He did it the right way.
If you were going to ask him a question, you might as well have sat down and gotten comfortable. There were never any quick answers, even when you were convinced it was just a quick question. If it involved a rule, he'd grab the rulebook and start reading before offering any sort of answer. If it involved the particulars of a case, he would grab the file and start breaking it down and reviewing it all. If you were going to ask him a question, he was going to give you the most correct answer he possibly could and that required careful study.
When clients came to visit him long after their cases had resolved by years—and they did—he would give them a big hug and he would be genuinely excited to see them. Often, his clients would ask to hug him at the conclusion of their case. He genuinely loved the people he served and they loved him.
When he encountered a legal issue or a challenging opposing counsel or a case that sucked up all of his time and energy, his response was to dig in and work harder. Even at the expense of his own peace of mind and levels of comfort.
Whenever an interpersonal or other disagreement or conflict arose either among staff or attorneys or clients or involving him in any way, etc., he would cut through the miscommunication and drama with direct and clear communication and sort things out (to the extent they could be sorted out among those involved). Sometimes he was so direct and brutally honest with people he would say things that shocked me—and the people he said those things to loved and respected him for it.
He was always himself no matter what he was doing.
My dad, Bill Thayer retired, mostly, effective June 30, 2021. He will still serve as “Of Counsel” to our firm much like Craig Schauermann still does. But, Bill is mostly retired.
If ever there was a person and a lawyer to work for, work with, learn from, and emulate—it was him. I am insanely fortunate. I know that. It's actually been a lot of fun (even when it wasn't) practicing law together these last 6 years or so.
You will never see me try and be him because there will not be another him. I'm very comfortable with accepting that.
You will see me try and do it the right way, though. Like he did.