- March 30, 2022
File Under: Jeralyn Lawrence
8 Valuable Lessons – What I Wish I Knew
By Jeralyn Lawrence as Published in the New Jersey Lawyer Magazine
1. I wish I knew about Zoom way before March of 2020. Zoom has been the silver lining of this pandemic. If I never have to go back to court for an Early Settlement Panel, Case Management Conference, Uncontested Divorce hearing or other routine court appearance, I would be thrilled. To avoid the rush to court, the stress of the commute and parking, packing and unpacking litigation bags to sit and wait in court is blissful. Being home every night with my family has been a blessing of epic proportions.
2. I hope we all think long and hard about what practices would be worth returning to once this pandemic ends. While I certainly miss the social aspects of our profession and endless happy hours, I plan to make Zoom a more permanent fixture in my practice as it has added markedly to the quality of my personal and professional life.
I wish I knew how precious and valuable time really is. It is our most prized commodity. We cannot manufacture more. We need to be really protective over our time and choose how we spend our time wisely. We must learn to say “no” to things that do not inspire us, or we are not passionate about. I wish I knew earlier in life how to set better boundaries and choose my time more wisely regarding who to spend it with or how to best spend it.
3. Who I surround myself with is crucial to my happiness and my success. We need quality people, not a quantity of people. You need a village with no weak links. You need four quarters instead of 100 pennies.
4. I wish I knew that being a lawyer is synonymous with a consensus builder and a problem solver; not that of a gladiator.
5. People will not remember what you did or said, they remember how you made them feel.
6. Make yourself and your health a priority. This profession will eat you alive if you let it. Take good care of yourself both men tally and physically.
7. Delete the word “I” from your vocabulary. Use “we.” Rewrite your sentence to avoid using the word “!.” Change how you speak to avoid saying “I.” There is nothing more alienating than spending time with someone who is an “I” person.
8. You do not have to be the smartest in the room but be the hardest working.
I love being a lawyer. It is an incredibly rewarding, yet demanding career. Hopefully these life lessons resonate and are meaningful for you.