“It’s a good degree to have. You can do about anything with a law degree.” Famous last words spoken by way too many people who have never been there, or done that. Yet for many of us they were the final consideration when deciding we were going to go to law school over business school, or culinary school, or divinity school, or before we were going to take that job the summer after graduation that would have left us broke working at a vineyard in Napa Valley.
There are many practicing lawyers who know too well the personal longing to have gone left, when we went right. For me I look back and wonder with an idealized longing for what might have happened had I gone to culinary school for a year, or backpacked Europe earning a living washing dishes, or taking that job out of college instead of going strait to law school. Oh what might have been. I’m certain a Food Network show and a host of branded restaurants across the country would have been my destiny. But I chose the green pill and went for the degree that “You can do about anything with.” I’m sorry, but my J.D. never taught me how to sear foi gras. I had to teach myself that one.
I believe too many attorneys have adopted a defeatist mindset. Not in the since of being defeated in the courtroom, or in negotiating a business transaction. In that since, attorneys are notoriously victoriously minded. No, I believe there is a defeatist mindset when it comes to the life we live; and developing the courage to amend the life paradigm that we often adopt is the first step in creating a successful life in the law.
Anything is achievable with the right mental paradigm, a mindset of persistent determination. “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be,” said Calvin Coolidge.
If you have ever felt that you’re not living the life you were mean to live, it simply takes a small paradigm shift, and the courage, determination, and will to create the life you envision for yourself. If you’re unhappy with the client base you represent, then recreate your practice. If you are unhappy in your geographical location, create a virtual practice that allows you to live and work wherever you desire. If the practice of law in any form is a cause of unhappiness for you, THEN DO SOMETHING ELSE!
You only have once opportunity to create your best life. Whether you’re 25, or 75, there is no time like the present to shift. You’re a lawyer, you can do whatever you set your mind to; including yourself.