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A variety of events over the past several years have renewed my conversations with some reliable old friends. And I mean very old. I refer here to the Stoic philosophers, most of whom did their thinking and writing around the turn of the Common Era.

The Stoics took their name from the central square of Athens, the Stoa Poikile, where Zeno is generally credited with founding the school in the early part of the third century BCE. Various philosophers over the next five centuries identified themselves as Stoics, so the label takes in lots of personalities and lots of territory. But I'm particularly fond of the later Stoic philosophers: Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius.

I discovered the later Stoics in the 1980s during my brief and inglorious career as a philosophy graduate student. Since then, they have helped me traverse many of life's trickiest terrains. But it was only during my most recent encounter with their thought that I realized how much good advice they have for litigators who struggle to find happiness in their profession.