On a cold Tuesday afternoon, just three years after I graduated from law school, I heard code red called in the ER. The code was for me. I was 30 seconds from death: veins collapsed, no blood pressure, 30 pounds under weight, metabolic acidosis prevailed, 32 ounces of blood lost daily, and no ability to sit upright or walk. I was 28 years old and knew nothing about how my reactions cause outcomes. Not knowing almost killed me. Years of stress and anger had taken their toll…..
Do you ever feel like an imposter? As successful as you are do you believe you are just fooling people because deep down you are incompetent, taking money for work you are ill-prepared to do? Do you think one day you will be found out for the fraud that you are? Well, so do most lawyers. Suzanne Meehle shares her story.
Shakespeare said it best. In reference to a plot to seed anarchy, Dick the Barber says, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” In other words, the lawyers are what stand between the Rule of Law and utter lawlessness.
If you want to hit the ground running in 2017, take some time to sketch out what you want to accomplish this year. And I don’t mean doodling some numbers on a legal pad on your lunch hour. Take a day or two off and work on that plan. Do it sooner rather than later. Like, this weekend. Figure out what you want to accomplish. Here’s how I’m tackling it.
I’ve been practicing law now for over ten years. I started out working at Big Law, and that wasn’t for me. And then I started a firm with a partner, and that didn’t work out either. Then I went solo, and that’s where I’ve spent the majority of my career. From working out of my home by myself to a brick-and-mortar office with two employees, for more than six years, it’s been Just Me, Esq.
Until now, that is. Are you ready to take on a partner…again?
“Networking is an ongoing dynamic process.” You need to identify your needs (purpose), integrate the information you hear from others and adapt your process of networking based on the new information you have received. And it can be a very different experience if you are heading back to the practice of law now that the nest is empty.
Life is all about perspective. Expectations, I have found, do more harm then good. If our expectations are too high we will always be disappointed because we don’t allow for unplanned opportunities. If our expectations are too low, we may never strive for greater things. What perspective do you have?
The same thing happens when we start rezooming. It seems for a very long time nothing is getting done to effectuate our reentry. We network; write articles, read articles, attend bar association meetings or local business meetings all in the hope of getting back in the game. What we fail to see is that we have, “Initiated the miracle process.” We have ignited the compound process whether we recognize it or not. Sustaining the insignificant choices over time will reap important rewards.
Our legal community in Orlando has just started to rally. We are helping with translation services for victims’ families that don’t speak English. We are helping with immigration services for victims’ families that don’t reside in the U.S. We are volunteering pro bono hours in family law and probate (and if anyone should need it, in business law too). More than that, I’ve seen so many of my legal colleagues make personal donations, give blood, go to vigils, and give their time to support the first responders, the victims and their families. We are doing what we can, what we know how to do.