Monday, July 23, 2012
On Friday, I gave you some fairly sober advice about how to handle law school. Let me give you some counterpoint advice today: enjoy the ride.
I obviously don't mean that you should party your way through law school or do only what is fun or easy. You cannot prepare for that first client that way.
What I do mean is that you should realize that you have made it to the majors, and you shouldn't let that experience get swallowed by competition and pressure. Competition and pressure will be there, of course; and you will drop an easy catch or get caught looking at the perfect pitch. But any real ballplayer will tell you that everyone has those moments and that the successful ones shake them off and catch the next ball or hammer the next fat pitch. Real ballplayers will also tell you that they love to play the game, and that is what keeps them going.
You are about to spend three years transforming yourself from layperson to lawyer. What an amazing thing! You will have to master new skills, of course; play at a new game speed, even change how you play. But you get to play! Sure, you have to expect both setbacks and successes; they go with the territory. The trick is to relish the successes, learn from the setbacks, and appreciate the changes both bring about in you as you grow in this profession.
When you lose a game, remind yourself that you could not have lost that game unless you were playing in the majors to begin with. Remind yourself, as well, that every win is a major league win. You aren't Babe Ruth every day? You still get to play everyday, just like Ruth. You struck out today? Ruth led the league in strike outs.
You are playing in the majors. Not everyone gets to say that. In fact, few get to say that. But you do. Enjoy the ride.