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On Congress’ behalf, one of its members, 33-year-old Virginia lawyer Thomas Jefferson, drafted the Declaration of Independence. For the next half century, Jefferson’s fierce pride of authorship, unrestrained by humility, kept him from crediting Congress for skilled editing that helped make him a national icon by sharpening his powerful, but less than polished, draft. The irony of lawyer Jefferson’s enduring bitterness and ingratitude can stimulate today’s lawyers to sharpen their own drafts by respecting cooperative editors as valuable allies, not as troublesome adversaries.



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