I forgot how much I loved law school. Such an exciting time.
As I sat in the cafeteria at Osgoode Hall Law School Monday morning preparing some notes and enjoying the excited buzz of students milling around me, I was transported back in time. The students were rehashing their weekends, making case law jokes that only those who have been to law school could ever find funny, and frantically asking each other about the readings they had not yet done (those would not have been the first years of course, who would have done ALL of their readings, and who would instead be trying to one up each other with the legal principles and funny case law names they had memorized). Having done all of the above a few years earlier, I sat there feeling nostalgic, and also a little less nervous about the workshop I was about to put on.
Although I arrived nervous, the only way to describe the way I felt a few hours later when I left Osgoode Hall, was inspired. And today, I sit here writing to you similarly inspired after an amazing hour and a half lunch time workshop with the law students at the University of Ottawa.
The students spent some time dreaming up their IDEAL careers and then picked one aspect and brainstormed a personal plan for achieving it. I was able to observe the discussion and interact with the students in their small groups, sharing my experiences and examples of other lawyers creating lives that they LOVE. It was a challenging task I put to the students - to come up with plans for achieving their dreams, and even to come up with clear dreams in the first place - but the students genuinely took up the challenge. The ideas were flowing, and most importantly, a conversation was started. And while the workshop only lasted one lunch break, I hope the conversation will carry on much longer. Because as much as we all want a quick fix to the problems in our lives and our profession, these are not conversations that cannot be started and finished in a lunch hour. To create a life you love, this conversation must last a lifetime.
And that is why I am committed to continuing the conversation, to reaching out again and again, to answering any question, and to taking the encouraging feedback the students provided and using it to add more value, to take Create a Life you LOVE workshops to the next level, next time!
And what I am most grateful for, after spending some time with the students this week, is, not only did it bring me back memories of some great times in my life, but it gave me a glimpse of the infinite possibility that exists for the future of our profession.
Can you imagine what the legal profession would look like in 10 years if each student graduated knowing their dreams, prepared to follow their own dreams, and prepared to take their career into their own hands to make those dreams happen? Can you imagine if each graduate believed without question that it is POSSIBLE to create a life that they LOVE in this profession? Can you imagine if each student had the tools and the resources needed to put a plan in place to achieve their ideal career, and the support network necessary to carry them through challenges, overcome barriers, and actually make it happen? Can you imagine the creative alternative law practices that would be dreamed up and built, each tailored to a lawyer's strengths, and each allowing the lawyer to most effectively offer his or her services to the world?
I imagine these things all the time, because it is my dream for our profession. And I am so grateful for the students this week for giving me a glimpse of that dream in action.
So thank you again to both Osgoode Hall Law School and University of Ottawa Law School for the warm welcome, and a special thank you to Melanie Goela and Jessica Simon for their kindness, and to each of the students who attended for taking the time to engage in an important conversation about their dreams for their future in this profession.
I believe wholeheartedly in my dreams, and I believe with equal conviction that each of you can find and achieve yours. So keep searching, keep dreaming, and just know, that even on days when you don’t quite believe, there is someone out there that still believes in you.
DREAM it. PLAN it. LIVE it.
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