatness for a righteous cause. Others said I did great work and had been transformed from the friend they knew before as an athlete, but not an advocate for the poor that made a difference in so many lives. That made me gain confidence as did my friend’s coaching and that of my professors and writing coaches when I retired and wrote my book.
What wisdom or guidance can I share for others? Don’t always follow your father’s advice, or that of anyone else who does not know your motivation, passion, and determination. If you have a passion to do something some people don’t believe possible, you should not be discouraged. You can do anything you set your mind to accomplish with undying determination, a reasonable goal, and the necessary training. You can always improve yourself and your future with tenacity, resilience, and the right motivation. Seek out positive people if others discourage your dream. Even if no one sees you as you want to become, you should follow your heart, but don’t forget to carry your mind with you on your journey.

Dan Lavery at his Law Office

Daniel C. Lavery, author of memoir, All the Difference, is a retired civil rights attorney who litigated seventeen class actions and civil rights lawsuits for Cesar Chavez’s UFW for three years before private practice. Two cases set important precedents in defamation and Class Actions. His book provides inspirational writings from his experiences and motivates readers to find purpose in their lives.
His webpage contains excerpts from his memoir, thirteen five star reviews, short stories, poems, songs, media, political comment, humor, and contains a “look inside” feature that reveals his first six chapters and method to purchase from
Dan is a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis Maryland, class of 1964. He navigated jet aircraft before navigating the USS Oak Hill with 300 marines to Vietnam in 1967. He became a member of Vietnam Veterans Against War, and Veterans for Peace after he resigned his commission in 1968. Dan graduated from Hastings College of Law, and received a two-year Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship on civil rights and consumer protection from Howard University. He has taught Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Law at three law schools and is a motivational speaker.

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  [caption id="attachment_29070" align="alignnone" width="300"]ALl the Difference Book Cover All the Difference
A Memoir: The Path from a Military Pawn to a Crusader for Justice
Daniel C. Lavery[/caption]   All the Difference, in paperback at It is available for a free look inside of the first 6 1/2 chapters at Dan's website at and for Amazon's Kindle version at Video: