Monday Motivation

If there is one thing I've learned from law school, it is that hard work trumps all. Entering law school is daunting. Overwhelmingly daunting. You walk in with a set of skills. Studying skills you gained (didn't) in undergrad. Perseverance you gained by studying for the LSAT, playing sports, or working a job. Drive, which pushed to you to go to law school to begin with. And maybe a little craziness. Ok... in this economy, a LOT of craziness.

However, although we enter law school with all these incredible traits, law school hits us like a wall... at least it did for me. I remember my 1L year thinking, everyone is at least as smart as me, how could I possibly be any better? What makes me any better? What sets me a part from the pack? Ladies and gentlemen, it's nothing ground breaking. Opportunity and success in law school is gained by work... both in and out of the classroom. I can't tell you how many times I stayed in on a Friday and/or Saturday night to finish up a brief or spiffy up my outlines. Staying late after 8 hours of classes to go to a networking event with the local bar association may be social, but often times I just wished I could go home and put on some sweatpants.

Even though I pushed myself beyond anything I've ever done before, I still look at some of my classmates with six-figure salaries waiting for them when they graduate. I think what I could have differently... would I even want to be in their position? I think not. I put on my overalls, and worked for the opportunities I wanted... Not the opportunities, which look great on paper or have the highest starting salaries. Realizing that, for once in my life, I didn't HAVE to do "the smart thing to do" was nerve-wracking yet liberating. I've put myself in a position to be exactly where I want to be when I graduate by following just a few goal-setting techniques:

  1. Identify the goal: The may require testing out multiple paths to find the one that is truly your calling.
  2. Identify a community: You have a goal? Great! Now surround yourself with peers and superiors who are like-minded. They are the greatest source of knowledge on how to enter and grow in your career
  3. Build a network: Establish a foundation, however small, of people who are invested in you. Be persistent with pursuing your goals, but be open to helping others along the way. Your network is strongest when it's based upon a give-and-take system


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