Liz Vaysman

Cruise Control: Passion Forward

To be perfectly honest, I’m still on the journey to find my passion.  As we all know, figuring it out is not easy, and for those who have figured it out, we don’t believe them or are incredibly envious.  One thing’s for sure – Ms. JD has directed me through this on-going journey.

I became involved with Ms. JD in 2012 as the conference coordinator for She Leads,  Ms. JD’s Fifth Annual Conference on Women in the Law.  I took this position to earn some extra money over the summer.  I was my sister’s maid of honor and as you can imagine as an unpaid intern, I needed the extra change.  Little did I know how much this random position would affect the rest of my law school career and my professional goals.  During the introduction at She Leads, one of Ms. JD’s former Board Members, Jessie Kornberg, made a comment about what Ms. JD has done for her.  She said the organization made her realize that she was no longer going to look for a job that she could get, but rather pursue the job that she wanted.  I can’t begin to explain how much this small phrase has meant to me the past year.

I now have the same mindset.  Even in this economy, I will pursue the job that I want.  Like Jessie, I've realized that I didn’t go to law school to a get job, I went to get the job.  With this new mindset I was able to change my whole perspective and self-reflect the real reasons why I was doing what I am still doing today. 

Growing up it was never a question of what you will do: you will go to college, you will go to graduate school, and you be in medicine, law, and/or business.  My sister took the medical route and became a pharmacist.  I decided to go the business route and study finance.  In a way, being in school during the financial crisis was a stroke of luck because as the job market fell, I finally had the opportunity to reflect.  I realized I was disinterested in my major and was excelling in courses related to my political science minor.  This eventually led me to law school and where I am today. 

I realized that for me, the most important thing is to continue to create and maintain opportunities for myself and others, and the best way to do this is through the law.  With Ms. JD’s guidance, I’ve been able to reflect on what that actually means and where it can take me.  Now, I think forward – about where I want be in 1 year, in 5 years, in 10 years, and even where I want to be tomorrow.  By thinking about where I want to be, I am able to focus on the day-to-day to get me there.

So for me, in “Passion Forward,” the word forward means the most.  Though many are driven by their passions, I find my personal motivation stems from my momentum.  Right now, I am moving forward towards finishing my degree, passing the bar, and diving into an exciting (and hopefully fun) legal career.  With passion alongside in the front seat, forward is speeding straight ahead.

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