Advice for Newly Minted Lawyers

*Updated to add some great advice posted by readers on social media – see below. 

Photo of a shelf of law books
As we enter October, some states have already released the results of the July bar exam, and other states will post their results soon.  I thought this would be a good time offer some advice to this year’s class of new lawyers as they embark on their careers.  I spent my first two years after law school working at a fairly large law firm, and the following tips might be less applicable to those working in other settings (i.e., in-house legal departments, government agencies, etc.), but I think most of these points apply across the board.  Lawyers, please add your own advice in the comments below.  

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Check In With Your Childhood Self

Charcoal drawing of a seated and smiling mother and child
Mother and Child, 2004.

If you’re like me, you’ve wondered from time to time whether you’re on the right path.  You may be contemplating a career move or relocation, or maybe you’ve already hopped around a bit but still don’t feel like you’ve found a perfect fit.  Some people have a passion or a dream that keeps them striving in one direction their whole lives, but for the rest of us, our life trajectory isn’t necessarily so clear.  Sometimes you’re restless or discontented in your current situation, but you don’t know what to change to get yourself unstuck.  When I’ve felt that way, I’ve found it helpful to think about my childhood self.

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