The Rebirth of a Lawyer By Surajit Sen Sharma ‘’The first ten years of my career,’’ said one of my lawyer friends, ‘’were wasted in trying to build a fast-track career and running after illusions. I never knew what I really wanted, and like most of my peers, I thought I was destined to be the next wonder lawyer to rise from the ranks. Directionless hard work created career fatigue, and at a certain point of time, I was ready to give up law career and try for something else.
It took me ten years to come to terms with myself and understand that I was not destined to be a star lawyer. And, that in itself, wasn’t so bad. The majority of lawyers are not stars, but they are the people who build the backbone of the lawyers’ community and safeguard the rights of countless citizens.
I guess stories like that are common enough though nobody discusses them. While your mistakes may be food for laughter and introspection in close and trusted social circles, exposing them in your professional arena can hurt you. Other humans can be quite unkind, and there are many who rarely miss a chance to ridicule those who are publicly candid.
I found thriving success in my legal career only after I embraced my role in life as the friendly neighborhood lawyer, and felt immense pride in fulfilling that role. It was a rebirth of sorts. And once I was happy in my career role, there was no holding back. I gave every ounce of energy into my work, and it has been going great. I am proud of the fact that today, I have clients who come up to me to accept their cases and at the same time tell me the names of which star lawyers they would like to appoint for the matter. They know of the best and are ready to hire the best, but when it comes to trusting their briefs and interacting daily, they accept me as their choice.
Building a professional career as a lawyer is much different from joining a job in other fields. If you open your eyes enough, there are too many sub-fields, too many specializations, and a limitless variety of challenges. Every instant case can give rise to unique permutations and combinations of applicable law. While money is there in every field of human endeavor, few provide greater variety of intellectual challenges on a daily basis. And there are very few other fields where one sees the fames and fortunes of their peers fluctuating so frequently with the passage of time.
I am a good lawyer and that is no less desirable than being a great lawyer. I still laugh at myself for being on the verge of leaving my career, when my friends and family, peers and clients, - the people, who made up my world, - had viewed me as a success. Nobody else, but I, had thought of me as a failure. I had not failed in my career, nor had I failed the expectations of my society. I had only failed to separate career dreams from career reality.
In spite of such interesting and fulfilling work situations, many lawyers see themselves as failures, a greater number feel that they are overworked, and most fail to find work-satisfaction. Largely, failure to find work-satisfaction is the reason for feeling overworked and stressed. For as a common saying goes in the professional world, ‘’Find a job you like, and you add five days to every week.’’ Most people in the profession who do not feel satisfied with their roles are people who fail to recognize their career dreams as impractical fantasies and refuse to come to terms with themselves. A new successful lawyer is born as soon as he/she discards fantasies and learns to accept, love, and be proud of his/her present role and work.
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Published on Nov 25, 2012
The majority of lawyers are not stars, but they are the people who build the backbone of the lawyers' community and safeguard the rights of...