Wednesday, November 6, 2013

“Life is all about balance.” - mom

By Nareen, 1L

At times, I have found it very hard to believe her . . . like that one time I finished an entire tub of cookie dough ice cream in one sitting or that other time I spent over 7 hours watching the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in one day. So I can’t say balance always works in your favor. But for the most part I’m going to have to concur with my mom.

Last week, during a mid-semester orientation, legal career expert Ms. Susan Gainen spoke to a group of first-year students, about how to conduct oneself as a future lawyer. While it was very easy for a female student to leave that lecture thinking they had to wear pantyhose for the rest of their lives, I paired Ms. Gainen’s advice with my mom’s advice. If I want to be a professional in the legal industry, I have to look and act like a professional in the legal industry.

Ms. Gainen used her sense of humor and 25 years of experience in the business of law to explain just that. Sure she criticized 5-inch heels and bare legs, but she criticized them in the context of professionalism. That’s how balance factors in. I am not afraid to admit that ¾ of my closet consists of very high heels. And I am not afraid to admit that I’m definitely planning on wearing dresses and skirts bared-leg for the next 30 years until I’m old and wrinkly and have to stop. I just obviously won’t be wearing them at the workplace!

I’m actually glad the administration organizes additional orientations for 1Ls. First year of law school can feel like you have to give up your identity and that’s really not the case at all. Hearing successful professionals who are also normal people speak about the industry helps put things back into perspective and reminds you to always keep your balance.

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