Practice Perspective

I don’t like change, and I don’t like surprises. What am I doing in this line of work?

I went to law school laboring under two major misconceptions. The first was that I could learn and retain all there was to know about the law, which was a large body of knowledge, but immutable. The second was that this knowledge would give me power and control over unruly circumstance, in my own life and in the lives of others.

Many years later, these notions have proven unreliable. Far from being part of a solution to the problems arising from a life in the law, my control needs now seem maladaptive and infantile. The fact that I still have them reminds me that I am human; the fact that they are less troubling is reassuring.

Learning to let go of these needs little by little has, I am certain, made me a better lawyer and a better person. I am grateful to my teachers, to the people in my life who bring change and surprises. When those things appear, I am reminded of my need for growth.

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