By Donna Thornton/News Editor
Some things are handed down through families, not through DNA but through the daily observation of what a family member does and its impact on others.
Sam Bone grew up watching his father, Dani Bone, practice law here in Gadsden, and he always knew that he wanted to do the same thing.
Sam earned his license to practice law about four weeks ago, and took his place in an office at his father’s law office on Forrest Avenue.
After Sam’s decision was made, Dani will admit that he wanted nothing more than to have his son in practice with him.
“I never wanted to talk him into it,” Dani said, “though I wanted him to. It’s a big old world out there.” There were ample opportunities available for Sam to work in bigger cities and bigger practices, he said.
“I always planned to do this,” Sam said. “I was pumped to come back and step into an established practice.
“This is home,” he continued. “My best friends have always been in Gadsden, even when I lived in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.”
Both Sam and his wife, Laura Hand Bone, who teaches special education at Litchfield, are glad to be living close to their families.
“I want to let people know how excited I am to be back here, near my family and my wife’s family,” Sam said. “It’s nice to come back and serve the community that serve me so well as I grew up.”
Sam was a member of the last graduating class of Gadsden High School, and received his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Alabama. He finished in the top 20 percent of his class – at a law school that is in the top 25 percent in the nation.
“This sounds like a Dad,” Dani said, “but he’s got great intelligence and street smarts. I got the best product I could get. I already know he’s a great lawyer.”
The Bones are plaintiffs lawyers, Dani said, handling a lot of personal injury cases, criminal work, family law and all the things small town lawyers do.
“We’re very diverse in our practice,” Dani said.
That’s part of the appeal for Sam.
“I love that it’s something different all the time. It’s fun to have a criminal case in the morning and doing civil work in the afternoon,” he said. “I absolutely love it.”
Sam does admit his favorite part of practice is standing before a judge.
“I like going to court, being in the courtroom and making arguments,” Sam said. “I like protecting people who can’t protect themselves or their rights.”
Sam has worked in the offices of other lawyers and judges while in college and law school, but before that he learned about the law by watching Dani in court.
And sometimes, both Bones admit, he’d have suggestions about what his father could have done or said in arguing his case.
“And generally he was right,” Dani said.
Dani came to the practice of law in a different way, but it was a family tie that pulled him in that direction.
“My brother Gary Bone practiced here in Gadsden,” Dani said. “I always wanted to do whatever Gary did.” Dani went to Jacksonville State University, then worked for 15 years as southeast sales manager for the nation’s largest veterinary pharmaceutical business.
“Then I took a leap of faith and went to the Birmingham School of Law,” he said. Initially, he practiced with his brother, then opened his own law practice in 1998.
He’s been here since then, offering legal services to the Etowah County community.
Talking to Sam, it’s clear that he sees the law as a way to serve.
“It’s about protecting people in the legal system,” Sam said.