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Ms. JD Writers in Residence Program

When I think of all of the advice I have received over the years, there are several tips that resonate in my mind. However, the most important piece of advice would not be considered advice at all. Instead, it was discouragement that ended up being my greatest flame of passion. I had always been relatively successful when it came to school and prided myself at my intellectual achievements. I knew from a very young age that I needed to go to college and I knew I wanted to become a lawyer in the 6th grade. Thus, every step I took…

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What is the number one piece of career advice you have received

I was always told that you should find someone who is doing exactly what you want to do and you should ask him or her how they did it. I found a mentor who I considered to be very successful and we had a long conversation about the path he took and the obstacles he faced. Among the wealth of information I learned from that conversation, my favorite was this: make sure you get involved in the community and make sure you pay it forward.  He told me that being a great lawyer isn’t all about your work product; rather…

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On the Best Piece of Career Advice I’ve Received…

    The best piece of career advice I have received came from David Thornburgh, President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy.  I had the chance to hear him speak at a conference, and his words have stayed with me and have since helped me make multiple decisions. Thornburgh warned a crowd of graduate and prospective graduate students about the danger of letting one major goal get in the way of your other goals.  That simple advice changed me and challenged my beliefs.  Was it actually possible that the path to success was more like a road trip with friends…

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Don’t Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good…

I tend to be a perfectionist.  And it is often not a good thing.  Perfectionism holds me back.  It keeps me from doing things in order to avoid making mistakes or embarrassing myself by showing the world something less than my best.  It makes me miss opportunities. A few years ago a former colleague and very good friend sent me a simple text regarding an action I was not taking because I didn’t think I could do it well enough.  She texted, “Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good...”  She certainly didn’t coin the phrase, but she said it at a…

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The No. 1 Piece of Career Advice I Have Received Is Two Words Long

“Follow up.” Follow up after a networking event, follow up after a meeting, and follow up with yourself.  This two-word piece of advice is applicable to career, school, and life, and has served me well (when I actually consistently apply it).  “Attend networking events” is a popular piece of career advice given to young professionals.  But how many of us are guilty of going to a networking event, having engaging conversations and exchanging contact information, only to let the person’s business card sit in your purse for months until you realize you forgot to email them to follow up? While…

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The best career advice I’ve ever received? “Be you.”

The first commandment of law school is to know and honor thyself. During the fall semester of my 2L year, I still felt just as lost as I had on the first day of class. My insecurity eventually drove me to confide in my criminal procedure professor, a woman I admire and respect. She made me feel better about the doubt I couldn’t shake. When I told her that I felt like the small town kid who made a mistake in coming to the big city, she cut me off. And in a Southern accent I had never heard in…

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What is the number one piece of career advice you have received?

"Do what you do well, and believe in it." The statement above was made to me by my father a few years ago.  It was not until recently, I thought about what he said.  Occasionally, I will find his words interrupting my thoughts and there are moments when it sounds easier said than done, but I believe it is a true statement.  My Father's words triggered me to meditate on what is most important to me as well as to focus on a single goal.    I have met numerous attorneys whom are miserable because they do not have a…

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This is the best career advice I ever received

The best career advice I ever received came from Oprah Winfrey. It was 2013 and I was a producer on her multi-city, nationwide “Live Your Best Life” tour that traveled from the East Coast, to the West Coast, to the Midwest, and to the South. There was a powerful moment in the show when Oprah described a series of events in her life that turned out to be life-changing strokes of luck. Her point, summed up in a single phrase, was that “No experience is ever wasted.” She went on to explain that every job she ever had, every person…

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The Best Career Advice I’ve Ever Gotten

I can clearly recall the day I finally understood the most important advice I’d ever gotten from a mentor. I was sitting at my desk with my head in my lap. After hitting an all-time low during particularly brutal mock trial tournament in Ohio, fumbling to put together a presentation for my firm’s most important case of the season, poring through midterm material, and barely having the time to eat (let alone sleep), I’d had enough. I’d bombed my mock trial case and I wasn’t sure what I would bomb next. As I watched the minute hand ticking from one…

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Find a line of work or skill that aligns with who you want to become.

This advice was given to me by a lady that was probably about 30 years my senior. I had so much respect for her that when she gave me this advice it felt as though she had looked into my soul and customize the exact words I needed to hear at that moment.  I was at the beginning of my career and she knew that I was intelligent and ambitious.  She saw that there were others that were not allowing me to do what I was capable of doing and my frustration.  I was told that even though I would…

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