This week, I am in charge of the writing prompt for our group of fabulous bloggers. I taught my last class of the year (and maybe ever, as explained in this post) yesterday, and during that class, I invite lawyers to come talk to my students about what law practice is like. I ask them to prepare the answer to only one question: “What do you know now that you wish you had known as a first-year law student?” I thought that question – phrased more broadly to apply to anything, not just law – would make for a good writing prompt as well.
But rather than take a literal approach to this question and tell you one thing I know now that I wish I had known then – whenever “then” is – I’d rather let you and me off the hook on this one.
Hindsight is always 20/20 (or 50/50, as Pat Dye said) because you can’t know then what you know now. Part of the fun (and I use that term loosely) in life is learning from the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you had it all figured out from the get-go, where’s the fun in that?
I’ve been writing a lot lately about my life choices and how I got to the place I am now. I could not have arrived here without everything that came before. Please note that, in this post, I never said I regretted going to law school or becoming a lawyer. I said that it wasn’t for me, but I don’t regret the choices I made before. Because those choices are what led me to where I am now, a place where I can put the law on pause for a bit and explore other options.
How did law school and my law career prepare me for where I am now? Being a lawyer – and especially starting out by working for an unreasonable supervisor and then ending up working for someone who wanted me to learn – taught me attention to detail, how to budget time and money, how to teach someone something complicated step by step, how to manage a business.
And all of these things are going to be helpful no matter what I do.
Also, I met my husband while we were working at the same law firm. So, that’s a HUGE benefit.
My point is this: don’t regret your choices. Learn from them instead. You can’t know everything from the beginning. You have to experience and learn it. So, let yourself off the hook. Whatever “it” is, you can’t know it until you do.