I will win. If I don’t win, my opponent will respect my fight. But I will not lose.
To understand my story, one must first understand the story of the underdog.
The underdog is invariably met with challenges that far exceed those faced by others. The underdog is overlooked, never given a real shot at success. No one believes in the underdog, because the odds are never in the underdog’s favor. The underdog is supposed to lose.
I was the underdog.
I ran away from home when I was 15 years old, and slept in all kinds of different places for years while I grew up way too quickly in the streets of Bridgeport, Connecticut. I was a high school dropout and an 18-year old father, who made some pretty stupid decisions in order to get through my teenage years.
I refused to lose. I worked hard and received a GED. I attended Housatonic Community College, and ultimately graduated from Quinnipiac University on a full-time schedule while raising two little ones and working a full-time job. I grinded through law school and on November 2, 2015, I became a member of the Connecticut Bar as a lawyer. I won.
I still am the underdog, and I fight like hell. My duty as a lawyer is to bring that fight to each and every case, because my clients, whether they are accused of being a criminal, have had their lives destroyed by the illegal actions of law enforcement, have been unlawfully discriminated against by an employer or state actor, or have been seriously injured by the negligence of others, are underdogs too. I know that story, because it’s my story.
Very few professions allow one the honor of doing good in the world by protecting others who are being disrespected, dishonored, and disenfranchised. The practice of law literally gives me a license to play defense against an opposition with way too much power, way too many resources, and not nearly enough compassion. I take tremendous pride in my work, and the personal and professional fulfillment that it brings.
My family is the center of my universe. Because of them, I strive to be the best partner and father I can be. I draw inspiration daily from the love I have for my wife and my kids, and it allows me to do some of my very best work. My clients are sons and daughters, husbands and wives, loved ones to many people. I understand each and every case beyond the legal principles involved, by embracing the humanity of the person I represent.
Attorney Lage’s underdog story truly inspires. He went from a high school dropout to a partner at Ruane Attorneys. Dan works with civil rights cases and other criminal defense proceedings.
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